Appeals court sides with Carlsbad police in YouTuber lawsuit

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected a YouTuber’s claims that a Carlsbad police officer falsely arrested him and violated his civil rights.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a lower court ruling dismissing a lawsuit filed in 2020 by Albert Bustillos against the city of Carlsbad.

Bustillos records police encounters for his Stray Dog The Exposer YouTube channel. In October 2019, he filmed Carlsbad police officers handcuffing a woman experiencing an “altered mental status” and running into traffic.

Officer Daniel Vasquez ordered Bustillos to leave because his presence was agitating the woman, according to court documents. When Bustillos refused to leave or show his I.D., Vasquez handcuffed him. He was released a few minutes later when he displayed an I.D.

Vasquez, now a sergeant, was named in the lawsuit.

The appellate court ruled that Vasquez had probable cause to request Bustillos’ I.D. and to arrest him. Bustillos’ “desire to film from a particular location does not authorize him to break the law,” the court wrote.

Bustillos also filed a similar lawsuit in 2020 against the Artesia Police Department.

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