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ACLU Sues MPD Over Confiscated Memory Card

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The American Civil Liberties Union is suing two MPD officers and the District of Columbia for stealing a smartphone memory card. The lawsuit alleges Earl Staley Jr.'s camera phone was confiscated by a police officer because he was taking pictures of another officer assaulting bystanders.

Staley picked up his cell phone at a station house later that day, but got a surprise when he went to take a picture of his 3-year-old daughter, according to Arthur Spitzer, legal director of the district's branch of the ACLU. 

"The cell phone screen said 'insert memory chip.' And it turned out the memory chip was gone," Spitzer says.

The memory card contained all of Staley's photographs of his daughter since her birth according to the ACLU.

"Ideally we would like to get the memory card returned. I'm really concerned that that may not be possible if it's been destroyed. The next best thing would be compensation, money," Spitzer. "We're also asking in the lawsuit that the police department be ordered to do a better job of training its police officers about the rights of everybody to photograph them." 

Neither MPD nor the Office of the Attorney General are commenting on the lawsuit.


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