ACLU Filing Lawsuit Against Metro Police

Stemming from May 2011 incident

By Brandon Benavides
|  Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012  |  Updated 12:30 PM EDT
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Filing a lawsuit against the transit agency's police over a free speech concern stemming from a May 2011 incident.  Megan McGrath reports.

Megan McGrath

Filing a lawsuit against the transit agency's police over a free speech concern stemming from a May 2011 incident. Megan McGrath reports.

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The American Civil Liberties Union announced it will file a lawsuit against Metro Transit Police for officers actions during a May 2011 arrest.

The legal action comes after Metro Transit officers removed a man from his wheelchair outside the U-Street/Cardozo Metro Station while placing him under arrest. Officers said the man, Dwight Harris, had been drinking in public.

The incident was recorded and posted online, sparking widespread criticism of the officers' behavior.

Lawrence Miller, the ACLU's client, was on the scene when Dwight Harris was placed under arrest.  The ACLU said Miller was also arrested when he questioned the officers' treatment of Harris, who is a friend of his.

The ACLU is accusing Metro Police of violating Miller's first amendment rights. In a release, the ACLU said: "The lawsuit seeks damages for infringement of the basic rights to free expression and to be free of false arrest and excessive force by police."

Shortly after the incident, Miller was released an no charges were filed.

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