Hofstra student Daniel Martins claims Nassau police violated his First Amendment rights during protest

Daniel Martins, 21, says he took a cellphone video of Nassau police about to arrest him on June 6. (7/1/14)

GARDEN CITY - A Hofstra University student claims that his rights were violated by Nassau police while he was trying to exercise his First Amendment rights.

Daniel Martins, 21, says he took a cellphone video of Nassau police about to arrest him on June 6. He says he was holding an American flag and an “Impeach Obama” sign on an overpass between exits 40 and 41 on the Long Island Expressway. Martins says it was a peaceful protest.

He has pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and criminal nuisance charges.

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Martins say he had been holding his sign at the same place every Friday since September 2013 without incident.

The Hofstra University senior and his attorney held a news conference declaring Martins First Amendment rights were violated.

The Nassau District Attorney’s Office says, “Political protesters have a First Amendment right to display signs and flags, but they cannot create a public safety hazard in the process. We continue to review this case."

Nassau police did not return a call to comment.

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