Monday, February 04, 2013

Australian man sues four police officers after tussle over mobile phone footage

A MAN who filmed police arresting a stranger and refused to hand over his mobile phone footage is suing four officers for $1.25 million for breaking his arm and false arrest.

Lee Hobbs claims in Supreme Court documents his problems began after he used his phone to film several police arresting another man in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley two years ago.

Mr Hobbs, who was charged after refusing to give police his phone, claims in the court documents three officers held him face-down on the floor of the Valley Police Beat, while one wrenched his arm, fracturing it.

Two charges of obstructing police and an assaulting police charge were withdrawn when the case went to court three months later.

Mr Hobbs, 33, later made a complaint to police about Constable Daniel Corliss, who he alleges broke his arm, his court claim says.

His claim says he was the victim of unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution, assault by police using excessive force and false imprisonment. Mr Hobbs developed a psychiatric condition and was dismissed from his job of five years last year as a result, the court claim said.

Mr Hobbs's claim, filed by law firm Maurice Blackburn, alleged the ``real purpose'' behind the confiscation of his phone was to check if there was evidence of excessive force used by police during the other man's arrest.

Mr Hobbs's claim said soon after he began filming the arrest, about 4am on October 10, 2010, Constable Corliss spoke to him, telling him he would charge him with obstructing police if he talked over him. Mr Hobbs claims Constable Corliss then told him he was allowed to seize his phone because it had evidence on it.
When Mr Hobbs refused the request he was told he was under arrest for obstructing police, the claim said.

It is alleged the arrest was ``unlawful'' because the officer did not follow requirements under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act. Mr Hobbs's claim is against the state and officers Daniel Corliss, Daniel Haddadi, Stuart McIntyre and Nathanial Truong, who are yet to file a defence.

A police spokesman said the matter was investigated by Ethical Standards Command and overviewed by the Crime and Misconduct Commission, who concurred there was insufficient evidence to substantiate Mr Hobbs's claims.

Original report here. (Via Australian police news)

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