MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Criminal charges have been dropped against a college student on Long Island who was arrested while taking a video of two friends being arrested.
Attorney Kenneth Mollins said charges of resisting arrest, obstruction and drug possession against Thomas Demint were dropped Friday.
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office confirmed the charges were dropped “in the interest of justice.”
Demint, a student at Suffolk Community College, was arrested in May 2014 after he recorded officers slamming a woman to the ground when she allegedly attempted to interfere in her sons’ arrest in Center Moriches.
Mollins said the system failed Demint, who now intends to sue for false arrest.
“Because he was arrested, he was knocked to the ground, he was taken into jail for an afternoon, and he spent 18 months defending himself in court,” Mollins told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.
Civil liberties experts say Demint’s arrest is part of a growing trend of citizen videographers being arrested after trying to record police behavior.
Mollins told 1010 WINS Suffolk County police tried to cover up what happened during the arrest.
“…He was arrested and then the police tried to take the video away from him. They tried to delete the video and they deleted the wrong one. Because they wanted to cover up what they actually did at this arrest,” he said.
Mollins also accused the Suffolk DA’s office of being complicit in the alleged cover-up.
“…18 months to allow the charges to be dropped when you have a videotape of the complete event is ludicrous,” he said.
Mollins said the system is broken when it comes to the covering up of police activity.
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