Should Videotaping the Police Really Be a Crime?

Should Videotaping the Police Really Be a Crime?

This is a discussion on Should Videotaping the Police Really Be a Crime? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Excerpted from the article found on Time.com: Anthony Graber, a Maryland Air National Guard staff sergeant, faces up to 16 years in prison. His crime? ...

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Thread: Should Videotaping the Police Really Be a Crime?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array ArkhmAsylm's Avatar
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    Should Videotaping the Police Really Be a Crime?

    Excerpted from the article found on Time.com:

    Anthony Graber, a Maryland Air National Guard staff sergeant, faces up to 16 years in prison. His crime? He videotaped his March encounter with a state trooper who pulled him over for speeding on a motorcycle. Then Graber put the video — which could put the officer in a bad light — up on YouTube.

    It doesn't sound like much. But Graber is not the only person being slapped down by the long arm of the law for the simple act of videotaping the police in a public place. Prosecutors across the U.S. claim the videotaping violates wiretap laws — a stretch, to put it mildly.


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  2. #2
    Member Array OperatorJ's Avatar
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    Wow. I've never heard that before. That seems a little ridiculous. We get video recorded everywhere we go anymore... stores, gas stations, churches even. I dont see the big deal. First thought is the police dept doesn't want to have to deal with a media back-lash for one of its officers doing something questionable. But that never happens......

  3. #3
    Member Array swood's Avatar
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    He!! no it shouldn't be a crime! There is NO reason that is should be illegal to video a cop if it isn't illegal to video everything else in public. In public is exactly that... in public!

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    Senior Member Array foxytwo's Avatar
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    The police should not be able to do anything to anyone recording them in action. The government, (including the police) should fear the citizen, not the other way around. If the police are afraid of being video recorded they are doing something illegal!!!

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    I remember this one. Saw in on my Bike forum. What parts you Dont see here is....the guy was FLYING and trying to outrun the cops..This guy happened to be off duty and the biker came up on him..so the video you see is only the cop trying to stop in. I guess even though I dont agree thats why the officer has is weapon drawn...BUT....regardless...I think you should be able to record them. HECK the coppers have cameras and audio in their cars taping YOU....why no the other way around!!

    Only fair. just like some game wardens have cams to record events......but...I think its more of a retalitory thing for the speeding and trying to outrun them and all that. you know the mentality. HIT with every charge you can think of..see what sticks.

    Just my nickels worth.

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    If it is legal for the cops to video/record you, you should be able to video/record them in the same setting.

    If it is legal to video people in general in a given setting, it should be legal to record cops doing their thing in that same setting.

    IANAL, but it is my understanding if you are being interviewed by the cops and they record the event, they can use the recording against you, but you cannot use any part of it even if it is exculpatory. So much for trying to find justice.
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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    The police do not own any brand, or have any commercial interest so I dont see any copywrite issues. Once a police officer puts on a uniform, and pin's on his shield he's supposedly acting on behalf of the public/the people. As police officers are uniquely clothed and perform public services I dont see how any of the have any expectation to any privacy. And as police officers perform their duties in public, and open to the public I dont see whare they have any expectancy of privacy.

    A wire tap requires a warrant to eavsdrop on CERTAIN private conversations. Lately eavesdropping warrants may include still and video recording of CERTAIN images. For example if the Feebes have a warrant to video a woman they suspect my be connected to a wanted fugative... They cant record or watch her taking a shower.

    Some of you may have heard cops complain that they are routinely denied their constitutional rights against self incrimonation by the departments. Basically some departments policy was that while you may have a right against self incrimination... you have no right to this job. Talk or your fired. Of course any admissions would be inadmissable in court as they were obtained by duress.

    I think this go's more to the municipality, or law enforcement entity seeking to control evidence that would be prejudicial to their interests. Not so much the individual officers. Maybe when an officers screws up this may seem like a good idea... But the truth is that 99 9/10 ths % of all officers do their job properly, and would have nothing to fear.

    I do wonder why an Officer would fear the same things a criminal would fear. What have they to hide? and what are they up to?

    Sometimes Law Enforcement as do politicians forget who they work for.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Spuk View Post
    The police do not own any brand, or have any commercial interest so I dont see any copywrite issues. Once a police officer puts on a uniform, and pin's on his shield he's supposedly acting on behalf of the public/the people. As police officers are uniquely clothed and perform public services I dont see how any of the have any expectation to any privacy. And as police officers perform their duties in public, and open to the public I dont see whare they have any expectancy of privacy.

    A wire tap requires a warrant to eavsdrop on CERTAIN private conversations. Lately eavesdropping warrants may include still and video recording of CERTAIN images. For example if the Feebes have a warrant to video a woman they suspect my be connected to a wanted fugative... They cant record or watch her taking a shower.

    Some of you may have heard cops complain that they are routinely denied their constitutional rights against self incrimonation by the departments. Basically some departments policy was that while you may have a right against self incrimination... you have no right to this job. Talk or your fired. Of course any admissions would be inadmissable in court as they were obtained by duress.

    I think this go's more to the municipality, or law enforcement entity seeking to control evidence that would be prejudicial to their interests. Not so much the individual officers. Maybe when an officers screws up this may seem like a good idea... But the truth is that 99 9/10 ths % of all officers do their job properly, and would have nothing to fear.

    I do wonder why an Officer would fear the same things a criminal would fear. What have they to hide? and what are they up to?

    Sometimes Law Enforcement as do politicians forget who they work for.

    Spuk!
    Spuk - I could not agree more. Well said.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Only down side I see is videotaping an Officer with the intent to find out as much about him for retaliation.There have been LEO's and CO's,and their families in the past that were targeted for arresting somebody
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    No plain and simple
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    Member Array MerryMama's Avatar
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    Crime being public record, I can go down to the local courthouse and search public records to find out specific details about a crime. Why don't the police's actions (in handling something that is considered public record) fall under the same public record blanket? IME, most police offers are doing a great job so they wouldn't be concerned about being video taped. The ones who are overstepping their boundaries are the ones who mind being recorded, and also the ones who need it most for accountability purposes.

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    Senior Member Array rolyat63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MerryMama View Post
    Crime being public record, I can go down to the local courthouse and search public records to find out specific details about a crime. Why don't the police's actions (in handling something that is considered public record) fall under the same public record blanket? IME, most police offers are doing a great job so they wouldn't be concerned about being video taped. The ones who are overstepping their boundaries are the ones who mind being recorded, and also the ones who need it most for accountability purposes.
    Speaking of accountability, I wonder if there is an exception for the media.... A reporter has no special license to make recordings but do hold the responsibility, to some degree, to hold public servants accountable. A city, county, state worker can all be recorded but a special niche' has been carved out for LE?...
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    I know historically one of the arguments has been that photographing or video taping an officer compromises their ability to work under cover in the future. With the new facial recognition program that Face Book is starting this will soon be an even bigger issue. A friend of mine (now retired) worked deeeeep under cover for the D.E.A. in Florida back in the 1980's If today's technology existed then he more than likely would have died a very slow and painful death.

    I have no problem with the concept of recording video of police but I would have no problem with severe restrictions on the publication of those videos. Shoot all the video you want. Turn it over to the Attorney General or the Justice Department and that's fine. Post it up on Youtube and I have a problem with it.

    Also, if you shoot video of a crime in progress I would have no problem with the police holding that video as evidence until the trial.
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    This topic is as stale as they come, and has nothing to do with the focus of this forum.
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