Police Pay Out $275,000 For Illegal Wiretapping Arrest in Manchester

Alfredo Valentin

Alfredo Valentin, Hero

How many spankings in their own courts must the governments of New Hampshire endure before they finally learn their lesson? Three years ago, Weare police settled for over $57,000 to then-Free State Project president Carla Gericke for arresting her for recording them on the side of the road.

Now Manchester police are shelling out $275,000 to Alfredo Valentin who was arrested for recording the police on his smartphone inside his own home during a drug raid. Police were raiding Valentin’s home searching for evidence against another man, Christopher Chapman. Though police already had Chapman in custody from an earlier arrest, they went ahead with a full swat raid against Valentin’s house, including, “firing incendiary devices through the property’s windows, kicking in the doors, and entering the property SWAT-style with semi-automatic weapons—damaging property, terrifying the two women who were still in the house, and creating an unjustifiable risk of accidental death or injury”. This according to the one million dollar lawsuit against Manchester brought by the excellent NH Civil Liberties Union.

Valentin was never charged for anything drug-related, only for “wiretapping” police. A lower court judge in NH ruled back in 2015 that even secretly recording police was legal in New Hampshire.

Darryl W Perry and Ian Freeman at the 2017 ACLU 1st Amendment Awards Dinner

Darryl W Perry and Ian Freeman at the 2017 ACLU 1st Amendment Awards Dinner

NHCLU head attorney Gilles Bissonnette worked with attorney Richard Lehmann on the case. In a press release published at IndepthNH.org, the NHCLU’s Bissonnette said, “This settlement recognizes that the right of citizens to observe and record the police is a critical check on the use of power and force by law enforcement…The police need to understand that individuals who are recording their work without interference have a constitutional right to do so, and it is not cause for their arrest.”

Major thanks to the NHCLU for their excellent work holding Manchester police accountable. Too bad its taxpayers who have to foot the bill instead of the terrible, oppressive officers themselves.

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7 Comments

  1. Oh joy! I’m thinking that this news is sure to motivate Jacks into lecturing us about “consequences.” My goodness, this is exciting! I can hardly contain myself!

  2. The people (liberal/conservative) will eventually be fed up with footing the bills for criminals. THEN, its on.

  3. When I was a kid we’d go to a farm upstate and we’d take pictures of the pigs wallowing in garbage all the time. How is that illegal?

  4. Another butt hurt activist. He asked for $1,000,000 and got $275,000 Not to mention a lot of that goes to lawyer fees and many other fees.

  5. This is only the first lawsuit of several that are coming against the Manchester police department for the violations of essential rights. The Manchester police have been routinely violating our right to film them. They have been utilizing a variety of tactics to thwart filming and have even retaliated on a number of occasions. They have utilized force, intimidation, and surrounded those filming. They have made bogus arrests both to prevent filing and in retaliation thereof. The Manchester police have declared a war on activists and are completely underestimating our willingness to respond in kind. They have gotten so used to activists caving in Manchester that they have no fear of nor repercussions to routinely violating our rights. The judges and police in Manchester are so very corrupt that few dare to challenge the police in court. However that is changing thanks to the work done elsewhere. Any activist putting themselves at risk in Manchester right now is doing a HUGE service to the community and we should all be very thankful. I certainly am. Fortunately there are very good activists taking up the charge to fight the thugs in Manchester today both at the political level and now in the courts.

  6. @Jumping Jacks

    Boy am I disappointed, Jacks. You didn’t even once mention “consequences” in that lecture of yours. I’m warning you sweetums, it’d better be in your next post, or you know what!

  7. Much is wrong with this settlement. The settlement of $275,000 dollars is way too low. The original figure should have been higher. The only way to suppress police criminality is for all participants to share in the fiscal responsibility personally/individually not the taxpayer. From the Chief on down to the actual actors. Along with all other appointing authority.

    Be interesting to know if there was toys on the porch or in the driveway. Oh hell, lob in a percussion grenade regardless. The same actors will charge you reckless conduct

    Harry

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