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Friday, April 27, 2012

Cameraman Files Suit, Claims Police Obstruction

Cameraman Files Suit, Claims Police Obstruction 
The Associated Press  -  April 4, 2012

A freelance videographer arrested last year after a police sergeant ordered him to stop taping the arrest of a suspect filed a civil rights lawsuit on April 11, claiming the Suffolk County Police Department engaged in a pattern of harassing journalists. Philip Datz, who works for Stringer News Service, which sells video to TV stations and other news outlets, claimed in his federal suit that his arrest in July was another instance in which the county obstructed him from doing his job. The New York Civil Liberties Union filed the suit on Datz's behalf in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. The complaint cites other occasions in which Datz says he was prevented from videotaping during the course of his work. A police spokeswoman said when asked about the lawsuit that the department does not comment on pending litigation. Datz, who was arrested in Bohemia, claimed he was wearing press credentials and was filming police activity from a sidewalk where bystanders were also watching. He said that when Sergeant Michael Milton saw him, the officer ordered him to stop shooting and to leave. Datz claimed that none of the bystanders were told to leave. Datz moved about a block away and resumed shooting, but Milton pursued him and had him taken into custody, Datz said in the suit. He was given an appearance ticket for obstructing governmental administration. The district attorney's office later dropped an obstruction charge against him. The lawsuit claims Suffolk County "gives officers excessive discretion to prevent such recording," lacks adequate training for officers in dealing with the media, and does not sufficiently discipline officers who obstruct journalists doing their jobs.


Anonymous said...

Waiting for my turn to be able to sue not only the Suffolk County Police but. Also the Shireffs dept. Riverhead and Southampton L.I.Police depts.The courts, my attorneys who took my money then sold my rights to my ex husband. Who is involve with all not some Suffolk employees in financial fraud. He has court access due to him acquiring fraudulent mortgage funding for county employees. Ex answers all of my court filings.If anyone wants to see samples let me know. I can back up everything I state.

Anonymous said...

Can prove Suffolk police officers are actually helping my ex Mike Figat. In the staging of auto accidents for insurance fraud.I know this because ex is not a cop..just a crook. Accident reports are always written in the same handwriting (sent to Frank Brady). No matter which police dept. or where in Suffolk accident occurs. The writing is beyond a doubt that of Mr. Figat. Numerous fundings of the claims.aka fraud.