Citizen journalist to file federal lawsuit after she was roughed up at 2014 Georgia GOP rally

Nydia Tisdale, the citizen-journalist from Roswell who was roughed up in August 2014 for recording video at a Dawsonville GOP rally, is set to file a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging she was wrongfully arrested.

Tisdale and her attorney Gerry Weber will hold a press conference Tuesday outside the federal courthouse in Gainesville outlining their claims that she was "assaulted and improperly arrested" during her recording of a public campaign event at Burt's Pumpkin Farm. Weber said in a press release it will claim that Tony Wooten, a Dawson County deputy, used brutal force that caused Tisdale "significant physical and emotional injuries."

More: Watch the video here.

The video of her arrest made for some uncomfortable images of Republican leaders shortly before the general election. Much of the GOP ticket was at the rally, but Attorney General Sam Olens was the only one who objected to the woman’s treatment. The owners of Burt’s Farm have called Tisdale's claims "lies" and blasted Olens for standing behind her. Wooten, meanwhile, is now running for Dawson County Sheriff.

One senses a cat-and-mouse game at work here.

Tisdale has pleaded not guilty to a string of criminal charges stemming from her run-in that day, which include a misdemeanor count for not pausing her camera during the arrest. The charges were filed just weeks after Tisdale’s attorneys notified Dawson County of her intent to sue -- in a local court -- for at least $550,000 in damages.

A federal lawsuit would take the matter out of the hands of local officials.

This wouldn't be her first legal action. Tisdale won a $200,000 settlement last year from the city of Cumming after she was ejected from a public City Council meeting in 2012.


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.