Atlanta’s ‘Baton Bob’ offered $20K settlement over arrest

ATLANTA (AP) — Two years after he was arrested wearing a short white wedding dress on a sidewalk, the Atlanta street performer known as “Baton Bob” appears set to get $20,000 to settle a lawsuit that claimed police violated his right to free speech.

The Atlanta City Council’s Public Safety Committee approved the proposed settlement Tuesday afternoon, but it still needs to be approved by the full Atlanta City Council.

Jamerson is known for dancing on city sidewalks in costume and said he was celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision to end the federal gay marriage ban in June 2013. When officers asked him to leave the area, he refused and kicked officers. Police arrested Jamerson for simple assault but later dismissed the charges.

Jamerson said he was handcuffed and forced to give Atlanta officers his Facebook password so they could post on his behalf.

“I want to verify, that the Atlanta police was respectful to me considering the circumstances,” the Facebook statement read in part.

Jamerson filed a lawsuit one year later.

One officer was suspended five days after an internal investigation into the incident, while another, who later resigned, was suspended one day.

The city had called Jamerson’s lawsuit “baseless” in a March statement.

The resolution approved by the council said the city attorney had determined that it would cost more to defend the lawsuit in court than to settle without a trial.

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