Graffiti Artist Sues H.P.D.

The battle for Houston's walls just hit the courts.

Philip Perez, aka Article, has filed a lawsuit against the Houston Police Department for an incident that occurred at the Westheimer Block Party last November. HouStoned was at the event, but we showed up after Perez had already been taken away. Here's some YouTubage.

The gist: Perez was legally painting a mural on a wall on the side of Numbers when the fuzz came up and asked him for a permit. No one at the event had a permit, but the artist was arrested for failing to show ID and resisting arrest. We've always been under the impression that you had to be arrested for a real reason before you could resist arrest, but, hey, we're not lawyers. Randall Kallinen, on the other hand, is. He's head of the Houston chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and he's the attorney of record in the lawsuit, which accuses HPD of violating Perez's First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, not to mention assault and battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

After the D.A. saw the video of the arrest, he dropped all the criminal charges against Perez, which doesn't speak well of the actions of the arresting officers. Added bonus: Perez also just so happens to be a volunteer for the mayor's office and HPD anti-gang task force. His job: Helping clean up graffiti off the streets. Ouch.

More to come. — Keith Plocek

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