The ABA posted an article on the explosion of the use of cellphones that are being used to video police. It seems that average citizens are now video taping police officers in the performance of their duties. A Boston man was arrested for video taping an incident where he thought police were using excessive force. Simon Glik was arrested for violating a state wiretap law. Later, the case was dismissed. In a civil rights case, Mr Glik brought the 1st U.S.Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston held that Mr. Glik had a constitutional right to video-record the police performing their duties.
“Our recognition that the First Amendment protects the filming of government officials in public spaces accords with the decisions of numerous circuit and district courts,” the panel wrote. The case went back to the federal district court and the parties are in discovery
Smart phones such as the iPhone have both video and audio recording abilities. So, can you record your conversations with police or video tape a police officer conducting an investigation? From the ruling in the Glik case, it appears so.
A police officer stops your car, should you record what he says? Often in most DUI cases, a police officer will assert that you are slurring your words. What evidence can you get or provide to counter that testimony? The answer is a recording. What about the field sobriety tests? Can a passenger video tape you walking the line? One solution that would be an easy fix is for the Metro Nashville Police Department to install working video recorders on all patrol cars, not just the DUI officers’ cars.
Technology is changing our legal landscape in ways unimagined just years ago.The image below is a Maryland State Trooper whose image was captured on the stopped motorcyclist’s camera, which was on the motorcyclist’s helmet. The video was later posted on you tube.