The ACLU of Maine filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Bar Harbor couple who were arrested for attempting to peacefully observe and film a police encounter.
Jill Walker and Sabatino Scattoloni were visiting Portland on May 25 when they observed the encounter between five police officers and one woman. Walker and Scattolino decided to film the incident from a distance, neither speaking to nor interfering with the work of the police officers. They were then approached by Officer Benjamin Noyes, who forcefully ordered them to get off the sidewalk or face arrest. When Walker and Scattoloni asked the reason they would be arrested, Officer Noyes immediately ordered two other officers to arrest the couple.
The ACLU of Maine filed the lawsuit against Officer Noyes, charging that his actions violated Walker and Scattoloni’s First Amendment right to peacefully observe and record the police doing their job in public, as well as their Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful arrest.
The case was successfully settled in March 2015.