Boulder County sheriff’s deputies arrested two men for suspicion of trespassing last December after they failed to identify themselves while recording the county jail from a public sidewalk.
It was an obvious show of power by the deputies who proved they would identify the men regardless of any Constitutional precedent that may forbid it. The deputies even released the men after 90 minutes with no charges because recording from a public sidewalk is not a crime.
As expected, the men are now suing. Jedon Kerr and Dean Schiller who respectively run the YouTube channels, Colorado Donkey Watch and ZFG Videography, filed their lawsuit on Thursday, which you can read here.
According to Westworld:
Kerr and Schiller specialize in capturing on-the-job images of Boulder law enforcement agents behaving badly, including ex-college football player turned Boulder police officer Wayne Lolotai, who is being sued by Kelly Clark, a woman he shoved violently to the ground as she attempted to ascertain the status of a man busted in a separate incident. That matter is one of three cited to support the complaint’s contention that “Defendants City and County of Boulder have an informal custom of condoning unlawful arrests, retaliation and excessive force by its officers that is based solely on the exercise of First Amendment rights.”
Asked about the suit, Kerr replies via email: “Individuals with nothing to hide do not fear exposure from citizen journalists. It is my goal to see a more transparent, accountable and a more reliable law enforcement culture, dedicated to tackling the problems of the community instead of tackling citizen journalists.”
Adds Schiller, also via email: “Cops and politicians shouldn’t be above the law — no one should be.”
Boulder communications director Patrick von Keyserling notes, “The city does not comment on litigation.” However, the Boulder Sheriff’s Office previously shared a post responding to controversy over the December 28, 2018, arrest of Kerr and Schiller, describing them as “suspicious” and suggesting that they are part of a “movement” attempting to provoke “confrontation.”
Shilling tells Westworld filing the lawsuit was the last thing they wanted to do. All he wanted was to see the deputies disciplined.
But there was no apologies or admittance of guilt so now they must respond to the lawsuit.
“A lawsuit seems to be the only method of holding accountable the persons involved,” Shilling told Westworld.