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UC settles suit by arrested photographer

The University of California is paying $162,500 to settle a lawsuit brought by an independent photojournalist, David Morse, who was arrested as he covered a 2009 Berkeley protest, according to the Bay Area News Group.

Morse was arrested and police confiscated his camera during a 2009 march to the campus home of UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. One photograph, of a police car approaching the protest scene, was deleted from his camera.

The settlement on Monday follows a state appeals court ruling in Morse’s favor.

A UC-Berkeley spokeswoman told the Chronicle, “We are pleased to have reached a settlement that allows all parties to avoid the expense of trial. The university admits no liability in the settlement and continues to believe the police acted responsibly and effectively to protect” Birgeneau’s mansion.”

But police are going to modify their procedures “regarding acceptable means of seeking materials from a journalist,” said Morse’s attorney, Terry Gross.

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