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Court Case To Test Legality of Recording the Police With Your Cell Phone

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the truth-shall-get-you-tazed dept.

Censorship 384

suraj.sun sends this excerpt from Ars Technica: "If you pull out your cell phone to make a video of police officers arresting a suspect, are you 'secretly recording' them? 'No' seems like the obvious answer, but that's precisely the claim that three police officers made to justify their arrest of a Boston man. In arguments before the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on Wednesday, the city also denied the man's claim that his First or Fourth Amendment rights had been violated. The case will be an important test of whether the Constitution protects individuals' right to record the police while they are on duty. Many states have 'one-party notification' wiretapping laws that allow any party to a conversation to secretly record it. But under the strict 'two-party notification' laws in Massachusetts, it's a crime to 'secretly record' audio communications unless 'all parties to such communication' have given their consent. The police arrested Glik for breaking this law. For good measure, they also charged Glik—who did no more than stand a few feet away with his cell phone—with 'aiding the escape of a prisoner' and 'disturbing the peace.'"

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384 comments

Checks and balances (4, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404252)

It's a good thing the US was founded with the notion of check and balances so as to prevent abuse of power...

Re:Checks and balances (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404316)

Didn't someone already appeal that law? Seems like it, with all the BS going on like this today. I sure hope a judge throws this crap out and displays some anger about this kind of crap, but sadly the cops are probably friends with the prosecutor and he is golf buddies with the judge, and as such checks and balances ends up just being more lip service to keep us minions quiet and paying our taxes.

Re:Checks and balances (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404432)

How can anybody even think it might be illegal...? I don't get it.

Re:Checks and balances (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404464)

These are secret police

Re:Checks and balances (4, Insightful)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404596)

The police are public employees, they are salaried with taxes you pay them. Therefore, you are their bosses and they are working on *YOUR* time. You have the right to record and monitor what they do at work.

They're your goddam employees and you have the right to make sure they don't engage in shenanigans on YOUR time.

Moreover, one of the judges in one of the states (forgot which) already ruled that it is legal to record police who are on active duty because during then, they're "in public space", and not subject to the same privacy laws with wiretaps, etc. This was covered in a previous slashdot story.

Re:Checks and balances (2)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404578)

You are doing something the policeman on the scene doesn't like. They will try to find a way to make it illegal.

Re:Checks and balances (1)

LinksAwakener (1081617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404724)

Technically, you do in fact need consent from both parties being recorded (in this case, Glik and the officer both need to agree) in order to record anything. However, I'm pretty sure you're allowed to record any law-enforcing arm of the government under the idea of protecting one's self from said government (the Constitution and Bill of Rights both suggest this in different ways, i.e. right to bare arms, freedom of press/speech, etc.). But I suppose this is the entire debate, isn't it?

Re:Checks and balances (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404554)

Some have. But it's not a national law: It's state-by-state. Some states have even passed legislation explicitly allowing recording of the police. (I think in other cases the state courts have smacked down the police, and no one's pressed it further.)

Massachusetts hasn't. So it's being an issue there, and because of the way the case was brought up it can be attacked on Constitutional grounds.

At least you still get a trial hear with a jury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404428)

At least you still get a trial hear with a jury

Re:At least you still get a trial hear with a jury (4, Informative)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404606)

Yet the jury is given such specific instructions that if they don't know their rights as a juror [fija.org] before serving on the jury, then the judge has nearly complete control over what happens.

Re:Checks and balances (3, Insightful)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404588)

You mean personal checks (or cashier checks from big banks) and well balanced accounts?

Re:Checks and balances (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404638)

I dunno if I should mod you funny or insightful and I'm disturbed the the implications of that.

Re:Checks and balances (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404716)

It's a good thing the US was founded with the notion of check and balances so as to prevent abuse of power...

I'm not sure if that's sarcasm, so I'll just say constitution, state constitution, elected officials, charges dropped or dismissed, citizen filing suit against police, and federal court not dismissing suit. I'm good with the story so far because I don't expect rank and file police to be constitutional lawers. My hope is this action removes the fog and recording police is legal everywhere and that the police understand it, too. And if it's civil disobedience to record an abuse by the police, then so be it and we should still do it.

BS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404266)

If they charge this man then the justice system should just QQ.. Who is to watch the watchers???? GG police GG.

In Orwellian America... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404268)

telescreen records YOU.

Police have no expectation of privacy (5, Interesting)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404270)

when performing official duties for the good of the public.

If their supervisor showed up, they'd have to fully disclose everything which they were doing, ditto internal affairs, the police chief / superintendent, or a government functionary whose bailiwick involved the performance of their current duties.

If they have something to hide, which they don't want revealed in court, they need to find some other line of work.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404376)

What I don't understand is why they wouldn't want as much independent coverage of the incident / whatever as possible. Wouldn't it make it much easier to prove in court as well as save paperwork documenting the scene? Eye witnesses are a very weak link to almost any case having a video or possibly multiple videos of the same event would just give them harder evidence to their case.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404412)

Yep. It'd also make their filling in their duty logs / the police blotter much easier.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404414)

The problem is that the guy recording them got them on video punching a suspect. Of course they were going to do whatever they can to squelch that.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404622)

The problem is that the video may or may not show full context of the situation - and I'm not talking about someone having edited the recording. Something that may appear excessive may only seem so without seeing the buildup to that situation.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404670)

So?

That's what courts are for, to sort things out and determine all details and circumstances.

An impartial, accurate observer which can't commit perjury should be welcome.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404446)

Because the police and the public are having difficulties adjusting to each other and will soon be filing for a divorce. Just as much as the public has grown to distrust the police, the police as well have grown to distrust the public. Everyone is a potential enemy.

And let's face the hard truth here: no one is filming the police in an attempt to help out the police when they appear in court. Every single one of them is filming the police in an attempt to catch them doing something wrong. The police know this too, and so they view anyone who is filming them as a harsh critic at best and an adversary at worst.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (3, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404496)

Boohoo. Public officials have no expectation of privacy in a public place. The 1st Circuit already ruled on this years ago.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404476)

The 'argument' against this type of recording is you don't want the officer thinking twice or three times how something will 'look' before reacting. Ideally you don't want cops reacting 'badly' in the first place, but cops are, as much as they are demonized, human after all and nobody is perfect.

It's a valid argument only when it is a valid argument and not valid in the bulk of situations. Which by logic dictates it should be valid none of the time.

It's a lot like the imminent bomb explosion threat used to justify torture.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404654)

There's also the argument that gets brought forward that the bystander usually doesn't record the entire encounter. Sometimes what happened (or was visible) a second before means what the policeman is doing is justified to keep the peace. And a phone video clip often leads to a 'trail by media' where the police don't get to present their side of the story.

I'm not a fan of the argument, but it's at least somewhat sane. Like the above, it's only valid a subset of the time, and there are other ways to handle that subset.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404616)

Context, it is very easy to lie with photographs. Remember that picture where General Nguyn Ngc Loan executed some guy in Vietnam with his handgun? Did you know that the photographer apologized for taking that picture?

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404640)

What I don't understand is why they wouldn't want as much independent coverage of the incident / whatever as possible.

So there's nothing to dispute their version of events, and to make sure that when they do break the law, they can't get prosecuted for it.

They'll say they don't want snippets taken out of context, or that it's unfair to them or whatever ... but mostly this is about covering their own asses, and using their powers to intimidate the population from monitoring them.

Not all cops are jackbooted thugs ... but they tend to circle the wagons around the ones that are. It happens everywhere. And, it's only when someone has them on video you can do anything about it.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404648)

Just for argument's sale, let's imagine that standard police operating procedure is regularly corrupt and extra-judicial. Then this response would be the logical conclusion.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (1)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404732)

> What I don't understand is why they wouldn't want as much independent coverage of the incident / whatever as possible.

Because they want to have the option to lie about it, obviously.

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (3, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404378)

If they got nothing to hide then they have nothing to worry about. Isn't that the moto all police forces want you to live by?

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404534)

yes, but they dont want to have to live by that motto themselves.... they are above the law, remember?

Re:Police have no expectation of privacy (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404568)

The official duties part is totally unnecessary. The judges have to realize these laws are broken, if they are upheld, simply taking a video camera to record your kid at the park would be an illegal act (with some ridiculously heavy penalties associated with it in some states).

Nothing to see here (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404280)

There is no reason to post on this subject. And if anyone does WE WILL BUST YOUR GODDAMN HEADS, YOU PINKO FUCKS! Now GET OUT OF THE CAR!

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404360)

YOU PINKO FUCKS!

What is this, the late 70's/early 80's? Who says 'pinko' anymore??

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404456)

I'd ask a policeman, but I'm afraid he'll bust my head in.

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404558)

The same people that throw cupcakes. Honestly.

Two-way street (2)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404290)

It seems like this is a tough argument, considering that the police have already consented to being recorded by cameras in their cars-- and I wonder if at any point a Mass. driver has officially consented to being recorded by those cameras.

Re:Two-way street (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404458)

Police cameras are exempt from the law.

Re:Two-way street (3, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404528)

And police officers are exempt from this wiretapping law as well despite what these asshat cops and Boston think. Public officials, in this instance police officers, have NO expectation of privacy in a public place. There is already relevant case law from this very same circuit court to back this up.

Re:Two-way street (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404506)

The difference is that the police know for a fact that those cameras are not reliable. Video recordings have been known to disappear from those devices, and the archives have occasionally had mysterious accidents resulting in removal of records... and they purge them after so many months... so you can't rely upon their availability in court.

Re:Two-way street (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404590)

To be fair, the police cameras are under their control and protected by their lawyers before it is released. And of course the mysterious malfunctions...

Re:Two-way street (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404706)

When I took a photography course some years back, we were given a 5 minute introduction to photography law: it is legal to photograph people in public places. You have no expectation of privacy in public, at least not when it comes to cameras. Why the police would be any different, or why a video recording is any different, is a mystery to me.

People get mad when things dont go their way (1)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404298)

Just another case where someone gets mad when someone else did something they didn't like. Happens in politics, happens in business, happens in every police force around the globe. Good thing we have overly vague sections of law that we can use to arrest anyone with.

If they have nothing to hide? (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404300)

So getting freedom fondled by the TSA is okay, but recording official agents on official business representing the government is a no go?

Yeah, right...

Re:If they have nothing to hide? (3, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404324)

Especially when I doubt any of these same police officers ask consent of the drivers they record with their dashboard cams.

Re:If they have nothing to hide? (3, Informative)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404504)

The law is for audio recordings, not video only. I know I was pulled over once (light out) and the first thing the officer did was to inform me that he was recording audio and asked if I consented (I don't know what would happen if I didn't....).

Re:If they have nothing to hide? (2)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404742)

The proper canned response for LEO's is*:

My lawyer has advised me not to make any statements or grant any requests without first talking to him.

The reason I use this is because I know I'm too stupid to understand the ramifications of any question or request the LEO makes.

*I'm not a lawyer, and this isn't legal advice. You should talk to a lawyer about these kinds of things. Seriously.

Re:If they have nothing to hide? (1)

Zancarius (414244) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404530)

That's what puzzles me.

I thought the intent of the one-party notification laws was with regard to otherwise private communication. Recording someone in a public location, paid for by the taxpayers cannot possibly qualify as private communication...

I guess that's about to be tested.

Another Fine Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404318)

I think that if these people have nothing to hide, there shouldn't be an issue.

Notice how all of these come out after questionable police action is caught on video?

Adding disturbing the peace to the list of charges just shows that the cops weren't sure they could get him in on illegal recording charge, so they slapped him with something they could make stick.

When you right overly broad laws (1)

Jabrwock (985861) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404342)

Then you end up with abuse of them.

The police are using a law not designed for them. They know it, and the writers knew it, but that didn't stop them from using it for purposes for which it was not intended. Hopefully the court recognizes this too...

Re:When you right overly broad laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404512)

write.

Who watches the watchers? (1)

Froeschle (943753) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404344)

It's a crime to collect evidence of police committing crimes. It must be a nice feeling to be above the law.

Not only that Your Honor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404348)

Not only did the defendant secretly tape us with a phone we could all see, he then repeatedly assaulted our batons with his head and testicles!

Other charges (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404350)

How was he 'aiding the escape of a prisoner' and 'disturbing the peace?'

Did the "prisoner" get away because the police had to chase him down and confiscate his camera? How would it be his fault if they let the "prisoner" go (yes, I know they didn't let anyone go...)

Also, disturbing what peace? It seemed rather non-peaceful there.

Re:Other charges (1)

theangrypeon (1306525) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404678)

It is a time honored practice of the police to pile on excessive and nonsensical charges at anyone they arrest.

Notice whenever you hear someone arrested in the news, it's for based on one real infraction but somehow that always multiplies into 6 or 7 different charges.

Insert Clever Subject Line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404352)

Our rights to privacy are constantly being scrubbed away and being defended with the notion that "you have nothing to worry about if you have nothing to hide." So my question is, what are these police officers hiding?

recording the police should be a right (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404364)

and should be encouraged

additionally, all the video in patrol cars, street lights, intersections...

we pay for that, and there should be a right to access those feeds if we pay a small fee and fill out some paperwork

i don't understand a world where the police have anything to fear by the truth being shown

Re:recording the police should be a right (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404438)

Recording public officials on public property was already upheld by the 1st Circuit back in a case in 1999. One just has to hope that the judges remember that.

Re:recording the police should be a right (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404508)

Authority is corrupt by nature. It exists through extortion and coercion. You shouldn't be surprised when it tries to hide behind the fig leaf.. But good luck trying to kick it out of Eden.

A feeble attempt at comprehending my previous posts would bring you a little closer to understanding the world you question

Re:recording the police should be a right (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404684)

authority is unnecessary in a world where people exercise responsibility as much as they demand freedom. true freedom does not exist in a place where people take no responsibility

therefore it is the essential tragedy of our existence that authority is necessary, with all the evils that authority brings, because too many of us are just irresponsible. responsibility must be offered. if it isn't offered, it must be imposed. because lack of personal responsibility is pretty much the root of all evil. authority is just a response to that vacuum

Re:recording the police should be a right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404664)

recording the police should be a right .. and should be encouraged

This is America so we need to fuck that up a bit. I propose we have a law that states recording the police is required and anyone caught not recording the police, will be punished. That should help preserve our fuckedupness.

Re:recording the police should be a right (3, Insightful)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404686)

Agreed, and in addition, the destruction or attempted destruction of civilian video of law enforcement activity by any interested party (including government agents or subjects of the police activity) should be considered destruction of evidence, and treated accordingly. It should also be possible to subpoena the contents of this video by any interested party.

Patrol car video should continue recording for at least 10 minutes after the stop recording event happens (no turning the camera off and on during a stop), and it should be illegal for a police officer to intentionally attempt to prevent the recording via any means.

In sort, recordings on both sides should be used to protect either party of a police action, not just the police officer.

Re:recording the police should be a right (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404708)

exactly. we're moving from a world of he said/ she said with no proof either way, to a world of: "there it is on video your honor". a much better world

until the day that movie-quality special effects become the domain of every 13 year old. then video can't be trusted anymore. then we're really screwed

Why did the police arrest him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404366)

... if the recording was "secret"?

The police arrested him for something obvious (read: not secret) that they saw... what was it?

Far reaching (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404392)

This case can have very far reaching consequences. Already those in power have unprecedented access to covertly monitor the communications and whereabouts of its citizens. To prevent the citizens from being able to do the same while in public would be a wholesale catastrophe for freedom.

But I am optimistic, given the very recent very public case involving police officers in Miami overstepping their bounds and showing an excessive abuse of power. Despite having his cell phone forcibly confiscated and smashed, the good citizen was able to extract his memory card from the remains of his phone and shine a bright spotlight on the incident via youtube. This will weigh heavily on the minds of the judge and members of the jury.

First Circuit already has precedent on this... (3, Interesting)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404394)

Hopefully the First Circuit court doesn't forget their 1999 ruling in Iacobucci v. Boulter [google.com] where the upheld the right to record public figures on public property. But according to the article the judges seem to find the reasoning of the city to be quite absurd so that is a good sign.

Re:First Circuit already has precedent on this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404658)

IANAL but I think there is a question on whether the wiretapping laws even apply. The statute seems to rest upon secrecy and the right to privacy. In my mind, government employees in public view cannot reasonably expect to have any expectation of privacy. Now in their offices, there might more hairsplitting.

Hello (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404418)

I'm a slashdot editor, and I can't distinguish between the concepts of "secretly" and "non-consensually".

Please give generously, so further people don't have to suffer the consequences of my stupidity.

Re:Hello (2)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404636)

The law bans *secret* recording without consent. Otherwise, it would be illegal for a company to record tech support calls without specifically asking for consent (saying that you're recording makes it non-secret, but doesn't mean that anyone consented).

Of course, once you ask for consent it's not secret anymore I suppose...

The point here is that the guy was pointing the phone right at the cops, and the cops are arguing that's not sufficient to tell that he's recording.

What about news reports then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404424)

So is there a special exception for public news recording then? Because under such a narrow interp, news taping with audio would be illegal.

Historically, if you are in public, there is no legal expectation of privacy.

civil disobedience (3)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404452)

In the event that the outcome goes the wrong way, all that's needed is for enough campaign groups on both sides of the political spectrum to encourage their supporters to routinely record the police whenever they see them, providing they are in groups of more than some particular size and providing their camera streams to a remote server.

R v Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy brought the saying to English law that it is not enough that justice must be done - it must also be seen to be done. The principle is about impartiality and appeared before video cameras, but surely preventing or destroying any recording of a police officer acting in public under colour of law is, "creat[ing] a suspicion that there has been an improper interference with the course of justice."

Prove It (1)

barleypop (1883276) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404502)

First of all, how can anyone prove someone recorded video? If I'm holding out my camera, how do you know I'm not just taking a snapshot? Same goes for my mobile phone. You can't presume I'm recording audio and video without confiscating my device and searching for recordings.

In Public is Not Private (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404514)

So, you're in a public place and you're rolling video on, say, your kid's fifth birthday party and a stranger is captured in the video. Then you post the video on Facebook so grandma in Florida can view it and the stranger finds out. Can they sue you since you illegally recorded the stranger because you didn't tell them the camera was on?

How is rolling video on a police bust any different? And, seeing as how the police are public servants, how did this arrest not get laughed out of court?

In related news... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404538)

...another Boston man was arrested for simply watching cops at work and remembering what they did. Charges are pending if it is determined that he actually told someone else what he remembered. Geez. Are the police going to arrest bank or store owners if their build security cameras accidentally record the police doing anything?

Hey COPS! If you're not doing anything wrong, you've got nothing to hide - remember?

Some Cops are Evil Power Mad Pricks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404540)

So of course they don't want to be recorded being an evil power mad prick. I know some that are genuine nice, kind, helpful people, however as a Mass Resident it does seem that the pricks out number the nice guys. There is a preproderance of the "jerk off, a-holes" that you remember from high school going in law enforcement so they can continue being "jerk off, a-holes" with public permission. The funny part is they are often the same ones that were in the Office all the time for breaking the rules in school!

They start from the standing that you are in the wrong, and quite often do not even want to have a conversation. And yes I am a law abiding citizen, however I have had to go to the police once in a while for neighbor troubles and the like and gotten no traction. They always seem to side with the "jerk off, a-hole" neighbor.

One former cop I know says that basically the badge is perceived by his former co-workers as a license to "kick your ass" and get away with it.

The short version its Massachussetts and cops here are the dictionary definition of "Masshole"

Re:Some Cops are Evil Power Mad Pricks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404620)

Some?

I mean, if he had been "secretly" recording them, (1)

spads (1095039) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404548)

how would they even know???

That's like trying to outlaw a cop being secretly in a coffee shop, secretly eating a donut!!!

In defense of these police officers... (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404560)

At least in this case they didn't arrest him on the sole charge of Resisting Arrest.

Yes, that actually happens.

I sympathize (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404584)

I sympathize with the guy, and was going to say that this will be an important case in turning back the overweening power of government, but will it?

The fact is, if he's in a state that REQUIRES the consent of both parties in a conversation to be recorded, and he didn't get the consent of both parties, it may be as simple as that.

I'm saying that the 2-party-consent law is BS, and that's the first thing that needs to be changed.

Nevertheless, I hope he wins.

Re:I sympathize (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404600)

The fact is, if he's in a state that REQUIRES the consent of both parties in a conversation to be recorded, and he didn't get the consent of both parties, it may be as simple as that.

Yes, but there is already relevant case law showing that recording public officials in public is allowed. This is federal case law that will trump this stupid law.

Boston (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404598)

This is exactly why they have no class in Boston- just dirty red soxs. So now we know where they get it.

Double edged sword ! (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404604)

Err ... when the Taxachusett's cops (or any others in two-party consent-to-tape state) question/interrogate someone, do they not tape the event? Absent consent, specific legal exemption or a warrent, aren't they violating the two-party statute?

There are some things you are better off losing.

Re:Double edged sword ! (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404726)

No, they aren't violating it, because that situation is explicitly in the law as allowed.

What, you don't think they wrote the law with those loopholes in mind?

Everyone with a cellphone camera... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404608)

...needs to start recording cops at every opportunity. Do this even if the cop is just standing on the corner. Make sure they see you.

No Justice (1)

glorybe (946151) | more than 2 years ago | (#36404618)

The idea that cops and most other public employees have any right to privacy at work is totally off the wall. The public must have the ability to observe, record and publish any actions of police and most other public employees on the job. Just why is it that cops want to hide their actions? The only issue I have at all is in any sudden reaching into pockets or purses when a crime is at hand. That might get someone shot but is no reason for arresting them. Cities need to be as eager to prosecute top level employees as well as cops with the same vigor as other law breakers.

If they've done nothing wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404704)

what are they afraid of?

Isn't that the motto the government uses to spy on its citizens? If that's the fucked up country you live in, why should the same fucked standard not be applied back to those who enforce the law? They are citizens too...

If I commit a crime and it is caught on tape, can I get it thrown out of court because I did not consent to be filmed? Is that the precedent the police are fighting to set? WTF...

Stationary / Security Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36404748)

So if I have a store with a security camera running 24 hours a day and cops bust a robbery in progress, have I recorded them illegally?

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