Amicus Brief in Glik v. Cunniffe, et al.

At a Glance

Current Status 

CCR filed an amicus brief in support of Glik on January 25, 2011.

In September 2011, the Judge ruled for Glik in the case, saying his First Amendment rights had been violated.

Case Description 

CCR has submitted an amicus brief in Glik v. Cunniffe before the First Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Berkeley Copwatch, Communities United against Police Brutality, Justice Committee, Milwaukee Police Accountability Coalition, Nodutdol for Korean Community Development and Portland Copwatch. The brief argues that concerned individuals and Copwatch groups have the right to record public police activity and that that right is clearly protected under the First Amendment.

About the case:

On October 1, 2007, Simon Glik held out his cellphone and made an audiovisual recording of three Boston police officers, John Cunniffe, Peter J. Savalis, and Jerome Hall-Brewster, making an arrest on Boston Common. Though Plaintiff held the cellphone in plain view and did not interfere with the arrest, the officers arrested Glik for violating the Massachusetts wiretap statute, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 99, as well as aiding the escape of a prisoner and disturbing the peace. The Commonwealth voluntarily dismissed the aiding the escape charge, and the Boston Municipal Court dismissed the remaining two charges by written decision dated February 1, 2008.

Glik then brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the three officers and the City of Boston on February 1, 2010. He is represented by private attorney David Milton and ACLU attorney Sarah Wunsch. The complaint alleges that the individual Defendants violated the First and Fourth Amendments by arresting him for openly recording police officers carrying out their duties in public, and that the City’s policies and customs caused these violations. The complaint also brings state law claims against the individual officers for malicious prosecution and violation of the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act.