Cop’s Libel Claim Over Amazon-Distributed Free Meek Documentary Can Go Forward
From today’s decision in Williams v. ROC Nation, LLC, by Judge Eduardo C. Robreno (E.D. Pa.):
Plaintiff’s claims arise from Free Meek, a five-part documentary series created, produced, and published by Defendants. The 2019 series explores rapper Meek Mill’s experience with the Philadelphia criminal justice system. During the fourth episode, entitled Filthadelphia, investigative reporter Paul Solotaroff discusses the Philadelphia District Attorney’s “Do Not Call List,” which identifies police officers with histories of arrests, disciplinary actions, or providing false testimony. According to the Complaint, the District Attorney directed prosecutors not to call some of the officers on the list as witnesses in criminal prosecutions.
Solotaroff states: “Now there is a new District Attorney in town, and just the last couple of months we have been learning from the District Attorney’s Office about a list of dirty and dishonest cops.” Attorney Bradley Bridge, a well-known attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia, also provides commentary on the “Do Not Call List,” stating, “The DA’s Office generated a specific list that has 66 names of police officers on it. There have been findings by the police department that the officers have lied to internal affairs, to other police officers, or in court.”
During Bridge’s commentary, an image of Plaintiff is briefly displayed on the screen. Plaintiff, who served as a Philadelphia police officer from 2010 until 2017, appeared on the “Do Not Call List” because she had previously been arrested and charged with assault, possession of an instrument of crime, and recklessly endangering another person after drawing her firearm during an off-duty confrontation. In February 2019, a jury acquitted Plaintiff of all charges stemming from the off-duty incident. According to Plaintiff, neither the Philadelphia Police Department nor the Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney ever found th
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