Video: A government war on cameras?

posted at 3:31 pm on May 26, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The rapid reduction in price and increase in quality for handheld video cameras has created a pressure point between government at all levels and citizens, especially those in New Media or political activism. As transparency in public places becomes easier to accomplish, police have reacted by attempting to intimidate people into shutting off their cameras. In some cases, they will claim that the law forbids filming of public buildings (not true) or that the audio violates anti-wiretap legislation (possibly true in some cases). Reason TV and Reason Magazine give a hard look at the reaction and the rights of citizens to operate their cameras in public:

Who will watch the watchers? In a world of ubiquitous, hand-held digital cameras, that’s not an abstract philosophical question. Police everywhere are cracking down on citizens using cameras to capture breaking news and law enforcement in action.

In 2009, police arrested blogger and freelance photographer Antonio Musumeci on the steps of a New York federal courthouse. His alleged crime? Unauthorized photography on federal property.

Police cuffed and arrested Musumeci, ultimately issuing him a citation. With the help of the New York Civil Liberties Union, he forced a settlement in which the federal government agreed to issue a memo acknowledging that it is totally legal to film or photograph on federal property.

Although the legal right to film on federal property now seems to be firmly established, many other questions about public photography still remain and place journalists and citizens in harm’s way. Can you record a police encounter? Can you film on city or state property? What are a photographer’s rights in so-called public spaces?

Wiretap laws may be a problem in those states that require all parties to be notified, but that’s also unlikely.  Public officials performing their duties in public have no right to privacy; in fact, they’re supposed to be performing those duties under public scrutiny.  In some cases (such as legitimate undercover work) courts might be inclined to grant some exceptions, but police wear uniforms in public for a reason.  Furthermore, the presumption of privacy is greatly diminished for everyone in public spaces, police or not.

People cannot interfere with police while filming, of course, just as they can’t interfere through any other actions.  But standing out of the way with a camera isn’t interference, no matter how much individual officers might claim it to be.  If you do want to film police officers in action, be sure to read Reason’s primer on how to do so with the least amount of legal risk.


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Semi-related: King County Library Refuses Police Access to Security Camera Recordings Without Warrant

I live just a couple miles from this library too.

Jeddite on May 26, 2011 at 3:34 PM

I hate news people who think the have the right to get in the way and distract the police or emergency people doing their jobs.

The police don’t need their own form of paparazzi always getting in the way.

Bottom line is when news people act responsibly with their reporting, they don’t get in trouble, nor do they cause trouble.

I have no sympathy for news people getting arrested when they get in the way, no matter what their legal excuses are.

Lawrence on May 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Video is a witness, where in the past there wouldn’t have been one. If they don’t want to be filmed, they shouldn’t join Public Service. Period.

If you do your job effectively and by the law, Officers, you have nothing to fear from cameras. In fact, they may be to your benefit.

Win/win.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 3:46 PM

As an EMT/Medic it is frustrating when you are trying to do your job and folks who are obviously looking for wrongdoing or a chance to sue are distracting you with cameras. Imagine if you were called to provide care for a sick child and her dad had an iphone stuck in your face while you were trying to provide that care. Kind of un-nerving. Imagine if I came to your place of work and filmed you all day doing it. Bet your good will would not last very long. Just something to think about, I’m not against the use, but there are two sides to every story.

gator70 on May 26, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Lawrence, I agree if citizens are “getting in the way” that is bad. But many of these people the cops are harassing are NOT “in the way” but standing away and merely filming, not intervening. Further, some of these citizens are the ones the cops are confronting in the first place and are merely filming for protection themselves and their altercation with the cops. While the cops are filming YOU they are trying to prevent YOU from returning the favor. To me, that is arrogance and gives the cops grounds to mistreat you and you won’t be able to either stop them or prove they did it. If it is fair that they can film you, it should be fair that you can film them back. After all… what do they have to hide? (If I can turn the cop’s
argument right back on them!)

Warner Todd Huston on May 26, 2011 at 3:46 PM

I have no sympathy for news people getting arrested when they get in the way, no matter what their legal excuses are.

Lawrence on May 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Nor do most people…but that’s not the point. The government has no problem watching us day and night, but when that cameras are turned the other way all of a sudden the camera holder is a criminal, terrorist, unpatriotic, etc.

The new police state does not like to be watched…

PatriotRider on May 26, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I live just a couple miles from this library too.

Jeddite on May 26, 2011 at 3:34 PM

I am truly sorry.
Seattle used to be a wonderful place to live.
No longer IMHO.
Unless you’re living near the Bellevue one. In which case-Bellevue used to be a wonderful place to live.
No longer, either, IMHO.
I fled W WA bcs the powers that be were making it increasingly difficult to live there unless you were rich.
I was in court & saw a guy try & argue against a ticket that was given to him bcs the quarter panel of his car was a different color.
This was in Issaquah.
He LOST.
I was always getting pulled over by the cops bcs of the older cars I drive.
Particularly when I was driving my 1959 1/2 ton Ford pickup.
It was in great condition. Not an eyesore.
But they were always pulling me over, just looking for some way to give me a ticket.
That place is like living in Nazi-land.
Never again.

Badger40 on May 26, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I have a great amount of wonderment at the Europeans and some Americans who view the Google camera as an invasion of “public privacy” — as if such a thing even exists.

If law enforcement can position cameras along roads and streets, then I cannot see any reason why a private party cannot do the same.

unclesmrgol on May 26, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I have no sympathy for news people getting arrested when they get in the way, no matter what their legal excuses are.

Lawrence on May 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM

They’re not talking about “getting in the way”. If you watched the video, the guy that got arrested was standing to the side, quietly.

No one is advocating interfering with the Police. Watch again.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Sunlight is the best disinfectant
L Brandeis

The public should scrutinize those we employ, wherever legal.

rightside on May 26, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Nobody likes to be held accountable for their actions. And cops know if someone is filming them, they have to watch what they do or else they can be held accountable. So they try to use the color of authority to intimidate citizens into turning away.

keep the change on May 26, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Sunlight is the best disinfectant
L Brandeis

The public should scrutinize those we employ, wherever legal.

rightside on May 26, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Precisely.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Well,the camera does have its uses,especially when Goons in Syria are trying to capture footage,of other Goons gunning
everyone down!

And,if your jumping out of your car during a traffic stop,
and the particular individual wants to record everything,
to me,is a stupid move,jus sayin!

canopfor on May 26, 2011 at 3:51 PM

What these officers need to remember is these yahoos are just trying to get the next Rodney King tape. It has nothing to do with making sure you are honest or to protect themselves. When you get annoyed and confront them you are just playing into their hands.

SnakeintheGrass on May 26, 2011 at 3:52 PM

So cops can have cameras in their cruisers, in order to film various activities, which will be used against the person(s) being filmed, but We The People aren’t allowed the same courtesy?

Uh, yeah. Pound sand, Big Brother.

Dominion on May 26, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Remember this!
==================

VIDEO: Christian Arrest at Dearborn Muslim Festival
***************************************************

Back in June, four Christians were arrested and their cameras confiscated at an Arab festival for passing out leaflets. Yes, the lefties, the Muslims, the commies, can go berserk at their hate protests, but decent Americans, OTOH, are living in a police-enforced sharia state. The Christians are being represented by the same brilliant legal team that brought my free speech lawsuit against Detroit, The Thomas More Law Center.

David Wood and Acts 17 finally got their video cameras back yesterday, and the police didn’t even erase the footage. They have them lying about a dozen or so times. They will be posting the footage over the next few days. Here’s a video of Negeen’s arrest (apparently for telling police officers not to touch her).

Negeen’s Arrest at Dearborn Arab Festival

Here’s the video footage from Negeen’s camera while she was being assaulted by Dearborn Police. In any other city, in any other state, police officers would recognize her Constitutional rights. But this is Dearborn. They can accuse a Christian of anything, and violate her rights in any way they see fit.

If this doesn’t make your blood boil, nothing will.

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/07/video-christian-arrest-at-dearborn-muslim-festival-.htm

canopfor on May 26, 2011 at 3:54 PM

I remember the incident with the young man on the motor cycle. The cop jumps out of his car after cutting the cycle off and points a gun at him yelling. He had ordered the camera turned off several times before mentioning that he was a cop. Had the young man been armed, legally, he could have killed the cop on the spot in most States. I never heard how that turned out, anyone know?

old war horse on May 26, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Imagine if I came to your place of work and filmed you all day doing it. Bet your good will would not last very long.

gator70 on May 26, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Actually it would be funny to see you try. You would be trespassing on private property, so when you feel froggy, just jump. I’m not a public employee.

SirGawain on May 26, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Lawrence on May 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM

The video clearly stated you cannot interfere with a police officer with a camera or in other ways. It also clearly showed officers bullying photogs for no good reason. They really don’t like to be filmed when they’re on duty. Look how many times cops have been caught breaking the law by private video cameras. I have no sympathy for cops who think they can just bully someone because they don’t happen to like what someone is legally doing.

cartooner on May 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM

I hate a lot of the rinky-dink infringements on my liberties, especially associated with travel and automobiles. Usually, law and order types respond – “what’s the big deal if you have nothing to hide”. It cuts both ways, if they have nothing to hide it should not be a big deal. But more importantly, its a gross violation of the law. You dont have to go to law school to know that there is next to no right of privacy in public spaces. And these people are acting in a public capacity, so there should be even less. And of course all the First Amendment implications.

I’m a strong law and order type, once there is a conviction and there are victims. But I think too many conservatives cede the high ground on liberty and many Constitutional issues. Due Process and Fourth Amendment should not be the domain of libertarians. Constitutional conservatives should own it too.

swamp_yankee on May 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Neat little gadget.

$180 for the cheap model.

Left Coast Right Mind on May 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM

So, according to these police officers, if I record video of someone mugging a woman on the sidewalk, rather than getting a medal for helping arrest and convict the mugger, I can be charged with the crime of violating his privacy?

That makes about as much sense as charging me with creating an unsafe work environment for burglars by being armed in my own home. (Which means there’s at least one liberal judge out there that would rule exactly that.)

Socratease on May 26, 2011 at 4:00 PM

“Public officials performing their duties in public have no right to privacy; in fact, they’re supposed to be performing those duties under public scrutiny…”

Except when performed in public…

… where their duties may be performed under scrutiny.

/

Seven Percent Solution on May 26, 2011 at 4:00 PM

What these officers need to remember is these yahoos are just trying to get the next Rodney King tape. It has nothing to do with making sure you are honest or to protect themselves. When you get annoyed and confront them you are just playing into their hands.

SnakeintheGrass on May 26, 2011 at 3:52 PM

You obviously didn’t watch the video either. Spend the time and educate yourself. The guy in the video was NOT confronting the police. He was standing quietly by filming the protester and the Police’s treatment of him. THEY confronted him, and lied about the legality of filming.

And to your point about “yahoos trying to get the next Rodney King tape”… You mean to tell me that it’s a bad thing to film, in case there is a beating that you’ll maybe ultimately profit from? A beating is a beating. The fact that it gets filmed is a good thing… Your example is a truly bad one. And totally off the point. And to counter the Rodney King example, had there been MORE people filming it, there would have been more information as to HOW and WHY it happened.

More evidence is good. Video is a witness.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Hey, if a cop or other public employee does his job correctly, what does he have to hide? Isn’t that what they tell us civilians? What purpose is served by banning citizen recording in public places? Other than to keep evidence of police wrong-doing from public view, that is?

holygoat on May 26, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Not too long ago, a lone policeman tried to give a young lady a ticket for jaywalking. She and her two friends gave the copy nothing but grief and resisted his demands – it seemed forever before backup came. The whole thing was video recorded by spectators. When it was all over, she was going to sue for a variety of reasons….

…until the video aired on the news. Any resonable person in the same situation of the policeman would have knocked the stupid lady senseless and then arrested her. The outcome? she publically apologized to the policeman and paid the fine.

kurtzz3 on May 26, 2011 at 4:04 PM

I visited Poland back when it was behind the iron curtain. One of the stories I tell was the time one of the members of our tourist group was taking a picture of two Polish policemen down an alley. Suddenly a police car drives up and hauls this guy off while we are all standing there dumbfounded.

A few bribes from our tour guide later and he was let go.

The reason I used to tell that story was because it so profoundly outlined the differences between being on the other side of the iron curtain. Now, not so much.

WitchDoctor on May 26, 2011 at 4:04 PM

So why can’t I get the tapes from my HOA which show an employee of the property manager assaulting me?

Priorities, people.

mankai on May 26, 2011 at 4:04 PM

I really wish I’d have had a camera the night a cop tailgated me, literally inches from my bumper, at 2am in the morning. He was probably having a ball, and there was nothing I could do.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I wonder how all those who reflexively defend the police on these matters feel if the public unionized cops stopped photos and videos at anti-union rallies.

How many assualts, how much vandalization would have never been reported? The msm wont cover it. The cops have a vested interest in promoting public unions.

Cant compromise free speech issues, ever.

swamp_yankee on May 26, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Remember this Jack*ss!
=========================

And yes,there are some idiots out there with cameras,
heres the infamous,*lets film Sarah ordeal!
———————————————

Video: Hey, let’s follow Palin around the airport with a camera for some reason
***********************
posted at 8:05 pm on August 24, 2010 by Allahpundit
*****************************************************

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/08/24/video-hey-lets-follow-palin-around-the-airport-with-a-camera-for-some-reason/

*(canopfor regrets using this example,and is not responsible
for any Palinistas,that may attempt a thread-hi-jacking)
(Sarc).

canopfor on May 26, 2011 at 4:07 PM

If law enforcement can position cameras along roads and streets, then I cannot see any reason why a private party cannot do the same.

unclesmrgol on May 26, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Not to mention shopping malls, gas stations, dashboard cams in officers cars and recordings that state for quality assurances only.

fourdeucer on May 26, 2011 at 4:08 PM

What these officers need to remember is these yahoos are just trying to get the next Rodney King tape. It has nothing to do with making sure you are honest or to protect themselves. When you get annoyed and confront them you are just playing into their hands.

SnakeintheGrass on May 26, 2011 at 3:52 PM

I disagree. It IS to make cops honest and protect oneself most of the time. But let’s say there IS another “Rodney King” incident, that justifies citizen photography unless you think the cops are always right.

cartooner on May 26, 2011 at 4:09 PM

canopfor on May 26, 2011 at 4:07 PM

No offense, my lovely canuck friend, but that is a different subject altogether. We’re not talking about filming private citizens or even filming public ones up in the their face on private property.

We’re talking about filming public servants from a distance on public property.

Apples / Oranges.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:10 PM

“from a distance” should have read “out of the way”.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:11 PM

canopfor on May 26, 2011 at 4:07 PM

We’re talking about filming public servants from a distance on public property.

Apples / Oranges.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:10 PM

tickleddragaon:Oops,in that case,I’ll need another cup of
tea,well,in that case,I see no problem what
so ever,thanks for the clarification TD:)

canopfor on May 26, 2011 at 4:13 PM

You obviously didn’t watch the video either. Spend the time and educate yourself. The guy in the video was NOT confronting the police. He was standing quietly by filming the protester and the Police’s treatment of him. THEY confronted him, and lied about the legality of filming.

And to your point about “yahoos trying to get the next Rodney King tape”… You mean to tell me that it’s a bad thing to film, in case there is a beating that you’ll maybe ultimately profit from? A beating is a beating. The fact that it gets filmed is a good thing… Your example is a truly bad one. And totally off the point. And to counter the Rodney King example, had there been MORE people filming it, there would have been more information as to HOW and WHY it happened.

More evidence is good. Video is a witness.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Educate myself? I am inclined to think you are trying to be ironic but it is far more likely you just have really poor reading comprehension.

Yes, the guy was not confronting the police. I never implied he was. I was saying the police shouldnt confront these people because all they are doing is giving them something to post on youtube.

I also never said it was a bad thing that Rodney King was video taped being beaten. I said these people are looking for the next Rodney King tape and nothing more so ignore them and don’t give them anything.

Next time you want to tell someone to educate themselves make sure you know what you are talking about first.

SnakeintheGrass on May 26, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Van Jones could not be reached for comment.

mizflame98 on May 26, 2011 at 4:14 PM

“from a distance” should have read “out of the way”.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:11 PM

tickleddragon:Close enough—–:)

canopfor on May 26, 2011 at 4:14 PM

canopfor on May 26, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Always glad to help, Sport! Enjoy the tea!!

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:15 PM

I’m a strong law and order type, once there is a conviction and there are victims. But I think too many conservatives cede the high ground on liberty and many Constitutional issues. Due Process and Fourth Amendment should not be the domain of libertarians. Constitutional conservatives should own it too.

swamp_yankee on May 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM

As a libertarian, I agree. we libertarians would love to see more conservatives embrace liberty and the Constitution and less blind allegiance to law enforcement.

cartooner on May 26, 2011 at 4:16 PM

I have no sympathy for news people getting arrested when they get in the way, no matter what their legal excuses are.

Lawrence on May 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM

When the officer, as seen in some of these videos, goes way out of his way to harrass the person with the camera, it’s pretty obvious that the officer was not being interfered with.

And BTW, Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties are not “excuses.”

infidel4life on May 26, 2011 at 4:19 PM

When you get annoyed and confront them you are just playing into their hands.

SnakeintheGrass on May 26, 2011 at 3:52 PM

My apologies if I misunderstood WHO you were talking about, but this certainly looks like a “you” to me. It read like a hypothetical “you”.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:22 PM

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Ah, I can see how I might have been misunderstood but I thought it was clear in the full context of my paragraph that everything I said was directed at the police.

It is really annoying trying to argue with someone when you are on the same side of an issue and you dont even disagree on the details of the argument lol.

SnakeintheGrass on May 26, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Its striking to me how many people will readily give up their civil rights to someone with a badge.
It is also very concerning that so many people with those badges expect people to knuckle under and abandon their civil rights.

“They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security”

Benjamin Franklin

Sammy316 on May 26, 2011 at 4:29 PM

What’s the saying whenever the government wants to ramp up it’s surveillance of the citizenry?

If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.

What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

I get paid by the cliché (Not really)

Chip on May 26, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Sunlight is the best disinfectant
L Brandeis

Just don’t use that shit on your counter tops. My ass still hurts from the salmonella.

Shtetl G on May 26, 2011 at 4:30 PM

It is really annoying trying to argue with someone when you are on the same side of an issue and you dont even disagree on the details of the argument lol.

SnakeintheGrass on May 26, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Completely agreed. :) We are in synch, Snake. No worries.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Bet your good will would not last very long. Just something to think about, I’m not against the use, but there are two sides to every story.

gator70 on May 26, 2011 at 3:46 PM

If someone is filming/taping in such a way as to hinder or block the way of public employees attempting to perform official duties, especially fire, police, or EMT’s, I could see where you might be in trouble. But I don’t get that impression. I think it’s Public Employees who have begun to believe that they ARE THE LAW, not law enforcement.

If you want an eye-opener – and have not yet read read Nat Hentoff’s piece from yesterdays Jewish World Review – check it out at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/hentoff052511.php3

In it, Hentoff recounts the Indiana decision which abrogates the Fourth Amendment. Indiana, I was aware of. But, from his article regarding a USSC ruling:

“The police do not need a warrant to enter a home if they smell burning marijuana, knock loudly, announce themselves and hear what they think is the sound of evidence being destroyed” — in Kentucky v. King. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority of the court, delivered the decision.
This was an 8-to-1 decision!

I suspect THAT’S what has cops nervous, being caught breaking the law themselves. You know, the Law they’ve sworn to uphold? Sort of like The Won and his Minions, and the Attorney General?

oldleprechaun on May 26, 2011 at 4:35 PM

What’s the saying whenever the government wants to ramp up it’s surveillance of the citizenry?

If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.

What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

Chip on May 26, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Except WE pay their salaries. Not the other way around.
They are our employees. We are not their children. Should be as simple as that.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Btw, Chip… I’m not attacking your logic, here. One could look at it as “what’s good for one is good for the other”, but we are not equal with law enforcement. As someone else said, they are law enforcement, not the LAW. And they work for us. They should expect and even welcome scrutiny.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:41 PM

I love how it’s perfectly ok for cities and police to film and videotape our every movement but they tend to get very upset when you film them.

bds1976 on May 26, 2011 at 4:47 PM

So if you can’t film an LEO in states with anti-wiretapping laws that mandate both parties’ consent, then how does the media film anything?

jnelchef on May 26, 2011 at 4:48 PM

What’s the saying whenever the government wants to ramp up it’s surveillance of the citizenry?

If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.

What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

Chip on May 26, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Except WE pay their salaries. Not the other way around.
They are our employees. We are not their children. Should be as simple as that.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:36 PM

In other words, they are the Public servants and we are the Public.

I wonder what they would say to the fact that a number of police departments have video camera in their vehicles to record their interactions with the public they serve.

Why is that Okay, and the Public doing the same thing not?

Chip on May 26, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Large selection of inexpensive, unobtrusive video cameras. I’ve begun wearing one just about every time I leave the gulch for ‘snivelization’.

LegendHasIt on May 26, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Ja! Vat vee need is less accountablility for der police! Vat could go wrong, ja?

Insomniac on May 26, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Btw, Chip… I’m not attacking your logic, here. One could look at it as “what’s good for one is good for the other”, but we are not equal with law enforcement. As someone else said, they are law enforcement, not the LAW. And they work for us. They should expect and even welcome scrutiny.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Oh, I’m not taking it as an attack :-)

My line of thought is that if they are going use that rather twisted logic on us, then turn about is fair play.

(Sorry for the plethora of cliches, but they express those thoughts the best)

Chip on May 26, 2011 at 4:56 PM

As an EMT/Medic it is frustrating when you are trying to do your job and folks who are obviously looking for wrongdoing or a chance to sue are distracting you with cameras. Imagine if you were called to provide care for a sick child and her dad had an iphone stuck in your face while you were trying to provide that care. Kind of un-nerving. Imagine if I came to your place of work and filmed you all day doing it. Bet your good will would not last very long. Just something to think about, I’m not against the use, but there are two sides to every story.

gator70 on May 26, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Couple that with legal reform (loser’s pay, losing attorney pays too if on contingency), and it would probably make for much better workers.

elfman on May 26, 2011 at 4:56 PM

The definition of ‘Good Character’ is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. There are too many people, including some LEO’s and other government employees, who work and live their lives thinking that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and that the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught. When that frame of mind is pervasive among LEO’s in whatever branch of the government it can potentially become devastating to everyone.

I’ve been a LEO for 23 years and I have zero problem with cameras filming my work. In fact, I welcome them. Film me and record me all you want, citizens, but please be careful and please do not interfere even in the slightest. We are trained in worst-case scenarios and we live worst-case scenarios every day. If you can imagine it, we that have been on the job for a number of years have probably seen it and likely experienced it. I don’t know you, I don’t know what your intentions are, and I don’t know what you are capable of doing to me or others in my presence. Otherwise, it bolsters my cases and nips those lecherous false complaints in the bud in short order. And when an honest mistake is made it can be seen and heard for the honest mistake it was. I would truly love to have a high-def camera recording device with high sensitivity sound recording that I could wear as I perform my duties, and that isn’t bulky and doesn’t look like a cybernetic organism attachment. The ones they have right now are very uncomfortable and unwieldy, especially during a 12-hour shift.

FlatFoot on May 26, 2011 at 5:00 PM

FlatFoot on May 26, 2011 at 5:00 PM

+1000
Very well said and thank you for your service.

Chip on May 26, 2011 at 5:06 PM

I’m not defending police restricting the first amendment right to film things, but why are conservatives and libertarians so concerned about filming cops? Of course the cops are going to react as if you are an agitator there to interfere, or film the federal building in preparation for a terrorist attack, or just to be a further distraction at a car crash which endangers the police just to satisfy a macabre voyeuristic compulsion to film the gore of a traffic accident. Leave the cops alone, let them do their jobs and don’t be stupid and they likely will not bother with you.

JimP on May 26, 2011 at 5:11 PM

If goverment survelliance of the public without just cause is invitation to tyranny, then public survelliance of the government done in a way that does not interfer with the legitimate actions of the government is an invitation to greater democracy and freedom.

PackerBronco on May 26, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Chip on May 26, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Your turns of phrase are apt and appropriate. Cliches or no.

:)

FlatFoot on May 26, 2011 at 5:00 PM

You are so appreciated! Just want you to know that. :)

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 5:12 PM

JimP on May 26, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Sorry, but you’re way off base. Conservatives and Libertarians are precisely the ones to want to make sure that there is a witness to law enforcement over-reaching. We’re about securing our liberties. And that means against those enforcement officers that would abuse the law and us.

Once again, no one here – nor anyone in the video – is advocating filming for filming’s sake. Nor filming to interfere with law enforcement duty.

tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 5:22 PM

JimP on May 26, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Why are conservatives concerned about teh First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, due process rights and good governance? Is that your question?

Like other people have mentioned, just flip the argument around. Why are cops so concerned by people just filming in public? Just let them be and there would be no issue.

swamp_yankee on May 26, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Neat little gadget.

$180 for the cheap model.

Left Coast Right Mind on May 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM

NICE!! I gotta get one of these for all the stupid outdoor stuff I do (although not quite as much as the vid ad on the site).

VikingGoneWild on May 26, 2011 at 5:32 PM

“They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security”

Benjamin Franklin

Sammy316

Gold star to you for the correct quote, Sammy! I can’t describe how many times I’ve seen that quote mangled on teh interwebz. I once confronted a stock blogger with a math background who was unable to understand why the qualifiers of ‘essential’ and ‘temporary’ cannot be omitted without destroying the meaning of the quote.

chimney sweep on May 26, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Are not police cruisers equipped with dashboard cameras? So they are allowed to film you and your car anytime they want but we cannot film them? What about traffic cams? Security cameras?
Another thing, that one cop using profanity against the camera guy in the video…. would he arrest someone for using profanity against him? If camera guy had returned profanity for profanity would that have justified an arrest?

We are so dangerously close to losing all of our rights. How we sit and have to wait for the Supreme Court to “figure it all out” for us. I just love that. Some cop can curse you, film you but you better not do that to them!
Double standard. We are the cattle, they are the cattle rod.

JellyToast on May 26, 2011 at 5:56 PM

What comes to mind is the phrase, “Well, if you have nothing to hide…” when a deputy wanted to search my vehicle and I refused.

So, if they have nothing to hide…?

Actually, honest police officers would view being filmed as added protection against false accusations.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 26, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Neat little gadget.

$180 for the cheap model.

Left Coast Right Mind on May 26, 2011 at 3:59 PM

I have a buddy that works at GOPro, those things are sweet! 1080p and good sound. ;)

liquidflorian on May 26, 2011 at 6:17 PM

The one irrefutably BS encounter with LEOs in that video is the short vignette with the cop in tan clear on the other end of a block who notices the videographer filming and walks at LEAST 20-30 yards to confront him. Just TRY to tell me that guy was interfering with the police.

PJ Emeritus on May 26, 2011 at 6:19 PM

“Conservatives and Libertarians are precisely the ones to want to make sure that there is a witness to law enforcement over-reaching.”.
tickleddragon on May 26, 2011 at 5:22 PM

No, I’m not way off base and you misunderstood the point. Everyone wants to make sure the cops don’t over-reach. That goes without saying. The people who filmed this video are paranoid about rights being violated, IMO. They in effect inserted themselves in situations for no particular reason other than to try and catch police over-reaching which prompted the reaction from the police. A self fulfilling prophecy so to speak. Of course the police have no authority to do the things they did in parts of the video, but if the photographers weren’t there in the first place the police never would have interacted with the photographers. The videographers appear to be acting on the assumption that the majority of the time when police take action, they are going to violate someone’s civil rights. That’s not the case. Non paranoid people don’t spend time obsessing about police violations, nor do they go out of their way in attempting to catch the police doing something wrong. Cops do things wrong and do wrong things at times. They are human. The people who made this video appear to be paranoid, rights crusading, rigthwing pseudo journalists roaming the streets in hopes of catching the cops screwing up so they can yell ‘Brownshirts’ and get publicity and make money while doing.

Again, I don’t approve or condone the police doing things that violate people’s rights etc.

JimP on May 26, 2011 at 6:26 PM

. Imagine if I came to your place of work and filmed you all day doing it. Bet your good will would not last very long.
gator70 on May 26, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Come on by anytime and film away….please bring coffee and doughnuts. That’ll put me a great mood.

(btw…are you good at filing – my assistant’s off this week).

There’s pretty much just one side to my story

Tim_CA on May 26, 2011 at 6:27 PM

I have no sympathy for news people getting arrested when they get in the way, no matter what their legal excuses are.

Lawrence on May 26, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Wow…there’s a place you’d really like to live in then. I suggest China or parts of Russia. Just tell them you’re not a believer of the 1st Amendment and you can step right in. Of course when you get there…you won’t be able to do what your doing now!

Twana on May 26, 2011 at 6:48 PM

JimP on May 26, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Wow. The cops have no authority but if I hadn’t offended them with my camera to protect myself I wouldn’t have had any problems. BS. Of the four encounters I’ve had with police officers in my 24 years of driving only one was a positive experience. That one cop should be the instructor on personal interaction with the public. The other three were complete A-holes. I’m a yes sir/no sir when dealing with LEO’s. I roll my windows down (tinted for AZ sunshine), turn the interior light on (night twice) and place my hands on the top of the steering wheel. I ask/tell the officer before making any movement for license/regristration.

At what point of being mistreated do I become paranoid? What’s to keep the next cop having a bad hair day from beating the crap out of me?? My word vs the cop. I lose every day of the week and twice on Sunday. A video record of the incident would be my only protection. That is why I have a small digital camera in my car now. It also will be helpful if I’m ever in an accident (knock on wood).

VikingGoneWild on May 26, 2011 at 7:48 PM

A video camera can be illegal only if your own memory is, like you the camera is an eye witness.

Speakup on May 26, 2011 at 8:04 PM

VikingGoneWild on May 26, 2011 at 7:48 PM

LOL Nice spin, Viking. You are ready for the rubber room. I just saw the black helicopters fly over and they were headed in your direction. Better take it on the lamb, as they used to say. While you are out there protecting everybodies rights from the over-reaching brownshirts how about breaking into the secret file room with the evidence that 9/11 was an inside job. The file according to rumor control is in the detention camp the feds have out in South Dakota or wherever it is. Remember: “Back, and to the left, back and to the left.”

JimP on May 26, 2011 at 8:47 PM

How can your employees (public servants) determine that you cannot record their work for a performance evauation?

EPIC B.S.

The 1st Amendment guarantees the right for everyone to be a member of the free press and to record our tax-paid workers’ actions.

profitsbeard on May 26, 2011 at 8:59 PM

A great blog on this very topic:
carlosmiller.com
It tends to lean left but many of the incidents discussed will boil the blood of any libertarian/conservative.

Bludgeon on May 26, 2011 at 9:55 PM

For those of us who are The Simpsons fans, I will steal a line from Comic Book Guy to say “Best Thread EVER!”

I have another good example of Federal enforcement bureaucracy run amok. The Natl Marine Fisheries Service, particularly the SouthEast Region run by “Dr” Roy Crabtree, is in bed with the Enviro Industry radical group EDF Environmental Defense Fund.

Whenever the NMFS Gulf Council or South Atlantic Council is having any sort of public hearing on developing & imposing harsh, new, unneeded fisheries regulations agains the recreational & commercial fishing industries, the NMFS drones routinely ban any and all recording devices yet members of EDF are freely recording the procedures as well as actually running the hearings!

No laptops are allowed to be brought in, cell phone use is banned, cameras and camcorders are banned. Why? Because the EDF does not want its illegal actions to be exposed to the public. And the government drones allow this fascism to continue! DESPICABLE.

Mark
CatchAll
Pres., 100 Fathom Fishing Club

CatchAll on May 26, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Officers need to STOP this disturbing trend of demanding people not take a photo or video. It’s a public place. There are video cameras in your patrol vehicles. Calm down. Do your job, do it CORRECTLY, and the video obtained will simply help your case. There needs to be a supreme court case, it seems on why using a video camera in public is NOT WIRETAPPING in any state. This is complete nonsense.

Nobody is advocating letting someone stand in the middle of a crime scene with a video camera, or interfering with an investigation. However, standing across the street with a video camera recording you make a LEGAL arrest should be of ZERO concern to any officer who is doing what they are legally authorized to do.

tx2654 on May 27, 2011 at 3:57 AM