FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2014
CONTACT: Charles Samuelson, Executive Director, 612.710.9948; Jana Kooren, 651.485.5925 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Speech Prevails, Peaceably Filming in Public is Okay
St. Paul, Minn. – Today the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota's client, Andrew Henderson, was found not guilty by a Ramsey County Jury in regards to charges of obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct. Henderson was cited in fall 2012 for passively filming paramedics and sheriff's deputies in the parking lot of his apartment building.
"I feel incredibly relieved and excited that I was acquitted of all charges," stated Andrew Henderson. He continued, "This is an important victory not only for me, but for other individuals like me who think recording interactions with the police are an important part of our First Amendment rights."
Henderson was outside his building when he noticed an incident occurring involving a man from his building, law enforcement officials, and the paramedics. He began passively filming the incident. Shortly thereafter the paramedics complained to a deputy who then approached Henderson and asked him to stop filming. A deputy approached him, confiscated his camera, and cited him for disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice.
"We are incredibly pleased with this result," stated Charles Samuelson, Executive Director of the ACLU-MN. "The ACLU-MN has long maintained that the First Amendment protects an individual's right to film police and other public officials engaged in official duties in public spaces."
ACLU-MN cooperating attorneys are: John Lundquist and Kevin Riach of Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.