Friday, March 14, 2014

Recording the Police - Roll Call Edition

It's time to talk about this, as it's something that keeps cropping up, and we've got to get our heads right on it.  So, all you good police officers sit down and listen.

You all know that I've been a police officer from most of my adult life, and you all know that technology is growing with leaps and bounds.  Everyone who has a phone now has a camera, and we have to assume that we're being recorded every minute that we're wearing the uniform.  Act accordingly.

I know some police officers don't like being recorded, and that's tough.  If you are doing your job the way you are supposed to do your job, then the recording won't hurt you a bit.  It's been settled that the police have a right to record things like traffic stops for evidence and I've captured YouTube videos and security camera footage for evidentiary value.

We've got this thing called the First Amendment, and we've got this thing called the Fifth Amendment.  We can't seize property just because some good citizen is standing on the corner recording us.  We're public servants, serving the public, and everything we do is subject to review.  So get over it.  The public can record us doing our job, just like we can record the public.  The City of Baltimore is learning this lesson in a hard way, and I'd hate to see any of my brethren get sued because they did something stupid, like try to confiscate a camera without due process.

Any questions?  Good.  Now, y'all be careful out there.


The Displaced Louisiana Guy said...

Here, here!

If you are conducting yourself in an honorable manner, within the scope of your athourity and the law, being recorded can do nothing but protect you if it is ever used as evidence.

Gerry N. said...

There are a few jurisdictions where LEOs are required to wear shirt button video cameras. Those jurisdictions have experienced a marked reduction of citizen complaints about overzealous officers committing unlawful acts under color of office. So we know that people behave better if they know or think they're being watched.

Gerry N.

Dan said...

Was running a backcountry patrol as a young 1980 vintage Police/park ranger and found myself on a remote river splashing thru in a 4x4. Looked up and was being filmed about 100 road miles from civilization.I learned, they will too.

Old NFO said...

Thank you... And I hope you're right!