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Attorney asks for rehearing in Mo. police lawsuit

The lawsuit was filed by Matthew Akins, who had various run-ins with law enforcement while attempting to videotape them


This article has been corrected. A previous version based on a local news story erroneously reported that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that citizens do not have the right to film police in public. The lower court opinion stated: “Further, he has no constitutional right to videotape any public proceedings he wishes to. See Rice v. Kempker, 374 F.3d 675, 678 (8th Cir. 2004) (“[N]either the public nor the media has a First Amendment right to videotape, photograph, or make audio recordings of government proceedings that are by law open to the public.”), and Wis. Interscholastic Ath. Ass'n v. Gannett Co., 658 F.3d 614, 627-628 (7th Cir. 2011) (same).”

By PoliceOne Staff

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — An attorney is asking for a rehearing in a lawsuit against police.

The lawsuit was filed by Matthew Akins, who had various run-ins with law enforcement while attempting to videotape them, KRCG reported.

Lawyer Stephen Wyse said Akins received multiple threats, as did his employer and he was ordered by police to stop filming numerous times, including the filming of a filing of a citizen complaint in the police department lobby. He also claimed he was arrested multiple times in retaliation for his filming. He sued for violations of his First, Second, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

A lower court ruled that officers had probable cause for each time Akins was arrested and that he has "no constitutional right to videotape any public proceedings he wishes to." The Eighth Circuit denied his appeal of the lower court's ruling to dismiss the case.

"The First Amendment is a core American value," Wyse said. "The right to free speech and a free press are central to our liberty and our ability to hold our government accountable." 

Akins appeal of District Court ruling by KRCG 13 on Scribd

Rehearing Petition by KRCG 13 on Scribd

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