Anti-war protestor wins lawsuit against law enforcement agencies
Posted on May 10, 2010
Philip Chinn, a young anti-war protestor, was arrested in May, 2007, on suspicion of DWI after police stopped him on his way to an anti-war protest. The arresting trooper said Chinn was braking erratically and driving under the speed limit. It was later discovered that police had been advised to watch for Chinn's car, as it contained three "anarchists."
Although the trooper didn't smell alcohol or marijuana, he conducted field sobriety tests, which Chinn passed. The Seattle Times reports that Chinn "was arrested after one trooper concluded he was high based on 'raised taste buds and a white coating on the back of his tongue,' according to the pleadings. "
Chinn, backed by the ACLU, filed a lawsuit alleging false arrest and violation of his right of free speech. He settled the case with the State Patrol and two other law enforcement agencies for $169,000 and attorney's fees.