Herzoff v. Morgan

Criminal Justice | Freedom of Expression & Religion | Privacy & Technology
Case No. Settled
ACLU Case No. 2006-11


This case involves the unconstitutional arrest and imprisonment of a student and CopWatch volunteer, Evan Herzoff, who was guilty of nothing more than asking for a police officer’s business card. Evan had stopped on his way home to videotape an arrest when he was approached by Denver Police officers demanding Evan’s identification. They returned Evan’s ID and said that he was free to go. When Evan subsequently asked for an officer’s business card, however, the officer quickly changed his mind and told Evan, “Let’s take you to jail instead,” and arrested Evan for trespassing. That charge was subsequently dismissed after the ACLU Foundation of Colorado entered an appearance on behalf of Evan. All of the events were captured on Evan’s camcorder, and a portion of that video clip can be viewed below.

The ACLU Foundation of Colorado also represented Evan in his potential civil claims against Denver and defended his First Amendment right to request the identifying information of police officers. The City of Denver agreed to a settlement that requires the Denver Police Department to issue a training bulletin to all of its officers and to provide compensation to Evan for the wrongful arrest and imprisonment, avoiding a potential lawsuit over the incident. The training bulletin explicitly prohibits DPD officers from engaging in any form of retaliation when asked for their name and badge number or business card.

Watch Evan Herzoff's encounter with the Denver Police here.


Taylor Pendergrass , ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney

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