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.
If it is illegal to record the police in Boston as they act in public, then it is also illegal for a tourist to record a public street. But that makes no sense at all.
This need for both sides to be specifically told they are being recorded just does not make sense in today’s world. Especially since it is only audio recording that is a problem. If you recorded the video with n sound, it would have been okay.
And what are they going to do with cameras that stream to the internet immediately as they film> The inability of them to adjust to new technology in a reasonable sense is part of the officer’s problem.
The cops are worried about how their work may be portrayed but arresting innocent people and threatening their livelihoods does not seem like a way to insure safety.