Massachusetts State Troopers Win Judgment in Federal Civil Rights Action Arising Out of Their Response to White Power Demonstration
A federal jury returned a verdict in favor of two Massachusetts State Police troopers in a federal civil rights cases arising out of their response to a demonstration by a white power activist who participated in a demonstration outside the State House on White Pride Day in March of 2010. The suit claimed that the troopers detained and searched the activist without probable cause in violation of his constitutional rights and that they improperly seized a pepper spray container and a spring activated knife. He also claimed that they violated his First Amendment freedom of speech rights by detaining him and searching him because they did not like his support of white power. Two other troopers that were originally defendants in the case obtained their dismissal just before the start of the trial. Attorney Austin Joyce of Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. represented the four troopers in the lawsuit. After hearing several days of testimony, the jury found that the troopers did not violate the plaintiff’s constitutional rights, and the court entered judgment for the troopers. Two State Police sergeants who were also defendants in the case also won judgments in their favor from the jury.