The city of Manchester is paying $275,000 to settle a civil lawsuit after a man was arrested for taking a video recording of police.
The ACLU of New Hampshire brought the civil rights case on behalf of Alfredo Valentin, who was arrested in March of 2015 after using his phone to record the actions of Manchester police in a public space. Though Valentin did not interfere with the police activities, officers arrested and charged him with criminal wiretapping.
The city of Manchester argued that Valentin was in violation of the law because he was attempting to hide the phone from view, but a Superior Court judge dismissed the criminal case, ruling that Valentin’s constitutional rights were violated.
"Citizens need to know that they have a right to record police officers when they can do so without interfering with police activity,” writes Richard Lehmann, attorney for Valentin, in a statement. “Recording the police only enhances their accountability to the citizens they serve.”
The city of Manchester is paying Valentin $275,000 to settle a related civil suit brought by the ACLU.
“I am pleased with the result in this case, and I hope that this settlement will deter similar police practices in the future,” says Valentin.