They said Philly cops tried to stop them from photographing officers. Now the city is paying them $250,000

by Chris Palmer, Staff Writer  @cs_palmer  cpalmer@phillynews.com

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The City of Philadelphia has agreed to pay $250,000 to two people who claimed that police officers violated their First Amendment rights by blocking them from taking photos of police activity.

The settlements, announced Tuesday, ended years of legal wrangling over civil suits filed on behalf of Amanda Geraci, a local activist, and Richard Fields, formerly a Temple University student. The ACLU of Pennsylvania, which brought the claims for the pair, said it hoped their cases served as a “warning sign” against those who would seek to prevent recordings of cops.

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“Simply put, the First Amendment protects the act of photographing, filming, or otherwise recording police officers conducting their official duties in public,” the opinion said, calling such a view “a growing consensus.”

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