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Further progress against criminalizing public recording of police

Dec 06, 2011 Further progress against criminalizing public recording of police

Police arrests and oppression run rampant in the United States over civilians’ recording and filming out-in-the-open actions of police.

Praised be the First Circuit, which this past August confirmed that the First Amendment protects the right to produce audio and film recording of public police activity. Glik v. Cunniffe, ___ F.3d ___ (1st Cir. 2011).

Ruling on more narrow grounds about public audio and video recording of police, this past October, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that it is lawful for a civilian to record a police officer if the officer announces that the encounter is being recorded on law enforcement’s end, and thusly overturned the defendant’s conviction for doing just that. Oregon v. Neff, Dkt. No. A141960 (Oct. 26, 2011).

Unfortunately, criminal prosecution exposure for public photography is not limited to audio recording alone. Arrests of civilians run too rampant for even photographing railroads and other potential terrorist targets.

Freedom of public photography will only be protected if we raise our voices in favor of such freedom.

ADDENDUM: Thanks to the lawyers’ listserv member who posted about Neff.

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