Lawyers for a Dorchester man who was arrested for recording Boston police officers with his cellphone said the city has agreed to a payment to settle the lawsuit.
The city will pay Maury Paulino $33,000 to settle the civil rights lawsuit he brought last year against Boston and four police officers, Paulino's lawyers said today.
"The First Amendment right to record police is an essential tool to ensure that police are accountable to the public they serve," said David Milton, Paulino's lawyer.
Boston police said they did not receive any official notification yet, but said at the time the lawsuit was filed that officers have received training since 2010 that public and open recording of officers is allowed under state statute.
Paulino was 19 when he was arrested in November 2009 for resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer and disorderly conduct. He was acquitted of those charges last year.
Paulino was outside the Roxbury neighborhood police station after bailing out a friend. As the friend was being released, words were exchanged between the friend and the officers. Paulino, believing his friend was being mistreated, started to record the incident on his cell phone.
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The lawsuit alleged that the officers then used excessive force when arresting Paulino for recording the incident. He alleged the officers punched and kneed him and used pepper spray.
"I hope this settlement teaches the police not to arrest people for recording them," Paulino said in a statement. "Police officers should get used to being recording in public. I was recording the police to make sure they didn't hurt my friend. I didn't expect the police would hit me and arrest me for recording them."
Milton also represented Simon Glik, an Allston attorney who sued the city for arresting him for recording an arrest on the Boston Common in 2007. In that case, the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that recording police openly in public was legal. The city settled that lawsuit for $170,000.
The video that sparked the Paulino case, which was provided by his attorneys, can be seen below: