Are Cameras the New Guns?

Posted on by

GIZMODO– In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.

Even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.

The legal justification for arresting the “shooter” rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited. Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland are among the 12 states in which all parties must consent for a recording to be legal unless, as with TV news crews, it is obvious to all that recording is underway. Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where “no expectation of privacy exists” (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized.

Massachusetts attorney June Jensen represented Simon Glik who was arrested for such a recording. She explained, “[T]he statute has been misconstrued by Boston police. You could go to the Boston Common and snap pictures and record if you want.” Legal scholar and professor Jonathan Turley agrees, “The police are basing this claim on a ridiculous reading of the two-party consent surveillance law – requiring all parties to consent to being taped. I have written in the area of surveillance law and can say that this is utter nonsense.”

The courts, however, disagree. A few weeks ago, an Illinois judge rejected a motion to dismiss an eavesdropping charge against Christopher Drew, who recorded his own arrest for selling one-dollar artwork on the streets of Chicago. Although the misdemeanor charges of not having a peddler’s license and peddling in a prohibited area were dropped, Drew is being prosecuted for illegal recording, a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.

Continue reading at GIZMODO.

Wendy McElroy is the author of several books on anarchism and feminism. She maintains the iconoclastic website ifeminists.net as well as an active blog at wendymcelroy.com.

© COPYRIGHT GIZMODO, 2010

Leave a Reply

RELATED NEWS

  • Muslim Ban, Trump Apologists, Fighting Fascism
  • Cuba: Revolution, Sabotage & Un-Normal Relations
  • The Traumatic Election Of POTUS Donald Trump
  • Inside Palestine’s Refugee Camps
  • POLITICAL CORRUPTION

  • Venezuelan Opposition Spreads Lies About U.S. Journalists, Inciting Violence, Death Threats
  • The Hidden Purging of Millions of Voters
  • The Tim Black Show with Abby Martin: Humanitarians Needed!
  • Empire Files Exposes Steve Bannon’s True Character
  • Chris Hedges & Abby Martin – Trump, Fascism & the Christian Right
  • Muslim Ban, Trump Apologists, Fighting Fascism
  • Stephen Cohen: US-Russia Relations in “Most Dangerous Moment”
  • Chris Hedges’ On Contact: What the DNI Report About Russia Really Reveals
  • Abby Martin Attacks DNI Report, Defends RT
  • US Government Blames Russia Today for Trump’s Win
  • Paul Jay and Abby Martin on Trump’s Cabinet, Election Fraud & Fake News Hysteria
  • Trump’s Web of Far Right Militarists Who Want to Attack Iran
  • The Traumatic Election Of POTUS Donald Trump
  • Abby Martin’s Empire Files Election Guide
  • Abby Martin Exposes Hillary Chair John Podesta