U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Arrest Over ‘Contempt of Cop’ Charge, Limits Right to Challenge Police Use of Retaliatory Arrests to Punish Speech | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Arrest Over ‘Contempt of Cop’ Charge, Limits Right to Challenge Police Use of Retaliatory Arrests to Punish Speech

In a setback to First Amendment rights, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a ruling protecting police from lawsuits by persons arrested on bogus “contempt of cop” charges (ranging from resisting arrest and interference to disorderly conduct, obstruction, and failure to obey a police order) that result from lawful First Amendment activities (filming police, asking a question of police, refusing to speak with police). In Nieves v. Bartlett, the Court ruled 6-3 to dismiss the case of Russell Bartlett, an Alaska resident who was arrested after he refused to be interrogated by police and intervened after police attempted to question other people. Although the Court recognized that people have a right to be free from a retaliatory arrest over lawful First Amendment activities, it ruled that if police have probable cause for the arrest, the person cannot sue for a free speech violation unless they can show that someone else was not arrested for the same actions.

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