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“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.”
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.
originally posted by: TrueBrit
...to ensure standards are met and rights of citizens never compromised without cause, is something which has long needed addressing
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.
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.