Court Rules Recording Police is Constitutionally Protected
Article from The Boston Globe by Danny McDonald.
A federal judge ruled Monday that secretly recording government officials, including police officers, who are performing their duties in public is protected by the First Amendment with “reasonable” caveats.
Ruling on a pair of challenges to Massachusetts’ wiretap statute, US District Court Judge Patti Saris held that state law “may not constitutionally prohibit the secret audio recording of government officials, including law enforcement officials, performing their duties in public spaces, subject to reasonable time, manner, and place restrictions.”
In one of the cases, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts represented two Boston activists — K. Eric Martin and René Pérez — who were afraid to secretly record police due to a “credible fear of arrest and prosecution under the state’s wiretap statute,” the ACLU said.
The activists have often recorded police openly, but said that secret recordings “would both protect their safety and more accurately document police behavior,” the civil rights group said.