WESTMINSTER, Colo. (AP/CBS4) — A Westminster man says he was arrested in retaliation for speaking about police abuses during a city council meeting.

In a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, Eric Brandt says Mayor Herb Atchison interrupted his comments and had him thrown out of the August meeting. He says he was jailed and charged with obstruction and resisting arrest. The charges were later dismissed.

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Eric Brandt being arrested outside of the Westminster City Council meeting on Aug. 11, 2014 (credit: Eric Brandt/Facebook)

Eric Brandt being arrested outside of the Westminster City Council meeting on Aug. 11, 2014 (credit: Eric Brandt/Facebook)

The lawsuit says the mayor’s actions were an effort to silence a vocal critic, and the arrest violated Brandt’s free speech and other rights. A city spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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Brandt says he has had many problems with police officers, partly because he carries a large, handmade sign with an explicit message aimed at them. He says police abuses are a matter of public concern.

(credit: Eric Brandt/Facebook)

(credit: Eric Brandt/Facebook)

According to Brandt’s Facebook page and a post on Craigslist, he claims to have been arrested 12 times for holding a “middle finger” sign with an expletive aimed at police.

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