Topic: Probable cause to arrest defeats a claim of retaliatory arrest in violation of the First Amendment.
Lund, a reporter for the Rockford Scanner, was listening to a police scanner and heard of multiple traffic stops in Midtown. He did not have a driver’s license, so he rode a motorized bicycle to Midtown to take photographs. An officer noticed Lund and radioed the team. Officers Welsh and Campbell knew of Lund’s previous anti‐police speech. They directed Lund to “move on.” Lund asked if he was breaking any laws. Campbell informed him that he was not, but that his continued presence would constitute obstruction of a police detail and result in arrest. Lund started his bicycle and called out, loudly, “goodbye officers.” Concerned that Lund might post pictures on social media while the sting operation was ongoing and create a danger for unarmed undercover officers, the officers followed Lund and arrested him for driving the wrong way on a one‐way street, operating a vehicle without insurance, obstructing a police officer, felony aggravated driving on a revoked license, and operating a motor vehicle without a valid drivers’ license.
The charges against Lund were dismissed. Lund sued the officers and the city under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the defendants on First Amendment retaliation and malicious prosecution under Illinois law, citing the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Nieves holding, that, in most cases, probable cause to arrest defeats a claim of retaliatory arrest. In this case, there was probable cause to arrest Lund.
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