The Denver Police Department will pay $50,000 to a journalist who was wrongfully detained after filming an arrest last year, the Colorado Independent reports.
Susan Greene, the online newspaper’s editor, was handcuffed and detained in a police vehicle after she filmed officers arresting a man July 5, 2018.
Video of the incident shows the officers telling Greene to “act like a lady” as they handcuffed her and threatened to take her to jail, which they did not do. She sued on the basis of First Amendment rights.
“It is not the police’s right, or the city administration’s right or the mayor’s right, to decide what stories we’re covering or what questions we’re asking, or where we’re pointing our cameras,” Greene said in September 2018.
“If they start pushing us this way and we acquiesce, there’s a chilling effect. Because if I didn’t file a lawsuit or pursue changes in the way that police do their jobs, then they’ll keep doing this. It has to stop somewhere.”
Greene has reached a settlement that also requires police to be trained on the First Amendment, reports the Independent, but the Denver City Council must approve the deal.
“Sexism and censorship have no place in our society,” said Mari Newman, one of Greene’s attorneys, in the article.
“I am hopeful that Susan’s fight to change Denver’s policy and training will ensure that its officers no longer harass and arrest members of the public or media for simply filming police officers’ actions on a public sidewalk.
“When Denver officers told Susan to ‘stand up and act like a lady,’ I’m guessing this is not what they had in mind. But they messed with the wrong lady.”