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Officers sued for stopping man videotaping from sidewalk

September 5, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Three Des Moines police officers and the city have been sued in federal court for violating the constitutional rights of a man who says he was filming from the sidewalk cars parked illegally at the police station.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Daniel Robbins, who is identified as a Des Moines independent photojournalist.

He claims three officers violated his First Amendment right to be free from retaliation and false arrest. He accuses the city of failing to properly train officers.

Robbins says the officers accused him of suspicious behavior, patted him down and took his cell phone and camera to search them. He was not charged and was eventually let go.

Robbins’ attorney Gary Dickey says citizens have a constitutional right to film the police from public sidewalks as long as they don’t interfere with official acts.

A police department spokesman says officers investigated when a civilian female city employee reported Robbins as suspicious when it appeared he was videotaping her getting into her car.

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