Atlanta to pay journalist $105,000 to settle lawsuit over 2020 protest arrest


A freelance photojournalist who was arrested while taking photos during a racial justice demonstration in 2020 has reached a $105,000 settlement with the city of Atlanta, his lawyers said.

Sharif Hassan had filed a federal lawsuit claiming his constitutional rights were violated, including his First Amendment right to freedom of speech. His lawyers said in a news release Monday that officers arrested him in retaliation for recording the police as they arrested a protestor in a public place.

“This resolution sends an important message that First Amendment rights must be protected, including, and especially, during times of political and social upheaval,” said Clare Norins, director of the University of Georgia School of Law’s First Amendment Clinic, which represented Hassan.

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