Lawyers who took up the case of a political activist who claimed wrongful arrest have been awarded $249,000 in fees and costs.
A U.S. District Court judge in Tacoma made the award last week in the case of Philip Chinn. Washington State Patrol troopers arrested Chinn for driving under the influence in 2007 as he was on his way to Aberdeen for an antiwar protest, but he passed a field sobriety test and a blood screen later came back negative.
Chinn sued, saying that his arrest was part of a plan to keep activists away from the protest, and his lawyers obtained records showing that an "attempt to locate" bulletin went out because his car carried "three identified anarchists."
The state patrol, city of Aberdeen and Grays Harbor County are paying $169,000 to Chinn as part of a settlement. Chinn's attorneys - including the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and other lawyers who worked on the case - will receive the legal fees and costs.