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farleftlib

(2,125 posts)
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 03:42 PM Feb 2016

ACLU plans challenge to ruling finding no First Amendment right to film police

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Civil rights lawyers said Wednesday that they intend to appeal a federal court ruling in Philadelphia that citizens do not necessarily have a right protected by the First Amendment to record police activity.

In an opinion issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Mark A. Kearney wrote that unless a videographer announces the recording as an act of protest or a challenge to officers, police are free to stop it.

"While we instinctively understand the citizens' argument, particularly with rapidly developing instant image sharing technology, we find no basis to craft a new First Amendment right based solely on 'observing and recording' without expressive conduct," Kearney wrote.

But in an age of expanding surveillance - from instant cellphone photo sharing to increased use of police body cameras - the American Civil Liberties Union and its partners in the case were not alone in raising an eyebrow at Kearney's conclusions....

"Without a protected right to film officers, the ability of the public to monitor police activity is really reduced," said Mary Catherine Roper, one of the ACLU lawyers involved in the two cases on which Kearney ruled. "We know how effective video has been in creating a conversation about police accountability. Video does not always show police officers are misbehaving, but without it, it's really hard to convince people of misconduct by the authorities."
saying they "should reasonably anticipate and expect to be photographed, videotaped and/or audibly recorded by members of the general public."

Since then, the ACLU of Pennsylvania has led a group of civil rights lawyers in bringing cases involving civilians who were challenged or arrested while recording police carrying out their work.

In 2014, the group launched a social media initiative under the Twitter hashtag #PACopWatch to draw attention to officers who continued to ignore the Police Department's policy.



Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20160225_ACLU_plans_challenge_to_ruling_finding_no_First_Amendment_right_to_film_police.html



Police have been seizing cell phones and recording devices and in one case locked a kid who was recording arrests in a police van. Scary stuff.
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ACLU plans challenge to ruling finding no First Amendment right to film police (Original Post) farleftlib Feb 2016 OP
Stupid judge. You can't be expressive without recording first. Video first, edit later. Duh. nt Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2016 #1
This message was self-deleted by its author Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2016 #2
Public servants on public duties in public places have no privacy right or expectation of. Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2016 #3
Unfortunately farleftlib Feb 2016 #6
The Philly PD and civil liberties have always had a glancing acquaintance, at best friendly_iconoclast Feb 2016 #7
Post removed Post removed Feb 2016 #4
Good for the ACLU. n/t PoliticAverse Feb 2016 #5
I thought that this was settled already? blackspade Feb 2016 #8
I thought so too. Maybe it was a state level ruling or a decision in another circuit. I don't think okaawhatever Feb 2016 #15
"Hey, Mr. Officer with a gun, I just wanted to let you know, I'm recording you." thesquanderer Feb 2016 #9
This is bad, bad, news. Akicita Feb 2016 #10
It's an untenable position to argue that freedom of expression applies only in the moment Xipe Totec Feb 2016 #11
Agree with all that. Hassin Bin Sober Feb 2016 #17
Someone accused me today of never standing up for civil rights. randome Feb 2016 #12
Unfortunately this guy gabeana Feb 2016 #13
Those rights not... freebrew Feb 2016 #14
excellent opinion!! a lot smarter than that judge!! demigoddess Feb 2016 #16
IKR farleftlib Feb 2016 #18
What a stupid fucking judge. tabasco Feb 2016 #19

Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #1)

Bernardo de La Paz

(48,970 posts)
3. Public servants on public duties in public places have no privacy right or expectation of.
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 03:52 PM
Feb 2016

Public servants performing public duties can be video'ed as much as anybody else, i.e. as long as they are not in a home or a restroom or a place where bystanders or first / second parties might have an expectation of privacy.

Public servants in public places have no expectation of privacy. If they want or demand privacy, then you can be pretty sure they are covering up a police crime or a police riot.

Another possible exception might be made if a juvenile is being arrested. Juveniles have a greater expectation of privacy because they are treated differently by the justice system.

 

farleftlib

(2,125 posts)
6. Unfortunately
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 04:05 PM
Feb 2016

The Philadelphia Police and the judges have a sad record of non-observance of the First Amendment. In 2000 the judges gave permission for the cops to infiltrate peaceful protest groups during the Republican Convention. I remember mass arrests of peaceful protestors and all of it getting thrown out of court because the cops couldn't even ID their collars. It ended up costing the city dearly when the protestors rightfully turned around and sued for damages.

 

friendly_iconoclast

(15,333 posts)
7. The Philly PD and civil liberties have always had a glancing acquaintance, at best
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 04:08 PM
Feb 2016

Don't ask me how I know....

Response to farleftlib (Original post)

okaawhatever

(9,461 posts)
15. I thought so too. Maybe it was a state level ruling or a decision in another circuit. I don't think
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 08:12 PM
Feb 2016

scotus has given their two cents worth on this though. (two cents=fair market value for the opinions of the current bench)

Of course, we also thought the Voting Rights Act was settled law, ditto a woman's right to choose. As Yogi Berra said, "it's deja vu all over again"

thesquanderer

(11,973 posts)
9. "Hey, Mr. Officer with a gun, I just wanted to let you know, I'm recording you."
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 04:16 PM
Feb 2016

Said no black man, ever. And never will.

Akicita

(1,196 posts)
10. This is bad, bad, news.
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 04:49 PM
Feb 2016

I guess you have to announce you are protesting something in order to film the police.

Xipe Totec

(43,888 posts)
11. It's an untenable position to argue that freedom of expression applies only in the moment
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 04:51 PM
Feb 2016

And that it only applies to negative expressions.

Freedom of expression extends to acts in the future, where you publish a video or write an article tomorrow based on what you recorded today.

Also, the person could be recording the police with the intent of exonerating them or supporting them. Are they then prohibited from filming because they have not expressed a negative view of the police? Are you going to arrest them as well?

If you arrest someone today and confiscate their recording devices you are depriving them of the future opportunity of free expression.


Hassin Bin Sober

(26,316 posts)
17. Agree with all that.
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 11:31 PM
Feb 2016

Even if it isn't a "protest", where does the authority to stop recording come from?

 

randome

(34,845 posts)
12. Someone accused me today of never standing up for civil rights.
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 05:03 PM
Feb 2016

This is one I have always been in favor of. It may have made sense in the past when people carried large bundles of equipment about which could become more complication and a potential hindrance to, say, clearing an area in an emergency.

But that's not at all the case today with cameras the size of our hands.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]There is nothing you can't do if you put your mind to it.
Nothing.
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freebrew

(1,917 posts)
14. Those rights not...
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 05:30 PM
Feb 2016

specifically noted in the constitution and bill of rights are reserved for the people.

If there were an amendment that gave the police express right to privacy, it would be there.


IMHO.

demigoddess

(6,640 posts)
16. excellent opinion!! a lot smarter than that judge!!
Thu Feb 25, 2016, 11:25 PM
Feb 2016

I suppose he referred to the fact that cameras were not invented when the Constitution was written. not so much

 

farleftlib

(2,125 posts)
18. IKR
Fri Feb 26, 2016, 02:42 PM
Feb 2016

When public servants doing their job in public cannot be video taped by the citizens they are charged with serving and protecting, something is very wrong.

What right of privacy can even be inferred?

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