Baton Rouge Violated the First Amendment by Trying To Imprison a Professor for Sharing Body Camera Footage

Baton Rouge attempted to put a law professor behind bars after sharing publicly accessible body-cam footage that showed police strip-searching minors in public. A federal judge found that the conduct was in violation of the First Amendment on Friday.

The footage was shared originally with Reason, He was stopped at a traffic light in 2020. Baton Rouge Police Department officers cuffed Clarence Green, 23, and his brother Clarence Green (16), pulling their pants down on the street to search for drugs. Officer Troy Lawrence Jr. and then–Sgt. Ken Camallo went then to the home of the family and searched it with weapons drawn without any warrant.

After the news generated a lot of outrage, government officials focused on Thomas Frampton who was representing the Greens. He also disseminated clips that were already part of public record. Anderson Dotson III, East Baton Rouge Parish Attorney, informed Frampton during a May press conference to discuss the video that the government was going to seek contempt of court. This resulted in Frampton spending up to six months at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

“The significance of the measurement” [Frampton’s]In a published opinion of 92 pages, Judge John W. deGravelles writes that there wasn’t any criminal activity in the case. “Frampton released Video which was in the public realm, belonged his clients and he did so on the instruction and with the knowledge his clients.

The footage of Camallo’s warrantless home entry might be an even bigger headache for the BRPD that the public strip-search. Camallo had just completed his third search of this nature in less than three years. While he has been declassified, he remains with the department.

Frampton stated in a statement that “BRPD officers disregard for constitutional rights of everyday Baton Rouge residents, such as the Green Family,” Then you realize how lawyers defend these officers and make it all more logical. Unfortunately, the taxpayers will be paying for these misdeeds.

The Green family was able to reach a settlement of $35,000 with the City after Clarence had spent five months behind bars. The government moved to dismiss its case against him, and a federal judge agreed—but not without first benchslapping the state for actions that could be criminal.

“Such an invasion, in abject violation of protections afforded to citizens by the Fourth Amendment of United States Constitution that protects citizens against unwarranted Government intrusions in the homes of their households, may justifiably being considered to be as a trespass subject of prosecution pursuant to” Louisiana law, said Judge Brian A. Jackson of U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Louisiana.

Baton Rouge insists that the city was FramptonWho disseminated the footage in violation of the law. The city was responsible for making the video public.

DeGravelles believes that this wasn’t about prosecuting anyone for breaking the law. DeGravelles believes it was about revenge, and avoiding accountability. The City/Parish could not have pursued the case if it didn’t feel compelled to do so because of the evidence.