For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Mannie Garcia and Montgomery County, Maryland, are pleased to announce they have agreed to settle the longstanding lawsuit in Garcia v. Montgomery County, which alleged free speech, improper arrest, and search-and-seizure civil rights violations, and related state-law claims. The suit arose out of a disorderly conduct charge, of which Mr. Garcia was acquitted. In his ensuing civil rights suit, Mr. Garcia alleged he was not disorderly, and that he was arrested in response to efforts to take video of Montgomery County police officers and other County officials issuing a liquor citation outside a Wheaton restaurant the evening of June 16, 2011. The County disputed Mr. Garcia’s allegations and expressly denied liability in settling this matter. The case has been pending in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, since December 2012, and was set to go to trial this month.
The parties believe it is in their best interests, and those of the citizens of Montgomery County, to bring finality to the case and to achieve certainty as to its resolution. Under the settlement, Mr. Garcia will receive $45,000 to dismiss his claims against the County and the officers remaining in the case, with the court to consider an award of attorney fees at a later date.
The Montgomery County Police Department issued training for officers regarding interactions with citizens photographing officers engaged in official duties in public places.
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Release ID: 17-439