ACLU of Louisiana Sues to Protect Right to Photograph Police
LAFAYETTE, La. — In an action to protect the rights to photograph and the privacy of cellphones, the ACLU of Louisiana filed suit today on behalf of a Lafayette mother who took photographs of a Lafayette police vehicle.
After cooperating with the officer while he arrested her minor son, Chelline Carter took a picture of her son sitting in the back of the police car. The officer, Shannon Brasseaux, took her phone from her hand, accessed and searched it, and deleted the photo – all without a warrant or consent. Carter was also threatened with arrest.
“Everyone has a right to photograph what they see, including actions of the police as long as they don’t interfere,” said Marjorie R. Esman, ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director. “In addition, cellphones are by law private and can’t be searched without a warrant. Ms. Carter had every right to take and keep the photos.”
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, seeks an injunction prohibiting Lafayette police “from interfering with the rights of individuals to photograph police activities in public and also “from conducting warrantless nonconsensual searches of cellular telephones and related devices, among other things. The plaintiffs are represented by ACLU of Louisiana Staff Attorney Bruce Hamilton, and cooperating attorney Maureen Jennings. Defendants are Officer Shannon Brasseaux, City-Parish President Joel Robideaux, and the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government.
A copy of the filed complaint can be found at: http://laaclu.org/resources/2017/2017_Carter_v_Brasseaux_Complaint.pdf
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
The Latest in Free Speech
Sasha Colby Is Winning in More Ways Than One
Southern Utah Drag Stars File Lawsuit Challenging the City of St. George’s Censorship of Drag Performances
ACLU Commends Supreme Court Decisions Allowing Free Speech Online to Flourish
ACLU Slams Montana's Unconstitutional TikTok Ban as Governor Signs Law
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
Learn More About Free Speech
Protecting free speech means protecting a free press, the democratic process, diversity of thought, and so much more. The ACLU has worked since 1920 to ensure that freedom of speech is protected for everyone.