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.
!!EXCELLENT !! Now I’m going to purchase 2 of those spycams they’re advertising on TV..
A police officer secretly recorded in the course of his normal duties is one thing which I have reservations about. Secretly recording a government official such as the president in a private off the record discussion or just making off hand comments should be banned and if done the perp disciplined by an indictment.
Agreed! This could open up a whole new can of worms. A warrant is needed to secretly wiretap, but any private citizen can secretly record, or wiretap law enforcement. Could this eventually lead eliminate the requirements for probable cause and a warrant before law enforcement can wiretap?