A freelance photojournalist has settled a lawsuit he filed against the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) after he was allegedly arrested while covering a Black Lives Matter protest last year.
Kian Kelley-Chung sued earlier this year the District, MPD, and acting police chief Robert Contee for violating his First and Fourth Amendment rights, as well as the Journalist Privacy Protection Act of 1980.
Kelley-Chung told the media he was arrested on August 13, 2020, while he was filming demonstrations against racial injustice and police violence held in DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood.
He stayed in jail overnight and his two cameras and cell phone were seized by police officers, according to the US Press Freedom Tracker. Felony riot charges against him were dropped but his recording recording equipment and cell phone were not returned for more than two months.
Under the settlement, Kelley-Chung won a “substantial” amount of money, which wasn’t announced, NBC4 Washington reported, attributing the information to the National Press Photographer’s Association (NPPA). Kelley-Chung is a member of NPPA.
“I’m thankful to have had the support from the NPPA and my attorneys at Davis Wright Tremaine,” Kelley-Chung said. “Without their help, my equipment may still be in police custody to this day.”