By Associated Press - Monday, March 30, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The city of Portland is going to use the arrest of a Bar Harbor couple who videotaped police officers as part of its training to ensure First Amendment protections, a spokeswoman said Monday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and the city announced they have settled a lawsuit against officer Benjamin Noyes Jr. for an undisclosed sum.

Sabatino Scattoloni and Jill Walker contended the officer told them they would face arrest if they didn’t leave May 25 when they were recording an arrest. A city spokeswoman said the couple was arrested for refusing to comply, not for videotaping the arrest. The couple said Noyes arrested them before they could respond.

City spokeswoman Jessica Grodin said the lawsuit was settled to avoid costly litigation.

“In addition, the city of Portland has committed to utilizing this incident as a training tool to ensure the rights of citizens, including First Amendment rights, will be respected by its police officers in such interactions,” she said.



Zach Heiden, legal director for the ACLU of Maine, said police officers may not like being videotaped but that such recordings are “an important check on potential abuses.”

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