A man has won $40,000 in damages after police in the United States confiscated his camera phone and deleted images he had taken of them in a public place.

Marlon Kautz from Atlanta had been filming officers as they arrested someone last April when he was told he had no right to record them.

Kautz belongs to a group that films police activity using cameras and mobile phones.

The aim of ‘Copwatch’ is that officers can be held accountable for any wrongdoing.

He claimed that one officer snatched the phone from his hand. ?Kautz said that when asked to get his phone back, another officer said he?d return it only after Kautz gave him the password? so he could delete the footage,? reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Kautz refused but when police returned his phone the images had been ?deleted, altered or damaged?.

The story was also reported on CNN. See below: