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Should government make it a illegal to video police?

independentusa

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I have read hat there are some people who want to protect the police by making it illegal to video them when they are doing their duty. I know many out there say it is their right to do so under the First Amendment, but that has never been challenged in court and with the courts being pushed to the right by conservatives, we will not know how they would rule until they do. So, do you believe that the government should make it illegal to video the police?
 

Common Sense 1

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Nope!



Recording the Police: Legal?
Do you have the right to record a police officer doing his job?

Can I Legally Record the Police? | Nolo

Recording Officers and the First Amendment

Almost every court to consider the issue has determined that the First Amendment gives you the right to record (pictures, video, and audio) police officers in public while they are performing their duties. But that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to record if you’re doing so surreptitiously (secretly), interfering with the officer, or otherwise breaking the law.

The courts' primary rationale for allowing police officer recording is that the First Amendment includes the right to freely discuss our government, and the right of freedom of the press and public access to information. Given the prevalence of personal filming devices, more and more “news” is being gathered and disseminated by members of the public. The courts have found that freedom of the press applies to citizen journalists and documentarians just as it does to formal members of the press. (See, for example, Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78 (1st Cir. 2011).)
 

TheParser

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Oh, NO!

Every police encounter SHOULD be videotaped, in order to protect both the cop & the detained citizen.

I really, really, really wish that we had drones flying around 24/7 taping all activity on the streets.

Then when someone is a victim of a robbery or sucker punching or looting or rape or murder, it will be easier to identify the perp.

And all neighborhoods should be blanketed with cameras that are rolling 24/7.

The crime problem in this country will be getting worse in the coming decades, so every tool possible should be employed.
 

Mr Person

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I have read hat there are some people who want to protect the police by making it illegal to video them when they are doing their duty. I know many out there say it is their right to do so under the First Amendment, but that has never been challenged in court and with the courts being pushed to the right by conservatives, we will not know how they would rule until they do. So, do you believe that the government should make it illegal to video the police?

This is the short and quarter-assed version, but yes it absolutely has been tested. I'm not digging in other federal circuits or in states.



In line with these principles, we have previously recognized that the videotaping of public officials is an exercise of First Amendment liberties. In Iacobucci v. Boulter, 193 F.3d 14 (1st Cir. 1999), a local journalist brought a § 1983 claim arising from his arrest in the course of filming officials in the hallway outside a public meeting of a historic district commission. The commissioners had objected to the plaintiff's filming. Id. at 18. When the plaintiff refused to desist, a police officer on the scene arrested him for disorderly conduct. Id. The charges were later dismissed. Id. Although the plaintiff's subsequent § 1983 suit against the arresting police officer was grounded largely in the Fourth Amendment and did not include a First Amendment claim, we explicitly noted, in rejecting the officer's appeal from a denial of qualified immunity, that because the plaintiff's journalistic activities "were peaceful, not performed in derogation of any law, and done in the exercise of his First Amendment rights, [the officer] lacked the authority to stop them." Id. at 25 (emphasis added).

Our recognition that the First Amendment protects the filming of government officials in public spaces accords with the decisions of numerous circuit and district courts. . . . . It is of no significance that the present case, unlike Iacobucci and many of those cited above, involves a private individual, and not a reporter, gathering information about public officials. The First Amendment right to gather news is, as the Court has often noted, not one that inures solely to the benefit of the news media; rather, the public's right of access to information is coextensive with that of the press

Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78, 83 (1st Cir. 2011) (but noting filming is subject to reasonable time and place restrictions). See also Gericke v. Begin, 753 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2014); Cunningham v. United States DOJ, 40 F. Supp. 3d 71, 87 (D.D.C. 2014).




tl;dr

In summary, though not unqualified, a citizen's right to film government officials, including law enforcement officers, in the discharge of their duties in a public space is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.

Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78, 85 (1st Cir. 2011).






Other random sources:

A Judge Ruled You Can Secretly Record Police, Officials in Massachusetts

Mass. Court Weighs Ban on Secret Recordings of Public Officials – NBC Boston

Martin v. Rollins (formerly Martin v. Evans, Martin v. Gross) | ACLU Massachusetts

Court Rules Cops Can't Arrest You For Secretly Filming Them
 
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Mycroft

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I have read hat there are some people who want to protect the police by making it illegal to video them when they are doing their duty. I know many out there say it is their right to do so under the First Amendment, but that has never been challenged in court and with the courts being pushed to the right by conservatives, we will not know how they would rule until they do. So, do you believe that the government should make it illegal to video the police?

Depends on who you mean by "government".

If you are talking about the federal government...no. They have no business injecting themselves in this local issue.

If you are talking about state and local government...yes, if they want to...no, if they don't want to. It's their choice.
 

Lisa

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Oh, NO!

Every police encounter SHOULD be videotaped, in order to protect both the cop & the detained citizen.

I really, really, really wish that we had drones flying around 24/7 taping all activity on the streets.

Then when someone is a victim of a robbery or sucker punching or looting or rape or murder, it will be easier to identify the perp.

And all neighborhoods should be blanketed with cameras that are rolling 24/7.

The crime problem in this country will be getting worse in the coming decades, so every tool possible should be employed.

Every encounter should be recorded and that recording should be publicly available and searchable by the police officer's name, incident/location, and date.
 
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OrphanSlug

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So, do you believe that the government should make it illegal to video the police?

Absolutely not, for a plethora of reasons of course starting with the Constitution.
 

independentusa

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Depends on who you mean by "government".

If you are talking about the federal government...no. They have no business injecting themselves in this local issue.

If you are talking about state and local government...yes, if they want to...no, if they don't want to. It's their choice.

Interesting that you are the only one so far who has written about my OP that has suggested that any level of government should make videoing
police illegal. Interesting?
 

Mycroft

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Interesting that you are the only one so far who has written about my OP that has suggested that any level of government should make videoing
police illegal. Interesting?

The key to my post is "It's their choice."
 
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