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NY cameraman files suit, claims police obstruction

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A freelance videographer arrested last year after a New York police sergeant ordered him to stop taping the arrest of a suspect has filed a civil rights lawsuit, claiming the Suffolk County police department engaged in a pattern of harassing journalists.

Philip Datz, who works for Stringer News Service, claimed in his federal lawsuit Wednesday that his arrest in July in Long Island was another instance in which the county obstructed journalists while doing their jobs.

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed the suit on Datz's behalf. The complaint cites other occasions in which Datz says he was prevented from videotaping during the course of his work.

When asked about the lawsuit, a police spokeswoman said the department does not comment on pending litigation.