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Taping public officials doing their job

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by breeceg, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. breeceg

    breeceg Junction city Member

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    Did the us supreme court rule we can video tape the police now in Oregon?
     
  2. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    There was a case just decided in the First Circuit Court that determined that the public did have the right to tape public officials in the course of their daily duties as long as they didn't interfere with those duties. It was in the news a couple of days ago. However, that ruling only applies to that circuits jurisdiction although I would guess it can now be used as precedent in other cases. IANAL, but someone else here might be able to chime in.
     
  3. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    IANAL but I believe they are only a persuasive or non-binding precedent. Until there is a ruling in our branch or SCOTUS weighs in, judges in our district have no obligation regarding that ruling.
     
  4. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    There was a similar case in the 9th (Fordyce v Seattle?) where our left leaning judges ruled the same, that it is within the 1st Amendment rights to tape/film police at that work...
     
  5. Caleqs

    Caleqs Eugene, OR Member

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    This is a conundrum. I support more freedoms, but at the same time...video tape the police doing their job...the job 90% of Americans can't and wouldn't do, then use the tape to tear the officer's every action apart, not understanding what's required of them to "get the job done". It reminds me of some lines from A Few Good Men. I don't think folks understand what it takes to police some streets, but they are sure glad they DON'T have to think about the cost. Then they're happy to tear apart the folks that make the sacrifices.
     
  6. Caleqs

    Caleqs Eugene, OR Member

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    I have and I don't disagree with you per se. The issue is that good cops can lose in this and have their lives destroyed by the media/court of public opinion where their actions can be misconstrued by people who have no idea what they're looking at/talking about. That's why its a conundrum for me. Its not as simple as "good cops have nothing to fear". It just isn't. The media and others will twist and turn whatever they can to make good news, regardless of the truth, and they don't care whose life it ruins in the process. That's what I'm afraid of and don't want to dismiss as if it could never happen. Heck, our own legal system has a tenant that says its better for a guilty man to go free than to convict an innocent man...even though it happens. There's no simple answer and there's no easy way. Its a matter of choosing what you want to manage. That's the conundrum.
     
  7. VW_Factor

    VW_Factor Woodburn Oregon Active Member

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    Even when those "sacrifices" include violating citizens rights? >.>

    I do feel, its the policies of some PD's that help sway some LEOs into doing things they might not even know as a violation of a citizens rights, and not all PD's are going to "behave" in such a manner.

    Do keep in mind as well. That if a LEO is doing his job properly without being overbearing and violating a citizens rights and knows he is doing his job in a for lack of better terms "constitutionally" correct. He or she will (or should have) no issues with being recorded.

    I am sure everyone around here has heard/seen those cases in which a LEO sets off to do something he/she knows will set them afoul of the law.. And turn off their own recording systems on their person and/or cruiser. In knowing these things, there is absolutely no way that anyone should be convinced otherwise, that a LEO is ignorant of what they are doing.

    It goes both ways. It can support a LEO in their positions and employment duties or in fact bring closer scrutiny in cases where a LEO themselves violated laws or rights in their official positions.

    Don't let those law & order type shows make you think that all LEOs or investigators are allowed to do what is portrayed in their shows for the greater good just because they might think its right. Its not their call to make. Everyone has a right for due process of law.
     
  8. Rascals

    Rascals Portland Or Active Member

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    Personal I started thinking about taping a while ago becasue I got tired of some of the abuses I see. I fell that If I treat an officer with respect I deserve it back. But what I find is they treat me like bubblegum and expect me to smile about it. I also helped after having a childhood friend who we grew up together and became a cop tell me that there are 2 types of people cops and bad people. I laughed at him and said so what am I and he said just becasue you have not done something wrong yet you will. With an attitude like that Im sorry my attitude is from dealing with cops who just dont care anymore. Sad part is there are many good ones but if they protect the bad ones whats the differnce?
     
  9. VW_Factor

    VW_Factor Woodburn Oregon Active Member

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    You ever get rolled and the LEO informs you first thing. "This encounter is being recorded for my safety". If you record, hit them back with the same line. :) You'd be surprised at the reactions you'll get I'm sure.
     
  10. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills Cave Creek, Arizony Well-Known Member

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    I think all police should be wearing cameras in order to fully protect each and every honest cop out there. The camera would save every local, state & federal gov't tons of money as it will show that the accused (police officer) Did Not break the law in any way.
     
  11. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    And add yet more weight to their carry gear, slowing them down, lowering their stamina when they're trying to run and catch the real bad guys.

    But I do like the car cams. And citizens being able to record them legally.
     
  12. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    On the topic of videotapping police...

    #1) I think it should be perfectly legal to video or audio record any LEO while in the performance of their duties.

    #2) I think it should be illegal to edit (in any way, shape or form) a video or audio you recorded of LEO and post it.

    LEO record us without our knowledge and/or consent all the time. You drive with a brake light out (seriously, how are you supposed to know that you have a brake light out unless you get pulled over and told it?) and you are instantly being recorded by any modern law enforcement agency. So, why in the world can't we record them? On the reverse side, I think that once you turn the recorder on and decide to use it against LEO or post it on YouTube, it should be illegal to edit it in any way. You should post it just as recorded (just as LEO has to when subpoenaed for the tapes). It should be punishable to edit a recording and posting it as you see fit.

    Yes, the LEO profession is hard...I know. But if you are courteous and professional at all times, remain within departmental guidelines, standards and policies then what do you have to fear? I work in a profession that has cameras EVERYWHERE. I have to watch what I say and do ALL THE TIME. Does it suck? Oh yeah...but if I don't like it I can always quit and work at McDonnald's, so there you go. Just like an actor/actress doesn't like the paparazzi, it comes with the territory. When an LEO slaps on that uniform, they represent their jurisdiction and enforce the laws within it based on the desire of the public. If they go outside those bounds, then they should be replaced.
     
  13. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Considering the shape of the cops I see around here (very round), I'm fine with that.
     
  14. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    So many are quick to critisize, slow to support our LEO's, when they are protecting us and our loved ones...yes, yes, there are some bad ones, and unsurprisingly, they are found out. Kind of reminds me of my time in the service in the 60's...spit on when I came home, by those cheap seat quarterbacks unwilling to do their part. So please, bring on the hate responses...but really, who are you gonna call when the chips are down? Someone from this thread who is doing the bashing???
     
  15. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    You know, I have acquaintances that are LEOs. Nice guys, truly are. I doubt either one would mind being recorded, because they wold use it as further proof of what they say happened. Of course, I live in a rural county (and I'm not talking about LCSO either)...

    Further more, all that aside, it is a fundamental human right (1st Amendment) so what a cop thinks about it doesn't add up to a tinker's dam...(Clay berm around a hole in a pot being fixed by a tinker).
     
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  16. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

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    When the chips are down, the police are notoriously slow to respond. Not so much in small towns, because any "exciting" call is going to bring them running. But in a big city, they don't hurry too much. LCSO, in my experience, has been pretty johnny-on-the-spot, but LC is pretty boring
     
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  17. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    I have no use or need for LE whatsoever. I'll rely on myself, thanks.
     
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  18. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

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    Maybe thats part of the disconnect between LEO's and the rest of the world. We've let ourselves become too dependent on someone else to do our bidding. They see themselves as an absolute power because WE supposedly need THEM, not vice versa. WE can't help ourselves. WE can't defend our ownselves. When the chips are truly down, how many people can seek help from their neighbor? I know I certainly can. THAT is what we need to get back to; the police will begin losing power when they aren't needed as much.

    They make glasses that have miniature cameras in them, you can't justify NOT putting recording gear on their person because it encumbers them. They should be wearing eye-pro anyway.
     
  19. Misterbill

    Misterbill Yakima County, Washington New Member

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    Don't like the job? Get another. You have no reasonable expectation of privacy on a public street. I can follow you around and videotape you until **** freezes over and post it all on the internet and you have no recourse whatever.

    Why do cops get a free pass from something every other person in the country has to deal with? Oh, that's right, the ones objecting to it are abusing their authority and violating the law. Ya, no kidding they don't want to be recorded.
     
  20. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    That's why officers are subjected to a "reasonable officer" standpoint, not by your average joe.

    Reasonable person - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
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