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Monday, August 3, 2009

Respect My Authoritay: Lawsuit Over "I hate police" Arrest

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The lawyer arrested by D.C. police last weekend for disorderly conduct after chanting "I hate police" plans to fight the charge in court and is putting the city on notice that he might sue.

"We're going to file a notice of claim and we're also going to tell the city and the fire department that they need to preserve all evidence," said Pepin Tuma, 33, an attorney who does commercial litigation for a D.C. firm.

Tuma met with an investigator from the Office of Police Complaints on Thursday. He said that as the investigator questioned him about what happened, based on a narrative from the arresting officer's perspective, it seemed that the city had a version of events far different from his own. Tuma said video evidence from nearby cameras will "absolutely refute the cop's story."

The department declined to comment, but D.C. police spokeswoman Traci Hughes told the Huffington Post that the department is investigating the incident. "Mr. Tuma wrote a letter to the chief complaining about the arrest," she said, "and whenever the chief receives a complaint from any resident she's obligated to investigate."

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