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DC police chief announces shockingly reasonable cell camera policy!

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posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 10:35 PM
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Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier put out a new legal directive for officers under her to,

'Don't Seize. Don't Delete. Don't Interfere.'

Orginally from
DCist.com
Via, ArsTechnica.com
and InformationLiberation.com

Finally some good news regarding citizens being allowed to film cops, and that they are not allowed to take away the phones at all, even under guise of 'evidence'..


Don't interfere with recordings
"A bystander has the same right to take photographs or make recordings as a member of the media," Chief Lanier writes. The First Amendment protects the right to record the activities of police officers, not only in public places such as parks and sidewalks, but also in "an individual’s home or business, common areas of public and private facilities and buildings, and any other public or private facility at which the individual has a legal right to be present."
Lanier says that if an officer sees an individual recording his or her actions, the officer may not use that as a basis to ask the citizen for ID, demand an explanation for the recording, deliberately obstruct the camera, or arrest the citizen. And she stresses that under no circumstances should the citizen be asked to stop recording.



No seizing cameras or deleting recordings
Lanier's directive addresses another scenario that is becoming increasingly common: a civilian takes a photograph or recording that a police officer believes could constitute evidence of a crime. Under Lanier's directive, an individual cop cannot take a recording device away from a citizen without his or her consent. "Consent to take possession of a recording device or medium must be given voluntarily," she writes.


And


Finally, she emphasizes that police officers "shall not, under any circumstances, erase or delete, or instruct or require any other person to erase or delete, any recorded images or sounds from any camera or other recording device. [Officers] shall maintain cameras and other recording devices that are in Department custody so that they can be returned to the owner intact with all images or recordings undisturbed."

Read the articles in question for more info if you wish! This is really good news, and I hope that other police forces around the US adopt this type of policy!
If an incident happens in a public place, people around have the right to video tape and take pictures just like anyone from the media could!
Unfortunately, many are against this type of surveillance of police by bystanders,
for example, ATS from last year - 75-Year Sentence for Taping the Police? The Absurd Laws That Criminalize Audio and Video Recording

Thoughts?!




posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by Nspekta
Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier put out a new legal directive for officers under her to,

'Don't Seize. Don't Delete. Don't Interfere.'

Orginally from
DCist.com
Via, ArsTechnica.com
and InformationLiberation.com

Finally some good news regarding citizens being allowed to film cops, and that they are not allowed to take away the phones at all, even under guise of 'evidence'..


Don't interfere with recordings
"A bystander has the same right to take photographs or make recordings as a member of the media," Chief Lanier writes. The First Amendment protects the right to record the activities of police officers, not only in public places such as parks and sidewalks, but also in "an individual’s home or business, common areas of public and private facilities and buildings, and any other public or private facility at which the individual has a legal right to be present."
Lanier says that if an officer sees an individual recording his or her actions, the officer may not use that as a basis to ask the citizen for ID, demand an explanation for the recording, deliberately obstruct the camera, or arrest the citizen. And she stresses that under no circumstances should the citizen be asked to stop recording.



No seizing cameras or deleting recordings
Lanier's directive addresses another scenario that is becoming increasingly common: a civilian takes a photograph or recording that a police officer believes could constitute evidence of a crime. Under Lanier's directive, an individual cop cannot take a recording device away from a citizen without his or her consent. "Consent to take possession of a recording device or medium must be given voluntarily," she writes.


And


Finally, she emphasizes that police officers "shall not, under any circumstances, erase or delete, or instruct or require any other person to erase or delete, any recorded images or sounds from any camera or other recording device. [Officers] shall maintain cameras and other recording devices that are in Department custody so that they can be returned to the owner intact with all images or recordings undisturbed."

Read the articles in question for more info if you wish! This is really good news, and I hope that other police forces around the US adopt this type of policy!
If an incident happens in a public place, people around have the right to video tape and take pictures just like anyone from the media could!
Unfortunately, many are against this type of surveillance of police by bystanders,
for example, ATS from last year - 75-Year Sentence for Taping the Police? The Absurd Laws That Criminalize Audio and Video Recording

Thoughts?!


Quoted for edit safety.

WOW this is good news, that sounds completely reasonable!


good for them, this sounds completely fair and balanced!


peace.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 11:23 PM
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reply to post by Nspekta
 


Very nice.. Common sense has found its way in it seems.

The only thing I would add as a warning since its not addressed in the directive would be to be careful where you are recording. Getting to close to the police while they are doing their job can be problematic for all sides involved.

Our policy is essentially the same with some minor differences. For those people who are recording who are to close we simply direct them to step back a number of feet just to create a buffer zone. The only time we can do more is if the person recording is creating a danger by their action (recording while standing in the middle of the road etc).

I would also like to point out that it is possible for people to bring about change, even when the louder voices keep stating change will never come.

Food for thought -
In order to effect change in this area a person does not have to persuade / convince every single officer on the force. All it takes is a citizen armed with knowledge, ideas and a well thought out argument convincing the one member of the command staff that makes the difference.

I encourage people to communicate with their respective law enforcement agencies. They patrol the communities you live in which means both sides have a vested interest in seeing things work. Communication and mutual respect is all it takes.

OP - Thank you for posting this.. Its refreshing to have a positive law enforcement thread for a change.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 11:54 PM
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I'll let y'all know what happens next time I see a police encounter in Adams Morgan. Every saturday somebody is getting arrested, and every saturday somebody's cell phone is being seized, and subsequently returned with "more free space" than it had before.



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 11:57 PM
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Seems more often than not when they try and seize the camera it only ends up in a law suit. Some of those can add up as the person could likely sue for an awful lot.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 12:01 AM
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What world am I living in?
Is This Bizzarro World or something??

DO I really need to pack up and move to D.C. now!?



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 12:03 AM
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Good on them.

But it's a sad state of affairs when we celebrate being allowed to legally film in public.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 12:04 AM
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Just to make it clear. It's nothing new. It's just spelling it out for the intellectually weaker cops what the law has always said. Also the day after this announcement which btw came about from a photographers lawsuit they go ahead and confiscate a phone used to film them and make the memory card disappear.
So even if you spell it out they can still ignore it.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 12:10 AM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


"I encourage people to communicate with their respective law enforcement agencies. They patrol the communities you live in which means both sides have a vested interest in seeing things work. Communication and mutual respect is all it takes.'

There's the problem, mutual respect. It seems a lot of officers see the public as criminals who just haven't been caught yet.
I'm very glad to see this chief rein in her officers. Now let's hope it spreads to other cities and states.
Although I'm sure Illinois will be last.
edit on 27-7-2012 by DAVID64 because: correction



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 12:14 AM
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What seems utterly shocking to me about this is people saying we need to convince, plead, beg, hope, that other police will adopt these policies ? ( umm, these policies are mandatory according to the bill of rights, constitution, etc..)
This is so amazing..
(/sarcasm)



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 02:27 AM
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Originally posted by DAVID64
There's the problem, mutual respect

Respect must be earned... on both sides.



Originally posted by DAVID64
It seems a lot of officers see the public as criminals who just haven't been caught yet.

With the counter argument being a lot of citizens see the police as corrupt and gestapo like regardless of circumstances.



Originally posted by DAVID64
I'm very glad to see this chief rein in her officers. Now let's hope it spreads to other cities and states.

Agreed - It would not be a bad idea for people to take the op article info and go to a city council meeting / meet with their respective law enforcement agencies. People should find out what, if any, policy is in place on this topic. If there is no policy / restricted policy hand them the info and ask questions on how to get something like that in their city.


Originally posted by DAVID64
Although I'm sure Illinois will be last.

I don't see the Democratic Peoples Republic of Illinois changing things in this area anytime soon. Even after the US Supreme Court struck down Chicago's gun law Chicago turned around and is now trying to put it back in place.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 05:38 AM
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reply to post by r2d246
 

Seems more often than not when they try and seize the camera it only ends up in a law suit. Some of those can add up as the person could likely sue for an awful lot.

Right.
These kinds of decisions don't just happen on their own, and are likely the result of the department being hurt in the pocketbook by court cases being lost, so another example to show us that we need to sue government entities when they violate our rights.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 06:56 AM
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reply to post by Nspekta
 


Wow, I think we just found the good apple.

Someone promote her to national policing policy position immediately!

I think this has to do with the events happening in Anaheim, where police opened fire on women and children and unleashed an attack dog which went straight for a father who had to protect his toddler from it. The police were filmed shooting at these people less than ten feet away, then walking around them aiming their guns at kids -


Officers then spent the day trying to buy the videos from the witnesses, to prevent their actions from going public.

As I mentioned in another thread that doesn't seem to be making it here on ATS, the events in Anaheim are potentially going to kick off into something far more dangerous after police responded with violence. There is even the suggestion that the police broke in and robbed a local political action group and ransacked their offices to try to stop them from organizing protests against police violence.

There are more protests planned in Anaheim for this weekend.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 07:04 AM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra
Respect must be earned... on both sides.


No, the police are charged with protecting the public, they are responsible to the public. The public should NOT have to "earn" anything from the police. They are hired to do a job regardless of the people they are paid to serve "respecting" them or not.


Originally posted by Xcathdra
With the counter argument being a lot of citizens see the police as corrupt and gestapo like regardless of circumstances.


Regardless, the police are in a position of authority, they are paid by the people to provide a service. The opinions of the people about those officers are their own opinions and no officer has the right to distinguish one person from another based on how they are viewed.

Police are public servants, not superiors, not guards, not judges, juries or executioners. They are supposed to be the equals of the people the serve, not a power unto themselves.


Originally posted by Xcathdra
Agreed - It would not be a bad idea for people to take the op article info and go to a city council meeting / meet with their respective law enforcement agencies. People should find out what, if any, policy is in place on this topic. If there is no policy / restricted policy hand them the info and ask questions on how to get something like that in their city.


This should not even need to be discussed. The people have the legal right to film police officers all over the world, and no state, federal government, rogue officer or police chief has the right to arbitrarily remove the rights of the people to gather their own evidence.

By default, you are legally permitted to film the actions of police officers, just as an employer is legally permitted to film their staff in the course of their work.

People on the street filming officers on duty is no different to an employer filming employees in their offices using CCTV.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 07:25 AM
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Wont make any difference.

About six months ago fed up with paying out millions in settlements the CT legislature passed a law stating any cop who unlawfully seizes or destroys a recording or recording equipment would be held personally responsible.

Meaning that the subsequent lawsuit and payout would come out of that cops pocket rather than the cities or the states.

The very next day two cops confiscated and smashed cell phones outside of a bar that had recorded video of them kicking a downed man in the face and head repeatedly.

The city they work for had said it will "stand by its officers".

I imagine the same will happen in DC.

The cops are working outside the law and within the departments there are cliques who operate above all law because of all the back watching.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by detachedindividual
No, the police are charged with protecting the public, they are responsible to the public. The public should NOT have to "earn" anything from the police. They are hired to do a job regardless of the people they are paid to serve "respecting" them or not.

Then you should send out a memo to the "public" letting them know they should keep their mouths shut and let the police do their job.

Also, respect must be earned on both sides.


Originally posted by detachedindividual
Regardless, the police are in a position of authority, they are paid by the people to provide a service. The opinions of the people about those officers are their own opinions and no officer has the right to distinguish one person from another based on how they are viewed.

Again you should send out a memo to the public letting them know they dont have the right to to take the actions of one officer and apply them to all members of law enforcement. As far as being paid you seem to be ignoring the fact that the people who are in law enforcement are also tax paying members of the community. So no, the public does not pay the entire salary of law enforcement.

The main function of law enforcement is to protect society as a whole, not the individual and law enforcement has absolutely no requirement to act.



Originally posted by detachedindividual
Police are public servants, not superiors, not guards, not judges, juries or executioners. They are supposed to be the equals of the people the serve, not a power unto themselves.

Then please inform the public that while police are public servants their is a chain of command we answer to. If a citizen has issues with what law enforcement is doing then they need to take it up with their respective city council's / city managers / Chief of Police.

As far as equals of the people I agree.. That is a 2 way road and also revolves around respect for each other.



Originally posted by detachedindividual
This should not even need to be discussed. The people have the legal right to film police officers all over the world, and no state, federal government, rogue officer or police chief has the right to arbitrarily remove the rights of the people to gather their own evidence.

Actually yes it did need to be discussed. It is the same problem with regards to the introduction of computers / internet. 2 items that when invented and put into use was not covered under any laws / 4th amendment / 5th amendment.

There is no expectation of privacy in public and I agree people should be allowed to record. As I stated before it needs to be done in an appropriate manner that does not place the individual recording, law enforcement officers or the person they are dealing with or bystanders in danger

One of the issues I have see come up time and again on the subject of law enforcement is a lack of understanding on legalities. When law enforcement makes contact with citizens and that contact results in the person being temporarily detained, law enforcement is in fact responsible for that persons safety. Since we are the ones who have restricted their movement we are required to ensure they are safe. As an example if I stop a vehicle for DWI and during the SFST's people start recording the situation from a safe distance its fine. If they get close or are behaving in a manner that interferes with the actions of not only the officer but the detained individual as well it becomes a problem.

Your rights end the moment they interfere with the rights of others. While you have a right to record you do not have a right to interfere. The rights of the person detained will trump the rights of parties that are not involved in the situation. Hence my comment about exercising commmon sense / acting responsibly and recording from a safe distance.



Originally posted by detachedindividual
By default, you are legally permitted to film the actions of police officers, just as an employer is legally permitted to film their staff in the course of their work.

Citizens are are also legally required to obey a lawful command. As I stated before the actions of the 3rd party cannot interfere with the situation at hand. The rights of the person law enforcement is dealing with is paramount.

Let me be clear on this -
Aside from Illinois the action of recording police is not the issue. Its the manner in which they go about recording.the situation. I have worked accidents where media has shown up, and when they do they want to be close up. I have told media on a few occasions that they need to back off / move away / stand in a specific location. If media / 3rd party are allowed to be close the officer is responsible for their safety as well.

If a car passing the accident scene hits debris and launches it into the air there is a very real possibility of the 3rd parties being injured / killed.

If the actions of a 3rd party force the officer to divert his attention it becomes a problem.



Originally posted by detachedindividual
People on the street filming officers on duty is no different to an employer filming employees in their offices using CCTV.

You are ignoring the part where state law tells those employers the manner in which they can record their employees. You cannot place cameras into areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy - bathroom, locker room etc etc etc.

The issue is not recording itself.. The issue is the manner in which they go about recording. Its no different than having protestors blocking a public right of way, denying its use to citizens who are not invovled in the protest. If the protesters enter a business as part of their protest and are told to leave by the property owner / manager and refuse to comply they can be arrested.

The people are not being arrested for exercising their rights. in the case of the protestors there are laws that prohibit the blocking of a public right of way. The people are not being arrested for protesting inside the bank. They are being arrested for trspassing.

Your rights end the moment they interfere in the rights of others.
edit on 27-7-2012 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 02:13 PM
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reply to post by DAVID64
 



Fair enough, a lot of people, though, see police as nothing more than thugs waiting for their chance to brutalize citizens. It goes both ways.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by Nspekta
 


Wow, that's excellent. That's a motto that I'd like to see the Supreme Court endorse. Any cop who tries to seize or interrupt a member of the public videoing police in public (unless the person is genuinely interfering in the police action) should immediately lose their jobs as it would reflect a complete violation of their Constitutional oath.

Thanks for sharing.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


While it is soooo refreshing to see that some people in gov/public service positions even in authority are still connected to society in positive ways.

HOWEVER, I dont care what anybody says, even in DC, if I record a cop breaking a law or violating rights, please beleive that cop would rather gamble/risk the consequences of confiscating the recording as opposed to dealing with the reprcussions of their illegal or unethical incriminating evidence.

That is why I tell EVERYONE that i know, and I show them, how to use a smartphone APP, preferably an iPhone, to use USTREAM.... this program will record video and stream the vdeo feed live to the cloud/server where even if the cop takes the phone, all you do is lock the phone with one click and they cannot destroy the video even if the shatter the phone to pieces.



posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 08:15 PM
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Finally, something that makes sense.
I'm all for the freedom of videos, I mean if your not a crook trying to hide something, if your a good cop more power to you and nothing to worry about.

I'm trying to set myself up with live video 23/7 with full stream, so they can't get what ever I get.
I would turn it off though in more intimate moments, like telling my dog how much I love him, Roof, roof.

But, really I have run into cops that act like jerks and threaten me for no reason, then tell me I could go.



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