First Circuit Court of Appeals, City of Boston: Citizens May Videotape Police

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Recording of Boston police nets man $170,000 settlement

By Stephen C. Webster
Raw Story

March 27, 2012 — The City of Boston settled a lawsuit recently filed by Simon Glik, an attorney who was arrested in 2007 as he recorded police using force to subdue another man.

Simon Glik.

The settlement total came to $170,000, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, which represented Glik in the case. He was initially charged with a felony, under laws meant to ban illegal wiretapping, but the charge was dismissed.

“The law had been clear for years that openly recording a video is not a crime. It’s sad that it takes so much for police to learn the laws they were supposed to know in the first place,”

Glik said in an ACLU media advisory.

“I hope Boston police officers will never again arrest someone for openly recording their public actions.”

The city has since initiated a training program for officers that teaches them to ignore individuals who film their activities in public. The two arresting officers in Glik’s case were also disciplined.

“The court’s opinion made clear that people cannot be arrested simply for documenting the actions of police officers in public,”

Glik’s attorney, David Milton, added in the advisory.

“With this issue squarely resolved against it, it made sense for the City to settle the case rather than continuing to waste taxpayer money defending it.”

Glik isn’t the only American to face arrest for recording police officers in public. Others have been taken into custody in states like Florida and Illinois. A federal jury in Oregon, as well, awarded minor damages to a man who was arrested for filming an officer in 2009.

“The First Amendment includes the freedom to observe and document the conduct of government officials, which is crucial to a democracy and a free society,”

ACLU Massachusetts staff attorney Sarah Wunsch concluded in the advisory.

“We hope that police departments across the country will draw the right conclusions from this case.”

 

Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.

 

First Circuit Court of Appeals rules that citizens can videotape police

By Tiffany Kaiser
Daily Tech

August 31, 2011 — The filming of government officials while on duty is protected by the First Amendment, said the Court.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals reached a crucial decision last Friday allowing the public to videotape police officers while they’re on the clock.

The decision comes after a string of incidents where individuals have videotaped police officers and were arrested. Police officers across the United States believed citizens didn’t have the right to videotape them as they conducted official duties, but issues like police brutality put the issue up for debate.

One instance where a citizen was arrested for videotaping an officer was when Khaliah Fitchette, a law-abiding teenager from New Jersey, boarded a bus in Newark. Two police officers boarded the bus as well to remove a drunken man.

Fitchette began taping the police officers because of how they were handling the man, and a police officer instructed her to stop recording them. When Fitchette refused, she was arrested and placed in the back of a cop car for two hours while the officers took her phone to delete the video. Fitchette was then released, but she and her mother then filed suit against the Newark Police Department with the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Another example involves Simon Glik, a passerby on the Boston Common. He used his cell phone to tape police officers when the Boston police were punching a man. Citizens surrounding the scene were saying,

“You’re hurting him.”

Glik never interfered with the police officers’ actions, but recorded the entire incident. The police officers ended up charging Glik with violating a wiretap statute that prohibits secret recording, even though the police officers admitted that they knew Glik was recording them. He was also charged with disturbing the peace and aiding the escape of a prisoner.

While all charges against Glik were dropped due to lack of merit, he still decided to join forces with the ACLU and file a civil rights suit to prevent a similar incident from occurring with others.

On Friday, August 26, 2011, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which is New England’s highest federal court just below the U.S. Supreme Court, ruled that citizens are allowed to videotape law officials while they conduct official duties.

The city’s attorneys made the argument that police officers should have been exempt from a civil rights lawsuit in the first place in this case because the law is unclear as to whether there’s a “constitutionally protected right to videotape police” conducting their daily duties in public.

“The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles [of protected First Amendment activity].,”

said the Court.

“Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting the free discussion of governmental affairs.”

The Court added that the police officers should have understood this all along, and that videotaping public officials is not limited to the press.

“Moreover, changes in technology and society have made the lines between private citizen and journalist exceedingly difficult to draw,”

the Court continued.

“The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.”

The Court concluded that police officers are to expect to deal with certain “burdens” as citizens practice First Amendment rights, but that there needs to be a healthy balance between police officers being videotaped while acting irresponsibly and the harassment of officers with recording devices while they’re conducting their duties responsibly.

 

Sources: Raw Story | Daily Tech | Haiti Chery (assembly, addition of photos)

 

 

Recording of Boston police nets man $170,000 settlement

By Stephen C. Webster
Raw Story

March 27, 2012 — The City of Boston settled a lawsuit recently filed by Simon Glik, an attorney who was arrested in 2007 as he recorded police using force to subdue another man.

The settlement total came to $170,000, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, which represented Glik in the case. He was initially charged with a felony, under laws meant to ban illegal wiretapping, but the charge was dismissed.

“The law had been clear for years that openly recording a video is not a crime. It’s sad that it takes so much for police to learn the laws they were supposed to know in the first place,”

Glik said in an ACLU media advisory.

“I hope Boston police officers will never again arrest someone for openly recording their public actions.”

The city has since initiated a training program for officers that teaches them to ignore individuals who film their activities in public. The two arresting officers in Glik’s case were also disciplined.

“The court’s opinion made clear that people cannot be arrested simply for documenting the actions of police officers in public,”

Glik’s attorney, David Milton, added in the advisory.

“With this issue squarely resolved against it, it made sense for the City to settle the case rather than continuing to waste taxpayer money defending it.”

Glik isn’t the only American to face arrest for recording police officers in public. Others have been taken into custody in states like Florida and Illinois. A federal jury in Oregon, as well, awarded minor damages to a man who was arrested for filming an officer in 2009.

“The First Amendment includes the freedom to observe and document the conduct of government officials, which is crucial to a democracy and a free society,”

ACLU Massachusetts staff attorney Sarah Wunsch concluded in the advisory.

“We hope that police departments across the country will draw the right conclusions from this case.”

Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.

Source: Raw Story

 

 

First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules that Citizens Can Videotape Police

By Tiffany Kaiser
Daily Tech

August 31, 2011 — The filming of government officials while on duty is protected by the First Amendment, said the Court

The First Circuit Court of Appeals reached a crucial decision last Friday allowing the public to videotape police officers while they’re on the clock.

The decision comes after a string of incidents where individuals have videotaped police officers and were arrested. Police officers across the United States believed citizens didn’t have the right to videotape them as they conducted official duties, but issues like police brutality put the issue up for debate.

One instance where a citizen was arrested for videotaping an officer was when Khaliah Fitchette, a law-abiding teenager from New Jersey, boarded a bus in Newark. Two police officers boarded the bus as well to remove a drunken man.

Fitchette began taping the police officers because of how they were handling the man, and a police officer instructed her to stop recording them. When Fitchette refused, she was arrested and placed in the back of a cop car for two hours while the officers took her phone to delete the video. Fitchette was then released, but she and her mother then filed suit against the Newark Police Department with the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Another example involves Simon Glik, a passerby on the Boston Common. He used his cell phone to tape police officers when the Boston police were punching a man. Citizens surrounding the scene were saying,

“You’re hurting him.”

Glik never interfered with the police officers’ actions, but recorded the entire incident. The police officers ended up charging Glik with violating a wiretap statute that prohibits secret recording, even though the police officers admitted that they knew Glik was recording them. He was also charged with disturbing the peace and aiding the escape of a prisoner.

While all charges against Glik were dropped due to lack of merit, he still decided to join forces with the ACLU and file a civil rights suit to prevent a similar incident from occurring with others.

On Friday, August 26, 2011, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which is New England’s highest federal court just below the U.S. Supreme Court, ruled that citizens are allowed to videotape law officials while they conduct official duties.

The city’s attorneys made the argument that police officers should have been exempt from a civil rights lawsuit in the first place in this case because the law is unclear as to whether there’s a “constitutionally protected right to videotape police” conducting their daily duties in public.

“The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles [of protected First Amendment activity].,”

said the Court.

“Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting the free discussion of governmental affairs.”

The Court added that the police officers should have understood this all along, and that videotaping public officials is not limited to the press.

“Moreover, changes in technology and society have made the lines between private citizen and journalist exceedingly difficult to draw,”

the Court continued.

“The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.”

The Court concluded that police officers are to expect to deal with certain “burdens” as citizens practice First Amendment rights, but that there needs to be a healthy balance between police officers being videotaped while acting irresponsibly and the harassment of officers with recording devices while they’re conducting their duties responsibly.

 

Source: Daily Tech

 

 

Recording of Boston police nets man $170,000 settlement

By Stephen C. Webster
Raw Story

March 27, 2012 — The City of Boston settled a lawsuit recently filed by Simon Glik, an attorney who was arrested in 2007 as he recorded police using force to subdue another man.

The settlement total came to $170,000, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, which represented Glik in the case. He was initially charged with a felony, under laws meant to ban illegal wiretapping, but the charge was dismissed.

“The law had been clear for years that openly recording a video is not a crime. It’s sad that it takes so much for police to learn the laws they were supposed to know in the first place,”

Glik said in an ACLU media advisory.

“I hope Boston police officers will never again arrest someone for openly recording their public actions.”

The city has since initiated a training program for officers that teaches them to ignore individuals who film their activities in public. The two arresting officers in Glik’s case were also disciplined.

“The court’s opinion made clear that people cannot be arrested simply for documenting the actions of police officers in public,”

Glik’s attorney, David Milton, added in the advisory.

“With this issue squarely resolved against it, it made sense for the City to settle the case rather than continuing to waste taxpayer money defending it.”

Glik isn’t the only American to face arrest for recording police officers in public. Others have been taken into custody in states like Florida and Illinois. A federal jury in Oregon, as well, awarded minor damages to a man who was arrested for filming an officer in 2009.

“The First Amendment includes the freedom to observe and document the conduct of government officials, which is crucial to a democracy and a free society,”

ACLU Massachusetts staff attorney Sarah Wunsch concluded in the advisory.

“We hope that police departments across the country will draw the right conclusions from this case.”

Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.

Source: Raw Story

 

 

First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules that Citizens Can Videotape Police

By Tiffany Kaiser
Daily Tech

August 31, 2011 — The filming of government officials while on duty is protected by the First Amendment, said the Court

The First Circuit Court of Appeals reached a crucial decision last Friday allowing the public to videotape police officers while they’re on the clock.

The decision comes after a string of incidents where individuals have videotaped police officers and were arrested. Police officers across the United States believed citizens didn’t have the right to videotape them as they conducted official duties, but issues like police brutality put the issue up for debate.

One instance where a citizen was arrested for videotaping an officer was when Khaliah Fitchette, a law-abiding teenager from New Jersey, boarded a bus in Newark. Two police officers boarded the bus as well to remove a drunken man.

Fitchette began taping the police officers because of how they were handling the man, and a police officer instructed her to stop recording them. When Fitchette refused, she was arrested and placed in the back of a cop car for two hours while the officers took her phone to delete the video. Fitchette was then released, but she and her mother then filed suit against the Newark Police Department with the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Another example involves Simon Glik, a passerby on the Boston Common. He used his cell phone to tape police officers when the Boston police were punching a man. Citizens surrounding the scene were saying,

“You’re hurting him.”

Glik never interfered with the police officers’ actions, but recorded the entire incident. The police officers ended up charging Glik with violating a wiretap statute that prohibits secret recording, even though the police officers admitted that they knew Glik was recording them. He was also charged with disturbing the peace and aiding the escape of a prisoner.

While all charges against Glik were dropped due to lack of merit, he still decided to join forces with the ACLU and file a civil rights suit to prevent a similar incident from occurring with others.

On Friday, August 26, 2011, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which is New England’s highest federal court just below the U.S. Supreme Court, ruled that citizens are allowed to videotape law officials while they conduct official duties.

The city’s attorneys made the argument that police officers should have been exempt from a civil rights lawsuit in the first place in this case because the law is unclear as to whether there’s a “constitutionally protected right to videotape police” conducting their daily duties in public.

“The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles [of protected First Amendment activity].,”

said the Court.

“Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting the free discussion of governmental affairs.”

The Court added that the police officers should have understood this all along, and that videotaping public officials is not limited to the press.

“Moreover, changes in technology and society have made the lines between private citizen and journalist exceedingly difficult to draw,”

the Court continued.

“The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.”

The Court concluded that police officers are to expect to deal with certain “burdens” as citizens practice First Amendment rights, but that there needs to be a healthy balance between police officers being videotaped while acting irresponsibly and the harassment of officers with recording devices while they’re conducting their duties responsibly.

 

Source: Daily Tech

 

 

Recording of Boston police nets man $170,000 settlement

By Stephen C. Webster
Raw Story

March 27, 2012 — The City of Boston settled a lawsuit recently filed by Simon Glik, an attorney who was arrested in 2007 as he recorded police using force to subdue another man.

The settlement total came to $170,000, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, which represented Glik in the case. He was initially charged with a felony, under laws meant to ban illegal wiretapping, but the charge was dismissed.

“The law had been clear for years that openly recording a video is not a crime. It’s sad that it takes so much for police to learn the laws they were supposed to know in the first place,”

Glik said in an ACLU media advisory.

“I hope Boston police officers will never again arrest someone for openly recording their public actions.”

The city has since initiated a training program for officers that teaches them to ignore individuals who film their activities in public. The two arresting officers in Glik’s case were also disciplined.

“The court’s opinion made clear that people cannot be arrested simply for documenting the actions of police officers in public,”

Glik’s attorney, David Milton, added in the advisory.

“With this issue squarely resolved against it, it made sense for the City to settle the case rather than continuing to waste taxpayer money defending it.”

Glik isn’t the only American to face arrest for recording police officers in public. Others have been taken into custody in states like Florida and Illinois. A federal jury in Oregon, as well, awarded minor damages to a man who was arrested for filming an officer in 2009.

“The First Amendment includes the freedom to observe and document the conduct of government officials, which is crucial to a democracy and a free society,”

ACLU Massachusetts staff attorney Sarah Wunsch concluded in the advisory.

“We hope that police departments across the country will draw the right conclusions from this case.”

Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.

Source: Raw Story

 

 

First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules that Citizens Can Videotape Police

By Tiffany Kaiser
Daily Tech

August 31, 2011 — The filming of government officials while on duty is protected by the First Amendment, said the Court

The First Circuit Court of Appeals reached a crucial decision last Friday allowing the public to videotape police officers while they’re on the clock.

The decision comes after a string of incidents where individuals have videotaped police officers and were arrested. Police officers across the United States believed citizens didn’t have the right to videotape them as they conducted official duties, but issues like police brutality put the issue up for debate.

One instance where a citizen was arrested for videotaping an officer was when Khaliah Fitchette, a law-abiding teenager from New Jersey, boarded a bus in Newark. Two police officers boarded the bus as well to remove a drunken man.

Fitchette began taping the police officers because of how they were handling the man, and a police officer instructed her to stop recording them. When Fitchette refused, she was arrested and placed in the back of a cop car for two hours while the officers took her phone to delete the video. Fitchette was then released, but she and her mother then filed suit against the Newark Police Department with the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Another example involves Simon Glik, a passerby on the Boston Common. He used his cell phone to tape police officers when the Boston police were punching a man. Citizens surrounding the scene were saying,

“You’re hurting him.”

Glik never interfered with the police officers’ actions, but recorded the entire incident. The police officers ended up charging Glik with violating a wiretap statute that prohibits secret recording, even though the police officers admitted that they knew Glik was recording them. He was also charged with disturbing the peace and aiding the escape of a prisoner.

While all charges against Glik were dropped due to lack of merit, he still decided to join forces with the ACLU and file a civil rights suit to prevent a similar incident from occurring with others.

On Friday, August 26, 2011, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which is New England’s highest federal court just below the U.S. Supreme Court, ruled that citizens are allowed to videotape law officials while they conduct official duties.

The city’s attorneys made the argument that police officers should have been exempt from a civil rights lawsuit in the first place in this case because the law is unclear as to whether there’s a “constitutionally protected right to videotape police” conducting their daily duties in public.

“The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles [of protected First Amendment activity].,”

said the Court.

“Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting the free discussion of governmental affairs.”

The Court added that the police officers should have understood this all along, and that videotaping public officials is not limited to the press.

“Moreover, changes in technology and society have made the lines between private citizen and journalist exceedingly difficult to draw,”

the Court continued.

“The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.”

The Court concluded that police officers are to expect to deal with certain “burdens” as citizens practice First Amendment rights, but that there needs to be a healthy balance between police officers being videotaped while acting irresponsibly and the harassment of officers with recording devices while they’re conducting their duties responsibly.

 

Source: Daily Tech

 

Dady Chery

About Dady Chery

Dr. Dady Chery is a Haitian-born journalist, playwright, essayist, and poet. She is the author of "We Have Dared to Be Free: Haiti's Struggle Against Occupation." Her broad interests encompass science, culture, and human rights. She writes extensively about Haiti and world issues such as climate change and social justice. Her many contributions to Haitian news include the first proposal that Haiti’s cholera had been imported by the UN, and the first story describing Haiti’s mineral wealth.

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