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October 5, 2010
12:59 PM


ACLU In Federal Appeals Court In Boston Thursday To Defend Journalists' Rights

BOSTON - October 5 - The American Civil Liberties Union will be in federal appeals court in Boston Thursday to argue that FBI agents who attacked a group of journalists without provocation should be held accountable for their actions. The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of journalists in Puerto Rico who were kicked, punched and pepper sprayed by FBI agents as they attempted to report on the search of a San Juan apartment.

In August 2009, a lower court found that while there was evidence that the FBI agents violated the journalists' Fourth Amendment rights, the law was not clearly established enough at the time of the attack to hold the agents responsible for their actions, and that therefore the reporters could not seek compensation for the violation. The ACLU is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to overturn that ruling.

Arguments in Normando Valentin, et. al. v. Mueller, an ACLU lawsuit charging that FBI agents should be held accountable for violating the constitutional rights of journalists who they attacked unprovoked.

Catherine Crump of the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project will argue on behalf of the plaintiffs before appellate judges Boudin, Howard and Barbadoro. Other attorneys on the case are Aden Fine of the ACLU, William Ramirez and Josué González of the ACLU of Puerto Rico and Nora Vargas-Acosta.

Thursday, October 7, 2010
9:30 a.m. EDT

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
1 Courthouse Way, 7th Floor
Boston, MA



The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.


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