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Boston Man Says He Was Beaten For Recording Police

A Boston man is suing the city and four police officers, alleging he was beaten after using his cellphone to record their arrest of his friend in 2009.

Maury Paulino said in the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday that one officer punched, kneed, and doused his face with pepper-spray and the others didn't stop it.

The lawsuit says Paulino, then 19, went to a police station to bail out a friend, who argued with an officer as he was being released. Paulino started recording when officers allegedly started mistreating his friend.

A wiretapping charge against Paulino was dismissed, and he was acquitted of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer.

David Milton, Paulino's lawyer, says the suit is aimed at forcing Boston Police to train officers to respect the First Amendment rights of people to record police actions.

"Police do not want that sort of scrutiny and they don't want to be held accountable," Milton said. "This is a pattern, and police know this is a pattern, and they don't seem to be doing anything about it."

Boston Police declined comment on the pending litigation, but said officers have been trained since 2010 that public and open recording isn't against state law.

The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on November 2, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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