Photographer files $1.5 million lawsuit againt police for wrongful arrest

NEW YORK — A former student photographer filed a $1.5million lawsuit last fall against Monroe County police officersfor wrongful arrest and using excessive force when they took himinto custody in May 1998.Paul Estabrook, a former fine arts photography major at RochesterInstitute of Technology, says he was beaten and had his film confiscatedby police officers. Police never returned Estabrook’s film.Estabrook, who was taking pictures of police officers who arrivedin front of his apartment to break up a loud party, said he waswrongfully arrested on charges of harassment, resisting arrestand disorderly conduct. He was found not guilty of harassmentand resisting arrest, but guilty of disorderly conduct by a juryin April 1999.Robert Armstrong, Estabrook’s attorney, said his client filedthe $1.5 million suit against the deputy sheriff and certain unnameddeputies for wrongful arrest, pain and suffering, lost pay andpunitive damages."The main thrust of the case is going to be excessive forceused in the arrest," Armstrong said. Armstrong said there is videotaped evidence to show the injuriesEstabrook sustained.Armstrong also said he believes that the police have deliberatelynot returned Estabrook’s film. "I think if indeed the pictures were taken using that filmit would give some credence to what my client was doing,"Armstrong said. "It would verify and confirm the fact thathe was there taking pictures.""People in the pursuit of lawful endeavors should be permittedto do that," Armstrong said. "Someone taking photographshas an absolute right to be able to do that."