The suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and the Seton Hall Center for Social Justice, alleges police breached Roberto Lima's civil rights when they held him under arrest until he gave up photos of a dead body taken by one of his Brazilian Voice staff members, The Star-Ledger in Newark reported.
"I offered Newark police the original photographs as long as I could keep copies, but they handcuffed me to a bench until I agreed to give them all copies and originals," Lima said in a statement.
Photographer Geraldo Carlos told the ACLU he and Lima called police after Carlos discovered the body in a garbage littered lot in September.
"If freedom of the press means anything, it's that police cannot arrest innocent journalists to suppress stories embarrassing to them," said Baher Azmy, an official with the Seton Hall Center for Social Justice.
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