Boston cops beat man for videotaping

John Moore / Getty Images / AFP
On Wednesday, Maury Paulino filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Boston and four local police officers for falsely arresting him and for using excessive force.

The arrest stems from a 2009 incident where Paulino used his cell phone to video record his friend, Pablo Guerrero, being detained by four cops.

Officer Seth Richard arrested Paulino for recording the arrest and then violently attacked him.

In the lawsuit, Paulino alleges he was punched, kneed and pepper-sprayed by Officer Richard. The other cops, says Paulino, failed to intervene.

According to the lawsuit, Paulino was at the police station to bail out Guerrero. Allegedly Guerrero began to argue with an officer while he was being released. In an attempt to help document the situation, Paulino started recording the officers after they allegedly started to rough up his friend.

Paulino was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, assaulting a police officer and a wiretapping charge but ultimately was found not guilty of any wrong doing.

“Police do not want that sort of scrutiny and they don’t want to be held accountable,” David Milton, Paulino’s attorney, tells WBUR News. “This is a pattern, and police know this is a pattern and they don’t seem to be doing anything about it,” Milton adds.

Milton says the reason for the suit is to compel Boston Police to train its officers to honor the First Amendment and allow people to record police actions without fear of retaliation from law enforcement.

Paulino is requesting an unspecified amount for damages for violating his constitutional rights as well as attorney costs.