How do LEOs feel about being filmed?

How do LEOs feel about being filmed?

This is a discussion on How do LEOs feel about being filmed? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Those of you who are active or retired LEO, suppose you pulled me over for a routine traffic stop (taillight out, speeding, windshield wipers on ...

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Thread: How do LEOs feel about being filmed?

  1. #1
    Member Array OlympicViking's Avatar
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    Question How do LEOs feel about being filmed?

    Those of you who are active or retired LEO, suppose you pulled me over for a routine traffic stop (taillight out, speeding, windshield wipers on and headlights off, take your pick). Suppose that I am polite, respectful, and compliant and that I have my license, registration, proof of insurance, and CCL ready when you arrive at my driver's side window (we do not have a duty to inform in this state). My dome light is on if it's night time, windows are open, music is off, and my hands are in plain sight. Basically I'm doing everything I can to indicate that I am not a threat and that I don't want to ruin your day by being a jerk.

    How would you feel if I was filming you with my camera phone (phone not right in your face or anything like that)? Would you be offended, put-off, or uncomfortable being filmed? Would you ask me to turn off the camera? Would it ruin any chance of me receiving a warning and ensure that I would be cited for any violation you could find? Would you "smell weed" and detain me until a canine unit arrived? Or the presence of the camera not bother you at all?

    The way I see it, filming an interaction with the police is a good CYA policy. I wouldn't have the intention of antagonizing the police for youtube views, and I would make that clear with my demeanor. However, I know not everyone appreciates being on candid camera, so I thought I'd survey y'all. I realize you can't speak for every police officer in every city of every state every day of the week, but how would YOU feel about it?
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    VIP Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    Pretty soon the cops are going to be required to film every encounter with a body cam and you won't have to worry about it.
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    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    This doesn't concern me and would not concern me if I was a cop, but the majority of people doing the cell phone recording are not doing the rest of what you say, either.
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    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    Well...Gotta ask the Op this question......How would you feel if I were filming you?? I'm a Workers' Comp Investigator. My job to film people who's cases are assigned to me. I'm not a LEO, but if somebody was filming/recording me, I'd ask them to please stop. If they continue, past my numerous requests, I'd begin to think they were attempting to get a reaction from me, and they may not like it (my reaction) Maybe............. Disobeying a Police Officer to start?
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    Member Array OlympicViking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hodad View Post
    Pretty soon the cops are going to be required to film every encounter with a body cam and you won't have to worry about it.
    Even if that were the case I would still want a video of my own. It would be great if there was a video from both perspectives, and even better if I had a passenger who was able to film from a third angle.
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    Member Array jwilson904's Avatar
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    I AM NOT an officer of the law but I don't like being filmed, don't do face book either.
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    Doesn't matter if they like it or not. If they are out in public they are pretty much fair game to be filmed.
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    Member Array OlympicViking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madcap_Magician View Post
    This doesn't concern me and would not concern me if I was a cop, but the majority of people doing the cell phone recording are not doing the rest of what you say, either.
    You're absolutely right about that, which is why I would want to ensure that I send an entirely different message to the officer from the get-go.
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    VIP Member Array Kennydale's Avatar
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    My personal belief as PUBLIC SERVANTS there should be no issue of recording them. I don't belive that just because the officer might have a body cam, that should exclude you or another party from recording (not interfering with) any civil servants actions (while doing their intended jobs)
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    Member Array OlympicViking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob99VMI04 View Post
    Doesn't matter if they like it or not. If they are out in public they are pretty much fair game to be filmed.
    I know, and if asked to stop recording I would probably politely refuse, which brings me to an additional question. If I were asked to stop filming and I did not obey that order, what would happen next?
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    Back in the days before ubiquitous cameras I had traffic interactions with varied LEO without any issues.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by OlympicViking View Post
    I know, and if asked to stop recording I would probably politely refuse, which brings me to an additional question. If I were asked to stop filming and I did not obey that order, what would happen next?
    Guess it depends on the cop.

    In this case http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012...en-he-objects/

    the cop arrested the guy, cop was suspended for 30 days, and now the guy who was arrested is suing for 1 million dollars, and actually may win.
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    Member Array OlympicViking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLASS3NH View Post
    Well...Gotta ask the Op this question......How would you feel if I were filming you?? I'm a Workers' Comp Investigator. My job to film people who's cases are assigned to me. I'm not a LEO, but if somebody was filming/recording me, I'd ask them to please stop. If they continue, past my numerous requests, I'd begin to think they were attempting to get a reaction from me, and they may not like it (my reaction) Maybe............. Disobeying a Police Officer to start?
    I know one thing, if I ever get "made" by my Claimant..they're REAL upset no matter what.
    To be honest I would feel uncomfortable being filmed by a total stranger, but I wouldn't make an issue out of it. If I was conducting official business I would make sure I was on my best behavior to ensure that I didn't risk my job. You may or may not be familiar with a social media app called SnapChat. It's basically a pic/video social media app that allows you to share temporary images with friends or post a "story" to your profile that is available for a day or so. After a couple times ending up on an anonymous account operated by a fellow student while I was sleeping in the library, I've pretty much gotten over my stage fright.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array GraySkies's Avatar
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    Here in Washington filming someone in public is legal, but if you are going to record the audio at the same time, you must have consent of all parties in the conversation.

    I don't know if this applies to police in the performance of their duties, as there might be case law on that. For private citizens, though, consent is required if there is audio.
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    Senior Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    If a cop has a problem being filmed, that's a problem. I would do it just to have my own record of the events. All too often do we see scenarios where a cop beat someone down, and their body camera just happened to "malfunction." There was a story about one cop who had like 3-4 suits of excessive force against him, one even where he beat the crap out of an unarmed woman, and each time his body cam happened to stop working.

    I've never had a problem with a cop, but I have turned my phone to record, aimed it roughly towards the window where it would show me and the cop, and placed it in the cup holder. Nobody knows I'm filming, worst case I have an audio record of the interaction, and we go about our separate ways. When the cop shows up I am as described in the first post. Lights on, vehicle off, hands on the wheel, etc.

    I am a public servant for my job, and I visit people's residences on official business multiple times each day to deliver bad news. Tickets, fines, notice to appear in court, etc. I have been filmed. It doesn't bother me at all. Seeing that I am a public servant, I am always incredibly polite and helpful. When a camera comes out, it's no different. They ask my name on camera? I give them my full name, my supervisors name, my card with contact info and my supervisors name and a card with his contact info. They want to know the exact specifics of the code they violated, I'll grab my booklet and show them the code word for word. It's no problem. I get paid the same either way. No point in being a douche about it. I'm a public servant and am held to a higher level. That's part of the gig.

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