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Justice Dept. Defends Public’s Constitutional ‘Right to Record’ Cops

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posted on May, 17 2012 @ 01:02 PM
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As police departments around the country are increasingly caught up in tussles with members of the public who record their activities, the U.S. Justice Department has come out with a strong statement supporting the First Amendment right of individuals to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties.

In a surprising letter (.pdf) sent on Monday to attorneys for the Baltimore Police Department, the Justice Department also strongly asserted that officers who seize and destroy such recordings without a warrant or without due process are in strict violation of the individual’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.




The right to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties was essential to help “engender public confidence in our police departments, promote public access to information necessary to hold our governmental officers accountable, and ensure public and officer safety,” wrote Jonathan Smith, head of the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section.


Here is a link to the full story.

It is tragic that the DOJ would even need to issue a letter reminding cities that citizens are protected by their constitutional rights. Unfortunately, the practice of confiscating equipment, making threats and even arrests have become all too common.

I have had many beefs with the Department of Justice over the years, but I must give them credit where credit is due. They have done the right thing here.




posted on May, 17 2012 @ 01:11 PM
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Sweet! Now if a smartass cop tries to take your camera, or tell someone they can't film, just shut your mouth and hold up a copy of this letter. ...And if they still do it, they're screwed.



posted on May, 17 2012 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by LordOfArcadia

As police departments around the country are increasingly caught up in tussles with members of the public who record their activities, the U.S. Justice Department has come out with a strong statement supporting the First Amendment right of individuals to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties.

In a surprising letter (.pdf) sent on Monday to attorneys for the Baltimore Police Department, the Justice Department also strongly asserted that officers who seize and destroy such recordings without a warrant or without due process are in strict violation of the individual’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.




The right to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties was essential to help “engender public confidence in our police departments, promote public access to information necessary to hold our governmental officers accountable, and ensure public and officer safety,” wrote Jonathan Smith, head of the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section.


Here is a link to the full story.

It is tragic that the DOJ would even need to issue a letter reminding cities that citizens are protected by their constitutional rights. Unfortunately, the practice of confiscating equipment, making threats and even arrests have become all too common.

I have had many beefs with the Department of Justice over the years, but I must give them credit where credit is due. They have done the right thing here.


Thanks for that great thread it's a shame that in England,UK we get told to not film our police officers. Wish we had rights as their are on our turf public places. Unless someone can find a law to protect us brits to allow filming our police for our own protection.



posted on May, 17 2012 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by LordOfArcadia
 


Let's see how the rubber meets the road on this. I do hear the salivating of attorneies out there as a new revenue stream. This is sad commentary though that we have to remind the police they are public servants and are bound to serve us the public and the constitution. The other sad part is that there are many good cops out there that will need to bear unneeded scrutiny because of the few bad and their overall code of silence.



posted on May, 17 2012 @ 01:17 PM
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Meh, it doesnt matter.

Thirty years ago NY decriminalized small amount possession. Officers are repeatedly given memos from higher ups and politicians are constantly making statements year after year reminding them of this fact.

Do the beat cops still drag you down and haul you in for shake? Yes, they do. When they do they get hell for it and they still do it.

This nonsense with filming will be the same. Moron grunts will continue to get all huffy over "contempt of cop" and continue to smash and confiscate private property and continue to cost their municipalities hundreds of thousands in settlements.

They run on autonomous stupidity.



posted on May, 17 2012 @ 01:45 PM
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LOL! You mad pigs?

Deal with it.
edit on 17-5-2012 by Ashertron because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2012 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by Sk8ergrl

Originally posted by LordOfArcadia

As police departments around the country are increasingly caught up in tussles with members of the public who record their activities, the U.S. Justice Department has come out with a strong statement supporting the First Amendment right of individuals to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties.

In a surprising letter (.pdf) sent on Monday to attorneys for the Baltimore Police Department, the Justice Department also strongly asserted that officers who seize and destroy such recordings without a warrant or without due process are in strict violation of the individual’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.




The right to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties was essential to help “engender public confidence in our police departments, promote public access to information necessary to hold our governmental officers accountable, and ensure public and officer safety,” wrote Jonathan Smith, head of the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section.


Here is a link to the full story.

It is tragic that the DOJ would even need to issue a letter reminding cities that citizens are protected by their constitutional rights. Unfortunately, the practice of confiscating equipment, making threats and even arrests have become all too common.

I have had many beefs with the Department of Justice over the years, but I must give them credit where credit is due. They have done the right thing here.


Thanks for that great thread it's a shame that in England,UK we get told to not film our police officers. Wish we had rights as their are on our turf public places. Unless someone can find a law to protect us brits to allow filming our police for our own protection.


Wrong on most counts.

See here

Police actually had to apologize to a photographer for telling him they cant photograph the police.



posted on May, 17 2012 @ 07:00 PM
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Yes, the department of justice doing its job.

More please.



posted on May, 20 2012 @ 04:24 PM
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# the police!




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