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Suffolk man gets $50G settlement in videotaping arrest

Thomas Demint, right, said he was arrested May

Thomas Demint, right, said he was arrested May 21, 2014, for obstruction of justice and resisting arrest after recording the arrests of his friends a year ago by Suffolk County police in Center Moriches, shown above in a video frame grab. Photo Credit: Attorney for Thomas Demint; Ed Betz

A Suffolk legislative committee on Thursday unanimously approved a $50,000 settlement for a Center Moriches man arrested by county police last year for videotaping the detention of two friends.

Thomas Demint, 22, said in a brief telephone interview he was satisfied with the settlement.

“I just am glad my charges were dropped and I can walk away with my freedom,” he also wrote in a text message.

His attorney, Kenneth Mollins of Hauppauge, said, “Suffolk County and the Suffolk County Police Department realized they acted in error. They took appropriate and expeditious action to make my client whole.”

Demint was arrested May 21, 2014, and charged with obstruction of governmental administration and resisting arrest after he videotaped Suffolk police officers arresting his friends.

Demint said that shortly after he stopped recording, police tackled him, arrested him, took his cellphone and attempted to delete the video he had recorded. They ended up erasing the wrong video, Mollins said.

The district attorney dropped the charges against Demint 18 months later.

Members of the legislature’s Ways and Means Committee approved the settlement without comment.

Spokesmen for Suffolk County government and the police declined to comment on the settlement, which still must be approved in court. Police would not say whether any officers had been disciplined in the case.

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