Lawsuit: Police confiscated phone of St. Louis County woman who filmed arrest

DELLWOOD, Mo. – A suburban St. Louis woman alleges in a lawsuit that an officer violated her free speech rights by confiscating her phone when she used it to film an arrest.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and the First Amendment Clinic at the Washington University Law School filed the lawsuit Friday on behalf of Sarah Townsend, of Dellwood.

The suit says that after she began filming in August 2018, an officer with the North County Police Cooperative grabbed her phone and threw it into her car. The suit says that when she retrieved her phone and continued recording, the officer confiscated her phone and threatened her with arrest.

Police referred questions to the Vinita Park City Attorney, who said the city would look at the lawsuit.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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