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City settles lawsuit over arrest recording

Sun., July 11, 2010

BEAVERTON, Ore. – The city of Beaverton has agreed to pay $19,000 to settle a federal lawsuit by a 29-year-old man the police arrested for using a cell phone to record an officer arresting a friend at a bowling alley.

Chief Geoff Spalding said it’s unlikely his officers would again use the state’s eavesdropping laws to arrest somebody for recording the voice of an officer. But he’s not ruling it out.

After a similar incident in Portland, city lawyers told police that officers can’t seize cameras or arrest people for recording them in public, except in rare circumstances.

The settlement comes almost two years after the arrest. Prosecutors dropped the charge on the grounds the recording was so poor it might not have constituted a violation of the law.


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