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Ohio city must pay man who says he only made fun of police

Posted at 5:20 AM, Dec 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-24 05:37:55-05

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — A Cleveland suburb will pay $80,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by a man who denied threatening two officers and says he was only laughing and making fun of them.

The settlement announced this past week also requires the city of Garfield Heights to train officers on the First Amendment and how it applies to their job.

Robert Spencer was arrested in July 2017 after two officers said he threatened and shoved one of them.

A jury later cleared Spencer of the charges. He said in the lawsuit that he never became aggressive with the officers.

Cleveland.com reports a video shot by Spencer's girlfriend appeared to contradict some of what the officers said in their reports.

Messages seeking comment were left with the law director for Garfield Heights.