Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Major news about the Glik case!

I’ve just returned from court with some excellent news – the City of Boston’s motion to dismiss our case, Glik v. Cuniffe, was denied by Judge William Young. If you’ve been following the case, then you know that this is an important victory for free speech rights in the commonwealth!

Just in case you’re new to the story, here’s a bit of background. In October of 2007, Simon Glik was walking along the Boston Common when he came across police officers arresting a young man. He pulled out his cell phone camera and recorded what he believed was the use of excessive force against the youth. The cops arrested Glik for “illegal wiretapping”.

From The Boston Globe:

The criminal case was later dismissed. Now, Glik - a criminal defense attorney, according to his lawyer - is suing the city and the officers who arrested him, including Sergeant John Cunniffe and two patrolmen. The suit contends that Glik’s First Amendment rights to free speech and his Fourth Amendment right to freedom from arrest without probable cause were violated.

“Just because it’s upsetting to the police officers and they’re unhappy about being recorded, doesn’t allow them to make an arrest,’’ said Howard Friedman, an attorney working with the ACLU to represent Glik. “If a person is standing, as Mr. Glik was, many feet away and simply recording, that’s not a crime, even if the officers don’t like being recorded.’’

This afternoon, our own staff attorney Sarah Wunsch appeared before Judge Young, along with attorneys Howard Friedman and David Milton, who argued that the case is more than valid – and deserves to be brought to trial. Milton argued that because Glik’s recording was in plain sight, not a secret activity, there’s no way it could be construed as illegal wiretapping. Judge Young agreed, stating that “a first amendment right is established” here, and that police business conducted out in the open is public business. The judge gave us and the City lawyers two weeks to agree on a schedule for pre-trial discovery with an anticipated trial in June 2011.

As always, stay tuned for more details as the case develops – but rest assured, today’s victory is an important step in the right direction!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is great news. I volunteered at last years hempfest(post decrim.)and the BPD had no problem walking the crowd with their camcorders out intimidating a peaceful, legal gathering.Go get em.