A city man who was thrown to the ground and had his video camera seized while filming a crime scene last fall has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against three Minneapolis police officers involved in the incident.
In the lawsuit, filed Nov. 28 in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Derrick Revies, 46, alleges that the officers — Matthew Lindquist and two officers who were only identified by their last names, Moua and McDonough — violated his constitutionally protected right to record law enforcement officers carrying out their duties in public spaces, and also accused them of excessive force, false arrest and battery.
According to the suit, Revies was walking past a crime scene on the 1000 block of Currie Avenue on the night of Aug. 1, 2014 when he whipped out his phone and started recording “police officers, medical personnel, and a possible victim and/or suspect inside the area that was taped off.”
One of the officers walked over and started to aggressively shoo Revies away, the suit said. At one point the officer snatched his camera away and telling him that he would “return his camera once they reach an area of the sidewalk where Mr. Revies could remain,” according to the suit.
Revies is the founder of Film the Police Minneapolis, a YouTube channel that features user-submitted videos of police activity in public.
The suit read:
“Shortly after, while Mr. Revies was lawfully recording the incident from a place where he had a legal right to be, Defendant Officer Moua approached Mr. Revies and gave him vague and conflicting instructions to move to a different area.”
Revies contends that he complied with all of the officer's commands, but Lundquist still “forcefully tackled him to the ground, handcuffed him, and arrested him.” The lawsuit says that the other two officers jumped on Revies and pinned him to the ground, causing him to "suffer sever and excruciating pain." He was arrested and booked into Hennepin County Jail, but no charges were filed.
“At the time of the arrest, Mr. Revies was not committing any crimes, was in the area to which was directed by Officer Moua, and was not interfering or obstructing the officers in any way,” the suit alleges.
Revies later posted a heavily edited video of the encounter on YouTube, in which one of the officers is heard repeatedly saying, "You've been told to leave," before apparently taking Revies to the ground. In the nearly 10-minute clip, he is later heard pleading with the officer to let him go, but a voice says, “it’s too late.”
The suit seeks unspecified damages.
Here is the YouTube video: