filming police

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by pokerace, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. pokerace

    Well-Known Member

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    Just saw this on GB and thought I would spread it around. Maybe Dave has something on it.


    If you can film a crime in progress I don't know why you can't film the police if you think a law might be violated :)

    Appeals Court: Arresting Guy For Filming Cops Was A Clear Violation Of
    > Both 1st & 4th Amendments
    > from the huge-victory-for-free-speech dept

    > We've had a lot of stories this year about police arresting people for
    > filming them. It's become quite a trend. Even worse, a couple weeks ago, we
    > wrote about a police officer in Massachusetts, Michael Sedergren, who is
    > trying to get criminal wiretapping charges brought against a woman who filmed
    > some police officers beating a guy. This officer claims that the woman
    > violated Massachusetts anti-wiretapping law, a common claim from police in such
    > situations.

    > Segederin may have been better off if he'd waited a couple weeks for an
    > appeals court ruling that came out Friday, because that ruling found that
    > arresting someone for filming the police is a clear violation of both the
    > First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. How the case got
    > to this point is a bit complex, but basically, a guy named Simon Glik saw
    > some police arresting someone in Boston, and thought they were using
    > excessive force. He took out his camera phone and began recording. The police saw
    > that and told him to stop taking pictures. He told them he was recording
    > them, and that he'd seen them punch the guy they were arresting. One officer
    > asked him if the phone recorded audio as well and Glik told him it did. At
    > that point, they arrested him, saying that recording audio was a violation
    > of Massachusetts wiretap laws.

    > Even more ridiculous, they then had him charged not just with that, but
    > also with disturbing the peace and "aiding in the escape of a prisoner."
    > After realizing that last one didn't even pass the guffaw test, Massachusetts
    > officials dropped that charge. A Boston court then dumped the other charges
    > and Glik was free. However, he wanted to take things further, as he thought
    > his treatment was against the law. He first filed a complaint with Boston
    > Police Internal Affairs who promptly set about totally ignoring it. After
    > they refused to investigate, Glik sued the officers who arrested him and the
    > City of Boston in federal court for violating both his First and Fourth
    > Amendment rights. The police officers filed for qualified immunity, which is
    > designed to protect them from frivolous charges from people they arrest.

    > The district court rejected the officers' rights to qualified immunity,
    > saying that their actions violated the First & Fourth Amendments. Before the
    > rest of the case could go on, the officers appealed, and that brings us to
    > Friday's ruling, which, once again, unequivocally states that recording
    > police in public is protected under the First Amendment, and that the use of
    > Massachusetts wiretapping laws to arrest Glik was a violation of his Fourth
    > Amendment rights as well. The ruling (pdf) is a fantastic and quick read
    > and makes the point pretty clearly. Best of all, it not only says that it was
    > a clear violation, but that the officers were basically full of it in
    > suggesting that this was even in question. The court more or less slams the
    > officers for pretending they had a valid excuse to harass a guy who filmed
    > them arresting someone.

    > The 4th Amendment bit may not be as widely applicable, since it mainly
    > focuses on the Massachusetts wiretapping law. Here, the court notes that the
    > law only covers audio recording in secret. But there is no indication that
    > Glik did any of his filming in secret. It found the officers' arguments that
    > he could have been doing lots of things on his mobile phone completely
    > uncompelling, stating that the "argument suffers from factual as well as legal
    > flaws."

    > The full ruling is embedded below, but a few choice quotes:
    > Gathering information about government officials in a form that can
    > readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in
    > protecting and promoting "the free discussion of governmental affairs."
    > Mills v. Alabama, 384 U.S. 214, 218 (1966). Moreover, as the Court has noted,
    > "[f]reedom of expression has particular significance with respect to
    > government because 't is here that the state has a special incentive to
    > repress opposition and often wields a more effective power of suppression.'"
    > First Nat'l Bank, 435 U.S. at 777 n.11 (alteration in original) (quoting Thomas
    > Emerson, Toward a General Theory of the First Amendment 9 (1966)). This is
    > particularly true of law enforcement officials, who are granted
    > substantial discretion that may be misused to deprive individuals of their
    > liberties....

    > [....]

    > In our society, police officers are expected to endure significant burdens
    > caused by citizens' exercise of their First Amendment rights. See City of
    > Houston v. Hill, 482 U.S. 451, 461 (1987) ("[T]he First Amendment protects
    > a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police
    > officers."). Indeed, "[t]he freedom of individuals verbally to oppose or
    > challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal
    > characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police
    > state." Id. at 462-63. The same restraint demanded of law enforcement officers in
    > the face of "provocative and challenging" speech, id. at 461 (quoting
    > Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, 4 (1949)), must be expected when they are
    > merely the subject of videotaping that memorializes, without impairing,
    > their work in public spaces.

    > [....]

    > The presence of probable cause was not even arguable here. The allegations
    > of the complaint establish that Glik was openly recording the police
    > officers and that they were aware of his surveillance. For the reasons we have
    > discussed, we see no basis in the law for a reasonable officer to conclude
    > that such a conspicuous act of recording was "secret" merely because the
    > officer did not have actual knowledge of whether audio was being recorded.
    > While this case isn't over yet, it's still a huge victory for those
    > arrested by police for filming them in action. It suggests such people can bring
    > charges against the police for civil rights violations in taking away
    > their First Amendment rights. A tremendous ruling all around.
  2. drew

    Well-Known Member

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  3. mpmax

    Active Member

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    Was this "JUST" filming, or filming and sound recording. Many states have ant-audio recording laws. There was a motorcyclist who had sound recording on his helmet cam. He lost in court. Oregon allows sound recording as long as one person (you) are aware of the recording.
  4. OneManWolfpack78

    Federal Way

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    "The truth shall set you free!" IMO the officers were abusing their power and got what was coming to them. They are civil servants who clearly overstepped their bounds in arresting the man recording. Police are supposed to protect and SERVE...that being said, I have great respect for the ones that risk their lives to protect and SERVE the public. Any time someone (doesn't matter who) does something shady and illegal, they should have to answer for their actions. Plain and great example of this here. Great win for Dude recording, and for all of Us little guys.
    Redcap, Father of four, drew and 3 others like this.
  5. Father of four

    Father of four
    Portland, Oregon
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    If no one stands up then they will bully us. The bad ones will bully us.

    The good LEO's...thank you for your service.

    Redcap and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Buddhalux

    Hillsboro, Oregon
    Active Member

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    I look at it like this. There's two classes of us serfs in our current model. LEO's get one set of rules to play by and the non-LEO's get another set. However, since the LEO's work for their local government they get the benefit of the doubt and the judicial branch will believe them since they're on the "same" side. What recourse do the rest of the citizens have when it comes down to a he said she said arguement? We get looked over because the LEO said this is what happened and it's believed. The only way that we can prove what happened if it differs from the LEO version is thru video.
  7. Father of four

    Father of four
    Portland, Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    Yep, the video helps alot. That's why they don't like it.
  8. Father of four

    Father of four
    Portland, Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    And the audio along with the video puts the nail in the coffin so they say.

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