A federal judge denied a request by the city of Collinsville to remove a YouTube video containing portions of a police officer's deposition in a civil rights case.
Terrance Huff, a film director, and his friend, Jon Seaton sued the city after they said a Collinsville officer stopped them on Interstate 55-70, detained them and searched their vehicle for drugs as a result of what they alleged was an effort by the city to deprive them of their civil rights. The officer allowed Huff to leave with a warning for failing to signal before changing lanes.
The two are from Ohio and had been in town to see a Star Trek exhibit at the St. Louis Science Center. They were stopped on their return home.
The judge refused to bar Huff from posting or publishing videotaped depositions taken in the case. Huff previously posted a video of the Dec. 4, 2011, traffic stop called "Breakfast in Collinsville" on YouTube.
Collinsville city attorney Steve Giacoletto declined to comment.
"The Court is satisfied that an objection would have been raised or that a protective order would have been promptly requested if (Police Officer Michael Reichert and the city) felt annoyed, embarrassed or oppressed by the deposition questions or responses," wrote U.S. Magistrate Judge Phil Frazier in Wednesday's order.
In the video, Reichert testified that he did have probable cause to pull over Huff's PT Cruiser because he crossed into a neighboring traffic lane, then returned to his own lane without signaling.
Reichert's dog, Macho, later sniffed the vehicle and Reichert and the city contended the dog alerted, giving officers probable cause to search the vehicle.
Reichert also testified in his five-and-a-half hour deposition that he would place drugs from the Drug Enforcement Administration and used for canine training on and around cars and tractor-trailers that were parked in restaurant and hotel parking lots.
The case is scheduled for trial before U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan on June 24.