ACLU Educates Cops on the Public’s Right to Film
Posted on Jul 25, 2012
An ACLU lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., has paid off in issuance of a set of principles that guide the behavior of officers dealing with people photographing or recording them on the street. In short, it’s legal.
The suit was filed on behalf of a young black student named Jerome Vorus, who was detained last year for filming police officers on a Georgetown street.
“… What we’re interested in is getting the police to understand how they should behave: When someone’s taking their picture, basically they should just smile,” wrote the ACLU’s Art Spitzer, the attorney who handled the case.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
ACLU’s Free Future blog:
The order reminds police officers in Washington that:
• Still and video photography of places, buildings, structures and events are common and lawful activities.
• A bystander has the right under the First Amendment to observe and record members [of the police force] in the public discharge of their duties.
• A bystander has the same right to take photographs or make records as a member of the media as long as the bystander has a right to be where he or she is.
Byflickr (CC BY 2.0)