By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Dawson County officers dispute claims in citizen journalists lawsuit
A-Tisdale Indictment mug

DAWSON COUNTY -- The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office officials named in a federal lawsuit in May by a Roswell citizen journalist have responded, claiming her “alleged injuries and damages were proximately caused by her intentional, criminal actions,” according to court documents.

Nydia Tisdale filed the complaint May 10 in U.S. District Court in Gainesville, claiming her constitutional rights were violated at a Aug. 23, 2014, political event at Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville. Tisdale recorded Georgia Republican officials at the event before she was arrested by Dawson County law enforcement.

Capt. Tony Wooten and Cpl. Russell Smith responded Thursday through attorney Terry Williams, denying the majority of the allegations listed in Tisdale’s complaint.

In her complaint, Tisdale claims Wooten dragged her away from the event without identifying himself before being transported to the jail. The force used allegedly “broke the tips off of the heels of Ms. Tisdale’s shoes,” according to court documents.

In the response, the defendants claim Tisdale “was aggressively yelling at Capt. Wooten and asking who he was, even though she knew he was a deputy from his shirt identifying him as a Dawson County Sheriff’s Office deputy, his holstered weapon, and his badge clipped to his belt.”

In addition, Wooten and Smith claim Tisdale’s “obstructive and assaultive conduct caused any damage to her shoes, as she was jumping around and kicking at (Wooten).”

Tisdale also claims her constitutional rights were violated when her video footage was seized and allegedly edited.

The defendants admitted that Wooten seized the camera to have it logged into evidence, “as he believed it contained evidence related to Ms. Tisdale’s criminal actions.”

The lawsuit claims the defendants are liable for damages “not less than $1,000 plus attorney’s fees.”