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Weare settles lawsuit over recording at traffic stop

The town of Weare has agreed to a $57,500 settlement in a lawsuit filed by a woman who said her First Amendment rights were violated when she was arrested while recording police during a traffic stop.

Carla Gericke, president of New Hampshire’s Free State Project, was arrested in March 2010 and initially was charged with illegal wire tapping. The charge was later dropped, but Gericke sued the town, police department and arresting officers, saying her arrest was retaliatory.

“It was a long road, but the payoff is that we now have binding precedent affirming the First Amendment to record police traffic stops," Gericke said in an email Friday.

The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier federal court ruling last month, saying police could only limit or ban the recording of traffic stops under justified circumstances, including the need to maintain safety and control.


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