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Cameraman Says He Was Arrested for No Reason

(CN) - A TV news cameraman was assaulted by police officers while covering a story about how the Long Island Rail Road was running late because of snow, he claims in court.

Marvin Hoffman, a cameraman for Channel 7 News in New York City, says he was working with a reporter on the morning of January 13, 2015. They were covering a story about the railroad's snow-related delay when Hoffman was "forcibly grabbed" by Metropolitan Transit Authority police officers, including a Sgt. Moe, according to the cameraman.

Hoffman sued MTA and its police department, Moe and four unknown officers in Federal Court on Monday. His allegations include false arrest, excessive force and violations of his right to free speech, due process and equal protection.

"Plaintiff was cuffed and taken to MTAPD offices and holding cell. The defendants Sergeant Moe and Doe(s) use of excessive force, let alone any force, was neither justified nor reasonable under the circumstances," Hoffman's lawsuit states. "As a result of the defendant's officers' conduct, plaintiff was caused to suffer physical injuries of both his shoulders, including a tear of the labrum of the left shoulder."

The cameraman said he was jailed for several hours before being released with no formal charges against him. He claims the MTA officers had no reason to seize him.

Hoffman seeks compensatory and punitive damages. He is represented by Edward Zaloba in Forest Hills, N.Y.

MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg told Courthouse News that the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

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