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News Link • Justice and Judges

First Circuit Rules That Police Do Not Have Qualified Immunity...

•, by Jonathan Turley
Despite consistent rulings upholding the right of citizens to film police in public, these abuses continue. One of the more recent cases comes from Concord New Hampshire where Carla Gericke was arrested for trying to videotape the police at a March 24, 2010, traffic stop of a friend. She sued that the charge of wiretapping violated her constitutional rights and, in a major rule, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that she was entitled to a jury trial and was not barred by qualified immunity. The case is Gericke v. Begin, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9623.

After her arrest, a criminal probable cause hearing was scheduled for May 25, 2010, but, on the day of that hearing, the town prosecutor declined to proceed on the pending charges, including the charge for unlawful interception of oral communications. We have seen in other cases of alleged abuse where citizens are hit with multiple charges only to have the charges dropped at a later date.

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