Lawsuit: Police agency’s setting of bail unconstitutional

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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut police department is accused of having unconstitutional bail-setting procedures after a protester was detained for hours on a $25,000 bond for a misdemeanor charge.

The Advocate reports the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut this week expanded a lawsuit against the officer who arrested the protester to include Stamford police and its bail-setting practices.

Michael Friend was arrested in August of last year while warning drivers of a police checkpoint for distracted motorists. His lawsuit says Sgt. Richard Gasparino violated his constitutional rights by arresting him, seizing a sign he was holding and cellphones, and setting such a high bail.

Friend’s bail was reduced early the next morning to a promise to appear in court and the misdemeanor charge was later dismissed.

Messages seeking comment were left with city officials.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://www.stamfordadvocate.com

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