I’m pretty sure everyone has seen a video like this one of a lady recording the police from her own lawn who gets arrested for it. Even though in New York, where this takes place, it is legal to film police officers in the line of duty. In Maryland on the other hand it is illegal to record the Police.
So it was a bit of a surprise when the Justice Department sent a letter Monday to attorneys for the Baltimore Police Department, that strongly asserted that officers who seize and destroy such recordings without a warrant or without due process are in strict violation of the individual’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
I for one firmly believe that the Justice Department got this one right and we need a definite ruling on this from the Supreme Court. A Federal appellate court has upheld the fact that recording a police officer is a fist amendment right, but we really need this case to go to the supreme court. Mostly because every Tom, Dick, and Harry now has a camera phone with the ability to record in 1080p sitting in their pocket. And the last thing we need is for more people to get arrested because they are filming.
One of the great things about this country is that we are given the right to be the watchmen of the government,police, and military by the Constitution. We are in charge of them, not the other way around. So if we can get a ruling and get this straightened out, everyone will be safer. Plus, let’s all admit that we do not need any more reasons to make cops bigger jerks. Not all cops are as cool as this one: