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For The First Time, Federal Court Explicitly Establishes Filming Police As A Right

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posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 04:05 AM
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We have all seen the stories of how pedestrians have been hassled for filming a police action all the way to having the cameras taken and those who were filming being arrested on some kind of B.S. charge. Well it would appear there is no gray area anymore; at least not in Texas.


“We conclude that First Amendment principles, controlling authority, and persuasive precedent demonstrate that a First Amendment right to record the police does exist, subject only to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions.” The court set the first ever precendent giving citizens the right to film police, within reason, of course. In other words, the court believes the public has a right to film police so long as it is within reason, in public, and not in private. Going further, the court seemed to empathize with the public’s demand for a transparent government. They wrote, “speech is an essential mechanism of democracy, for it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people. The right of citizens to inquire, to hear, to speak, and to use information to reach consensus is a precondition to enlightened self-government and a necessary means to protect it.”

www.activistpost.com...


While the Texas precedent is not a national precedent, those who are attempting to film the police can, nonetheless, cite the precedent in the hopes police officers will continue to allow them to film without being impeded. Until such time as the Supreme Court weighs in on the matter, the right to film police will still continue to be a matter of contention between the police and the public, and dealt with on a state by state basis.


As far as I am concerned a video can protect either or both parties in an altercation.




posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 04:16 AM
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Finally.




posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 04:19 AM
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Until they introduce on-the-spot decertification as a penalty for yelling "Phone camera gun!" before they use a baton on you, this will be an empty sort of gesture.

No feedback, no change.



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 04:43 AM
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Can't hurt, everyone's got a video camera now so the cops are going to have to use a baton on lots of people



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 05:36 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

Precedent is precedent, though. And until SCOTUS deems the issue worthy of chiming in, I expect it to be the new standard.

Bravo. The judge, though his words, shows that he "gets it".



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 06:13 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

This Judge clearly understands the foundations of his country a great deal better than some people I could mention.

The right to monitor the police and any other agent of government, while about their official business, to ensure standards are met and rights of citizens never compromised without cause, is something which has long needed addressing and legitimising in the courts.




posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 06:30 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
...to ensure standards are met and rights of citizens never compromised without cause, is something which has long needed addressing


The larger picture: we need to move certification to the federal level, and establish at either state or federal levels an organization whose raison d'etre is to police the police. A group that is incentivized to do so. And preferably federal to get them out of local politics. Sort of a police FBI, with the teeth of decertification if not federal powers of arrest of on-duty LEOs and criminal prosecution.

At present, the only oversight is, basically, them investigating themselves, or a local prosecutor whose very job depends on police cooperation who 99% of the time pusses out and accepts the report of the police policing the police, is hooked into the local political machine and is on the hook to the police unions. Past that, you might get them a slap on the hand if they're dragged into federal court on a civil rights charge but their immunity protects them from most repercussions. And no feedback, no change. If I can get away with anything I want, then being human, eventually I'll make my job easier by taking whatever shortcut I can get away with.

Caesar had it right. His wife must be above suspicion. If even the appearance of the police letting themselves violate the law they purport to uphold in the name of upholding the law exists, it should be done away with. But they constantly lie each other up in court, cut off cameras, lose recordings, refuse to release them, then when finally cornered the local prosecutor nol prosses the thing as not being prosecutable after the IA says 'it's ok, no harm, no foul', but without doing his own investigation. Even if it's true, the blue line gives the appearance of foul play. And when they know they've had it, they just fire the guy. Seldom is there prosecution. And the cop goes 5 miles down the road and is met with open arms as being 'a real cop' for his particular violation.

If you had a national review board for that sort of thing, and national certification, with the IA review not being taken into account, no politics, no having to yield to the cop union to make the next prosecution stick, and the ability to decertify the cop there and everywhere, forever, then you'd have a lot less manky crap going on. Especially if you ruptured the 'thin blue line' by decertifying his buddies who knew about the thing and lied about or failed to report it.

I guarantee you if your buddy was tuning up people for smart mouth and you knew when he was caught you were going to be the guard at the Walmart, your career over, you'd be a lot more snappy about stopping it.



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 06:35 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

Nice one mate.



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 08:22 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

This is a good thing, although appears to be so loosely worded that it leaves quite the broad spectrum of what can be considered "reasonable" concerning distance and all that. This sounds like it still leaves it open for municipalities or states to legislate away the ability to record effectively, plus it will open up lawsuits by people told that they are too close to record and whatnot.

I hate loosely worded rulings.



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 08:24 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

No, we don't need the federal government controlling and standardizing yet another tentacle of our society.



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 09:57 AM
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I've always enjoyed how police, who often say "if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide," are proponents of hiding their actions from the American people.



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

I don't say these words often, but good job Texas.

edit on 1-3-2017 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 11:00 AM
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originally posted by: Bedlam

The larger picture: we need to move certification to the federal level, and establish at either state or federal levels an organization whose raison d'etre is to police the police. A group that is incentivized to do so. And preferably federal to get them out of local politics. Sort of a police FBI, with the teeth of decertification if not federal powers of arrest of on-duty LEOs and criminal prosecution.

While I would agree that there need to be checks and balances, I really do not believe that the Federal government ought to be the source of those checks and balances. I think it ought to be the right of the people to police the police. Its policing by consent, right? Also, lets face it, many states have a problem with Federal over reach in terms of law enforcement anyway. Quite a few citizens in some states would take issue with having their law enforcement professionals overseen by Federal officials, so why not get the people to be the enforcers?



At present, the only oversight is, basically, them investigating themselves, or a local prosecutor whose very job depends on police cooperation who 99% of the time pusses out and accepts the report of the police policing the police, is hooked into the local political machine and is on the hook to the police unions. Past that, you might get them a slap on the hand if they're dragged into federal court on a civil rights charge but their immunity protects them from most repercussions. And no feedback, no change. If I can get away with anything I want, then being human, eventually I'll make my job easier by taking whatever shortcut I can get away with.

Thats entirely wrong, but of course, local prosecutors should recuse themselves from cases involving local law enforcement as potential defendants, and get prosecutors who have no connection to the local LEOs at all, to come in and provide their services instead.



Caesar had it right. His wife must be above suspicion. If even the appearance of the police letting themselves violate the law they purport to uphold in the name of upholding the law exists, it should be done away with. But they constantly lie each other up in court, cut off cameras, lose recordings, refuse to release them, then when finally cornered the local prosecutor nol prosses the thing as not being prosecutable after the IA says 'it's ok, no harm, no foul', but without doing his own investigation. Even if it's true, the blue line gives the appearance of foul play. And when they know they've had it, they just fire the guy. Seldom is there prosecution. And the cop goes 5 miles down the road and is met with open arms as being 'a real cop' for his particular violation.

I entirely agree. It needs to end. I just do not think that federal involvement is the answer, because its not as if the federal government can be trusted either, frankly. In fact, federal law enforcement should be too busy at this
point, dealing with the small matter of arresting everyone involved in violations of the Constitution pertaining to the creation of mass surveillance systems, government efforts to quiet free speech, limit it, or endanger the second amendment.


If you had a national review board for that sort of thing, and national certification, with the IA review not being taken into account, no politics, no having to yield to the cop union to make the next prosecution stick, and the ability to decertify the cop there and everywhere, forever, then you'd have a lot less manky crap going on. Especially if you ruptured the 'thin blue line' by decertifying his buddies who knew about the thing and lied about or failed to report it.

That is a great idea, but it ought to be a citizens group with the powers of a federal group, rather than having any ties to any branch of government. In fact, it ought to have the kind of power that no law enforcement entity can counteract by any method, as well as some of the same powers, including arrest and so on, that a law enforcement agency might have.


I guarantee you if your buddy was tuning up people for smart mouth and you knew when he was caught you were going to be the guard at the Walmart, your career over, you'd be a lot more snappy about stopping it.


That is a fact.



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 03:41 PM
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a reply to: 727Sky

This is GREAT news for the both safety and individual liberty.



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 06:38 PM
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a reply to: 727Sky

The "Trump Effect" in my opinion.

Although we've had a long established history of public servants operating in secrecy with the blessing of TPTB, this is the first time we've had someone (Trump) who really worries the establishment.

Despite being challenged many times before, all of a sudden, our public servants have been dealt a blow to their hypocrisy and typical "do what we say not what we do" type governance.

edit on 1-3-2017 by gladtobehere because: wording




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