Mar 17

Lawsuit: Louisiana police officer took phone, deleted photo

The original story was posted to the Associated Press on March 29th 2017. It can be found here


"NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A police officer in Louisiana took a woman's cellphone and deleted a picture from it — without a warrant or her consent — according to a lawsuit she filed Wednesday in federal court.

The suit filed against officials in Lafayette says Chelline Carter arrived in a parking lot after her teenage son had been arrested on a marijuana possession charge in January. Carter talked politely with police and used her phone to photograph her son as he sat, restrained, in the back of a police car, the suit says.

Carter's suit claims Lafayette Officer Shannon Brasseaux took the phone from her, examined the contents and deleted at least one picture. It also says Brasseaux said Carter "could be arrested for taking pictures of 'evidence.'"

Her suit, filed in Lafayette by attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union, says Brasseaux conducted an illegal search and seizure. It seeks a declaration that Brasseaux's actions violated Carter's rights under the U.S. and Louisiana constitutions.

It also asks for unspecified "nominal" damages and for an order that city officials take steps to ensure such actions don't happen again.

City and police officials didn't immediately respond to telephoned and emailed requests for comment on the lawsuit or the status of a complaint the suit says Carter filed with the police department's Internal Affairs Division.

"Everyone has a right to photograph what they see, including actions of the police as long as they don't interfere," ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie Esman said in a news release. "In addition, cellphones are by law private and can't be searched without a warrant.""

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Severin Freeman has been involved in activism for several years. He believes that all people should be treated totally equal and that no one has a higher claim to us or our freedom, than ourselves. He has played a role in the founding and growth of many activist groups across the Lehigh Valley area. His mission has become to expose those that would threaten our freedom and natural liberties.