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ACLU Sues Waterbury Officers, Alleging Violation Of First Amendment Rights

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Two police sergeants in Waterbury, Connecticut, face lawsuits after they arrested a man for filming the city’s police station.

The ACLU of Connecticut sued the two officers on behalf of Keith Massimino. The two officers arrested Massimino in 2018 while he was performing what he called a "First Amendment audit" — filming the station from a public sidewalk outside. Massimino posted his video on YouTube, which captured the following exchange:

Massimino: “Can you articulate a crime I committed?”

Officer: “Reasonable suspicion.”

Massimino: “Of what crime?”

Officer: “I don’t know if you’re about to blow up the building, or…”

Massimino: “Can you articulate a crime I committed?”

Officer: “You’re videotaping secure areas of …”

Massimino: “That’s not a crime.”

Massimino was charged with interfering with police, which carries up to a year in prison. Prosecutors dropped the charge earlier this year. The ACLU said police violated his rights, since his actions are protected by the First Amendment.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.