Judge finds no constitutional violation by Englewood officer who arrested man filming encounter

Colorado Politics: A federal judge concluded on Thursday that an Englewood police officer did not violate the constitutional rights of a man by arresting him after he attempted to video record the officer from a public sidewalk.

Five months ago, the federal appeals court with jurisdiction over Colorado recognized for the first time that the First Amendment protects the ability of bystanders to record law enforcement officers performing their duties in public.

But U.S. District Court Judge Charlotte N. Sweeney believed the lawsuit brought by Ian Ewert against Officer Brian Martinez had not shown a violation of Ewert’s First Amendment rights. Cell phone footage depicted Martinez barking orders at Ewert to “go over there” when Ewert approached to record the officer as he interviewed Ewert’s neighbor. Within 20 seconds, Martinez had escalated the encounter by placing Ewert in handcuffs.

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