Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis CopWatch Founder Sues over 2016 Arrest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis CopWatch Founder Sues over 2016 Arrest

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS - A St. Louis activist who founded the local chapter of CopWatch, a group that monitors police, filed a civil rights lawsuit against officers in federal court Thursday, saying they violated his rights by unlawfully arresting him and searching and seizing his camcorder.

David Whitt, of St. Louis, was filming police on Aug. 8, 2016, on Wells Avenue when an officer told him to back up until he was about 50 feet from a police vehicle where an arrestee was in custody, the suit says. Whitt was then arrested, held for roughly 10 hours in jail and released, it says.

Whitt's Panasonic camcorder was held for five months, and an officer applied for a warrant to search the camera, even though the officers didn't have probable cause for the initial arrest, the suit says. When the camera was returned, it was damaged, the suit says, including in an apparent attempt to erase the SD card. …

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