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Mary Borja Interviewed After Hearing on Citizens' Right to Video Record

The Associated Press
February 14, 2012

Insurance and Litigation partner Mary Borja was quoted by The Associated Press for a story on her pro bono case that involves a Maryland man who says Baltimore police officers violated his constitutional rights when they deleted videos from his mobile phone after he recorded a confrontation between officers and a friend. On Monday, a federal judge denied a motion to dismiss the suit.

The suit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and challenges as unconstitutional the detention of Christopher Sharp at the Preakness Stakes in 2010, along with the subsequent seizure of his phone and the deletion of video recordings.

"These are fundamental constitutional rights. They affect citizens everywhere, not just in Baltimore," Ms. Borja said after the hearing. "This is an issue we're seeing nationally. Ensuring that citizens are protected and that their First Amendment, their Fourth Amendment rights are protected is critical."

Wiley Rein Insurance partner Richard Simpson and attorneys Craig Smith and Benjamin Kohr are also representing Mr. Sharp pro bono.

The AP reported that the U.S. Department of Justice "has asked the judge to side with Sharp and find that citizens have a right to record police and that officers violate citizens' rights when recordings are seized without due process."