University of Virginia law professor and defense attorney Thomas Frampton was retained by the family of Clarence Green after police violated Green's civil rights and the rights of his 16-year-old brother during a traffic stop. After Frampton released body camera footage of the unlawful traffic stop and subsequent warrantless search of the Green family home, Baton Rouge police now want to arrest him. The request cites a Louisiana state law that prohibits disseminating "records and reports" relevant to juvenile court proceedings. The decision to go after Frampton could be seen as retaliation for speaking out against their constitutional rights being violated, but it is also seen as a First Amendment issue as well. Frampton won the civil suit against the Baton Rouge PD, which was settled out of court for $35,000, but he is now in the county's crosshairs.
The district attorney's office wants to prosecute Frampton for doing so and put him behind bars for up to six months. He says the district attorney is violating the law by going after him in contempt of court and violating the right to freedom of speech. Officer Camello has a history of abusing the civil rights of those he was sworn to protect and serve. Green spent five months in jail before the charges were dismissed, the time he will never be able to get back. The city or better stated, the taxpayers, had to foot the bill for Camello's jail time.
Now it seems lawyers are also fair game for a system rife with corruption. The federal judge presiding over the civil suit, Judge Brian A. Jackson, had harsh words for the Baton Rouge police department and officer Camello, a 20-year-veteran. The Green family may have gotten a fair payday for their pain, but now it seems lawyers are also fair game for the system's corruption. The judge wrote: "The state agents demonstrated a serious and willful disregard for the defendant's constitutional rights, first by initiating a traffic stop on the most tenuous of pretexts, and then by invading the defendant's home haphazardly."