The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed a federal lawsuit on November 19, 2013, on behalf of Dennis Henderson, an African-American teacher who was arrested and jailed for 12 hours after criticizing the speed of a white Pittsburgh police officer driving by. All charges against Henderson were dropped by the district attorney, and the Office of Municipal Investigations (OMI) determined that the police officer had acted improperly.

On December 9, 2014, the ACLU-PA announced that city of Pittsburgh has reached a settlement with Dennis Henderson.  Under the terms of the settlement, the city agrees to adopt a policy that acknowledges the public’s right to video tape police officers, to organize regular meetings in each police zone with members of the community, and to meet with University of Law professor David Harris to discuss recording data on pat-downs of citizens by the police department. Henderson will also receive $52,500 in damages and fees.

Press Releases


Sara Rose & Witold Walczak (ACLU); Glenn Downey (Healey & Hornack); James Love

Date filed

November 19, 2013


U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania