ACLU rejoices: Andrew Henderson acquitted of charges he faced for filming paramedics
In October 2012, Little Canada resident Andrew Henderson was charged with obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct for filming paramedics and deputies loading a mentally disturbed, handcuffed man into the back of an ambulance outside his residential building.
The ACLU, concerned about city prosecutors' attempt to criminalize passively filming emergency responders and law enforcement officials in a public space, agreed to help Henderson with his legal defense. And yesterday, they scored a victory as a jury acquitted Henderson of all charges.
"We are incredibly pleased with this result," Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the Minnesota ACLU, said in a statement. "The ACLU-MN has long maintained that the First Amendment protects an individual's right to film police and other public officials engaged in official duties in public spaces."
Henderson, whose camera was confiscated during the incident, echoed Samuelson's satisfaction.
"I feel incredibly relieved and excited that I was acquitted of all charges," Henderson said in the statement. "This is an important victory not only for me, but for other individuals like me who think recording interactions with the police are an important part of our First Amendment rights."
CORRECTION -- An earlier version of this piece incorrectly identified the agency that brought charges against Henderson. We apologize for the error.
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