Here’s what often happens when you try to videotape police.

March 12, 2009 | By | 10 Replies More

Here’s what often happens when you videotape police. The priest who tried to videotape this incident eventually got his camera back, which is more than you can say for many other folks who have tried to photograph law enforcement officers in public places.

Here’s a related post dealing with threats of arrest for taking photos in public places.   And be careful when you consider blogging about your First Amendment rights, especially when arrogant  judges get wind of it.

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Category: Censorship, Civil Rights, Corruption, law and order

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (10)

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Over the weekend, I watch the dvd of the 1980s bbc version of "The HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy" (borrowed from my local public library) and in the special features, one of the cast members told of how they had originally planned to film the "Magrathea" parts at a location in Morrocco, but were so restricted by the local police that they ended up returning to England and filming the scenes in an old clay pit.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's another example of what can happen when one records boorish activity by law enforcement officers. This cop apparently though that the way to arrest a guy accused of speeding is to pull a handgun on him, even though the cop was not in uniform and he failed to identify himself with a badge. (check the video at the bottom of this page). Then, after the victim of this punkish behavior posted his helmet cam video on YouTube, the outraged police department arrest him for violation of Maryland's two-party consent recording law.

    http://thepursuitofliberty.wordpress.com/2010/04/

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    A cross-posted comment regarding arrogant cops harassing an innocent photographer. http://dangerousintersection.org/2007/11/09/and-n

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Newly proposed law would make it illegal to photograph a farm, in order to "protect the property rights of farmers and the ‘intellectual property’ involving farm operations.” http://salem-news.com/articles/march082011/farm-p

  5. Dan Klarmann says:

    Historically speaking, privacy is dead. Ubiquitous communication (cheap recording devices and effortless publishing) has killed it. During its death throes, there will be many pieces of Humpty Dumpty legislation trying to glue traditional privacy back together. With luck, most of these laws will fade away. They do more to limit individual rights of communication and expression than they do to protect (the illusion of) privacy.

  6. Erich Vieth says:

    "Last year, [Khaliah Fitchette], who was 16 at the time, was riding a city bus in Newark, N.J., when two police officers got on to deal with a man who seemed to be drunk. Fitchette decided this would be a good moment to take out her phone and start recording.

    "One of the officers told me to turn off my phone, because I was recording them," she said. "I said no. And then she grabbed me and pulled me off the bus to the cop car, which was behind the bus."

    The police erased the video from Fitchette's phone. She was handcuffed and spent the next two hours in the back of a squad car before she was released. No charges were filed."

    http://www.npr.org/2011/05/13/136171366/this-is-t

  7. Erich Vieth says:

    “Police Chief Jim McDonnell has confirmed that detaining photographers for taking pictures “with no apparent esthetic value” is within Long Beach Police Department policy.”

    http://www.lbpost.com/life/greggory/12188

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Dan: That Illinois law is outrageous. It would seem that we are about to see some mass arrests for violating that irrational law. I would enjoy being part of a legal effort to contest the validity of that law.

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