Boston Pays $170,000 To The Guy Police Arrested For Filming Them

from the don't-mess-with-the-first-amendment dept

Last summer, we wrote about a huge ruling in an appeals court concerning a guy, Simon Glik, who was arrested by Boston police for filming them as they arrested someone else. The court not only found that the arrest was a clear violation of the 1st and 4th Amendments, but that since police should have known the arrest was bogus, following through with it was a civil rights violation for which they could be liable for damages. Because of that, the city has now paid Glik $170,000 to settle the case he filed against them. Not surprisingly, the Boston Police also indicate that they're working hard to make sure this doesn't happen again -- because it could get costly.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:18am

    So the taxpayer loses and pays for the crimes of a police officer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:21am

    Right on.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    Serves them right.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:26am

    Good for him.

    It's about time the police actually had to police their own for this sort of crap.

     

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      Jay (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

      Re: Good for him.

      There's no incentive to...

      It's great that this money is coming out of the budget but who is considering the next few steps at where the city is going to come up with this money?

      The officer wasn't fired.
      The prosecutors may have lost, but this will come out of taxes.

      And you still have no training in the law enforcement offices regarding this arrest.

      There are more losers here than anything.

       

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    dave, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:27am

    The money should come out of the pockets of the arresting officers and their immediate supervisors, not the city itself. The city of Boston did not violate this man's rights, these people acting as 'police' did.

    Hold police accountable for their actions.

     

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      JohnG (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 11:20am

      Re:

      and until the offenders have to pay themselves, they'll keep on offending

       

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      Palmyra (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 11:35am

      Re:

      The city is most definitely at fault here. Its fault lies in not instructing the police on the law and the constitution in this type of situation.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 11:49am

        Re: Re:

        The taxpayers are not at fault, why should they bear the burden?

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Because it's their government. The government is, remember, the citizens collectively. You cannot separate the taxpayers from the government, as the taxpayers are the government.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

        Re: Re:

        Gee...
        If only there was some kind of law requiring training on the laws that they are reguired to enforce.

        If only the police department was required to train police officers on the constitution and the bill of rights.

        If only...

         

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          AzureSky (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          if only there was some kind of law requiring our reps in federal govt to know about what they create and vote on laws for...could save alot of trouble to.....but thats about as likely as cops actually knowing the law rather then just guessing.

           

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          AzureSky (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          if only there was some kind of law requiring our reps in federal govt to know about what they create and vote on laws for...could save alot of trouble to.....but thats about as likely as cops actually knowing the law rather then just guessing.

           

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    Chris ODonnell (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:30am

    1. Film police
    2. ????
    3. Profit.

    We now know what goes in #2 - get arrested.

     

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    Aaron T (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:31am

    taxpayers on the hook

    So the *taxpayers* are out $170K. Trying to figure out why the Boston PD has any real incentive to change... clearly bad publicity isn't enough to fix problems in Oakland or Los Angeles, so I don't see how a fine to a tax funded government entity would change things.

    Now if there cops in question were held liable for their actions, that would seem to actually change things, but it seems highly unlikely that the DA would dare to prosecute them in todays political climate.

     

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      DannyB (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:53am

      Re: taxpayers on the hook

      If the problem is fixed early, I'm happy to just stick the department with liability rather than the officers.

      If, somehow this were to go far enough as to stop potential officers from becoming officers, then we end up with a different problem.

      Sure I am willing to stick the liability to individual officers AND the department, if real bodily harm or death occurs.

      As it is, the department, now, seems to be doing the right thing to prevent this from happening.

      Even though not binding on many other police departments, it may be a signal to them to better train their officers as well.

       

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        weneedhelp (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 11:10am

        Re: Re: taxpayers on the hook

        "Sure I am willing to stick the liability to individual officers AND the department, if real bodily harm or death occurs."

        So violating someones rights, and false imprisonment, because there was no bodily injury is not cause for punishment?

        I always see this:
        "Not surprisingly, the Boston Police also indicate that they're working hard to make sure this doesn't happen again -- because it could get costly." - Not because it is the right thing to do.

         

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          Mike42 (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 11:22am

          Re: Re: Re: taxpayers on the hook

          The "Corporate Mentality" has overridden any sense of ethics or morality. "Nothing personal. It's just business."

           

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          DannyB (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: taxpayers on the hook

          I didn't say no punishment. But not something that could end a career or financially ruin someone.

          Yeah an arrest and violating the guy's rights is terrible. And I'm glad he won. I would be horrified if he lost. But it sounds like the department is fixing the problem.

          And the really bad officers who break the law in ways that result in bodily harm, yes they should be severely punished. Also, I do think officers should be held to a higher standard.



          > Not because it is the right thing to do.

          If the financial penalty fixes it, that's better than nothing.

          Hopefully the penalty was just the wake up call to make them recognize that it is the right thing to do.

           

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    DCX2, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:36am

    Go after their pension

    Instead of putting the taxpayers on the hook for $170k, why not penalize the pensions of every single person involved who allowed this to happen, from the officers on up through the DA that allowed the charges to go to trial.

    Punish them in a way that will impact them and watch how fast they change their attitude.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

      Re: Go after their pension

      Better idea...

      Split the 170K evenly amongst every OTHER police department employee.

       

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    FSK, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Who Pays The Fine?

    The fine isn't paid by the policemen who broke the law. It's paid by the general tax fund. It's paid by the other taxpayers.

    It's pointless to sue the government, when a government employee does something wrong. The fine isn't paid by the people who broke the law. It's paid by the other taxpayers.

    There's no incentive for police and bureaucrats to obey the law. Even when they do get caught doing something wrong, the fine is paid by the general tax fund, and not the people who broke the law.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:53am

      Re: Who Pays The Fine?

      The problem is that police departments have Internal Affairs Divisions that are SUPPOSED to investigate and reprimand officers that act outside of the law. Often times they simply go through the motions and simply pass a "Move along. Nothing to see here." sort of action in an effort to "protect their own". If these officers cost the city enough money it will force the Internal Affairs Divisions to actually DO THEIR JOB instead of white-washing the misconduct of officers that abuse their power.

       

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    vastrightwing, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 10:51am

    Boston police over zealous

    Don't worry Boston has plenty of money to pay out for their mis-deeds. It was privy to the Big Dig, worth over 15 billion of your tax dollars. The police also love asserting their force with hoax devices. Now the city is raising its public transportation costs, so I say only $170K? Not even a drop in the bucket!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 11:05am

    Re: Go after their pension

    Doing that may inspire higher ups to do cover ups of their underlings' actions to avoid punishment. Now, if they hit a small, select group (like the cop(s) who did the arrest), that's a different story...That solution still has problems, though.

     

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      DCX2, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

      Re: Re: Go after their pension

      If a superior engages in a cover-up, they lose their entire pension. Period. They should also face prison time.

      If someone blows the whistle on such a superior, the whistle-blower should receive the entire pension.

      How's that for incentive?

       

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        Niall (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 5:49am

        Re: Re: Re: Go after their pension

        You'll just have the entire force trying to trip up and backstab their superiors, instead of actually doing their real work.

        Also, why should a whistle-blower benefit /that/ much? What about the city coffers, those wronged by the superior, those wronged by crime in general, or so on?

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    So what disciplinary action was taken...

    ...against the public servants who knowingly and falsely arrested an innocent man?

    Surely they must have been fired and blacklisted from public service for life: there's no way people this brutal, this ignorant, this vicious, this absolutely clueless should be allowed to carry a gun and a badge.

     

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    STJ, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    Now I know where to go to get a few years worth of my salary in just a few months.

     

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      Chris, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:56am

      Re:

      I don't know if it's pure profit STJ. Sadly I bet most of it just goes to pay his lawyer and other costs associated with the trial. What makes it so difficult is that you or I would have to spend this much money of front, and the outcome is far from guaranteed.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

    And continuing the police/cities reign of corruption, a new tax is passed. People who collect over $1 in cash settlements from the Boston PD must pay 100% of said settlements to the city.

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    Here's Another One

    "Las Vegas police agree to pay $100,000 to beaten videographer" from the Mar. 21, 2012 edition of Las Vegas Review Journal.

    Las Vegas Review-Journal reports: "The Metropolitan Police Department has agreed to pay $100,000 to a Las Vegas man who said he was beaten by an officer as he shot video from his driveway. ... As Colling was driving away, he stopped his car, got out and approached Crooks. ... He ordered Crooks to stop filming, and when Crooks refused, Colling beat him, according to the lawsuit."

     

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    Thomas (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Won't stop it..

    The cops stil believe they have full right to stop anyone from photographing or videotaping them. They want to avoid another "Rodney King" incident by the simple expedient of making videotape of the incident not allowed in court.

    I go to Boston now and then and I am very careful to avoid going anywhere near the cops. I don't photograph/videotape the cops, don't use drugs, don't steal, and yet I avoid them like the plague. Boston cops are not to be trusted. Part of the problem is they have to deal with such serious criminals that it's hard for them not to descend to the criminal level themselves.

     

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      F!, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 5:45pm

      Re: Won't stop it..

      One of the ironies of the Rodney King debacle is that the thugs basically got away with it. That makes one wonder why cops today are so worried about being filmed, because even with that evidence against them they don't have much to fear.

       

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    DannyB (profile), Mar 28th, 2012 @ 1:21pm

    Video works both ways

    The police who are not acting wrongly probably would LIKE to have video of their actions.

    Maybe police departments should install cameras everywhere. On cars. On officers themselves. The good officers would find it reassuring. The bad officers would probably find another line of work.

     

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      F!, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 5:54pm

      Re: Video works both ways

      I totally agree. A helmet-cam on every cop, which has time & date stamp, GPS cordinates, officer's name & badge number in the corner of the screen, streamed live to publicly accessible internet in hd. Also archived online no later than 24 hours later, in a database searchable by date, name, badge number, location, etc.

      In the case of stalking/initiating a surprise raid, live streaming could be disabled temporarily, but available in archives immediately following.

      This would protect the good cops and weed out the bad ones. Win-win.

       

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        Chris, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:08am

        Re: Re: Video works both ways

        Yes, and a lot of departments do stuff like this. But, does anybody recall a recent case where a defendant made a request for said video and suddenly it couldn't be found? Do you see the problem with leaving it up to the cops to do the taping? In particular case I believe the defendant was able to prove that the cops destroyed the evidence. The judge did his usually thing of reprimanding the cops but I don't think anyone was punished. That would require the defendant to file a civil case, and like I commented above, their is a huge financial risk in doing so for the average citizen which pretty much guarantee’s the legal system won't do it's job.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    sucks for Boston taxpayers who have to pay for this. good thing I'm out in California where taxpayers don't have to pay for any idiotic things our State and local governments do...:sarcasm:

     

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    Digitari, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

    RE Know the LAW

    "the Union says we aint got to"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2012 @ 6:29pm

    Sad to see tax payers go this way, but it also puts pressure on the police to change its way or have the laws changed so they can start doing it legally.

    That 170K will come from somewhere and the entire force could be punished, the government pockets are not what they used to be and they don't have that kind of money anymore lying around, the little that is left is going to pet projects and others pockets, so I see this as positive, because I doubt the city will have the balls to increase taxes to make up for it.

     

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      Niall (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 5:54am

      Re:

      Short of banning the responsible officers from overtime of other perks, I can't think of many ways to punish them/their precinct that wouldn't hurt the public too.

       

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 12:16am

    LOL

    If the MPAA is looking for a new business model, I think they found it. Look at the profit on just a short film!!!

     

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