The man responsible for millions of people seeing the arrest and death of Eric Garner in Staten Island in 2014 has filed suit against the city seeking $10 million in damages, claiming that his own subsequent arrests were made in “retaliation” for the criticism he drew against the police department.
According to his lawyer, the man has been continually harassed by police since filming the fatal arrest. The man claims that police have followed him constantly since the 2014 incident, going to great lengths to find ways to arrest him.
The man has been arrested on drug possession charges, on firearm possession charges, and for attempting to sell narcotics to an undercover officer. The man believes that these charges are drummed up in order to discredit him as a journalist and undermine the scrutiny that his footage brought against the department. Court documents stated that “instead of winning accolades for his professional journalism and/or being praised by the media for his exposure of brutal police tactics and the failure of EMTs to assist victims of Police Brutality, (the man) was maligned and smeared by the NYPD, (and) arrested continually on false and/or trumped up charges.”
Whether or not some of the drug or weapons charges end in convictions, a person’s first amendment rights are not to be taken lightly. If the man in question is correct, then the Staten Island Police Department has been participating in some serious affronts to constitutionally-guaranteed civil liberties. Those who believe that they have had their civil liberties violated by a member of law enforcement deserve to have their claims represented excellently by an experienced attorney. He or she will fight to preserve their rights and ensure that they are treated fairly in the eyes of the law.