Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

$97,500 Awarded to Woman in D.C. “Contempt of Cop” Case

On March 25, 2011, a D.C. jury awarded Lindsay Huthnance $97,500 in compensatory and punitive damages for a 2005 “contempt of arrest.”

After entering a 7-Eleven convenience store and noticing a group of D.C. police standing around, Huthnance commented to her boyfriend that the police were wasting taxpayer dollars. Officers Liliana Acebal and James Antonio overheard Huthnonce and proceeded to harass her when she left the store. Huthnance refused to produce her ID for the police, and demanded Acebal and Antonio’s badge numbers. Huthnonce was arrested for “disorderly conduct,” but was later released after the charges were dropped.

The ACLU, representing Huthnonce, sued the two officers and the District for violating Huthnance’s First Amendment rights. During the trial, Huthnance demonstrated that “contempt of cop” arrests were frequent in D.C., and that the District had been told to change its policies and training to prevent “contempt of cop” arrests, but failed to do so.

$90,000 in compensatory damages was awarded. Another $5,000 in punitive damages was leveled against Acebal and $2,500 in punitive damages against Antonio. Source: ACLU of the Nation’s Capital. See: Huthnance v. District of Columbia, Civil Action No. 06-1871 (RCL).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Huthnance v. District of Columbia