In the Ask LEOa question thread a couple of months ago, I asked the same question. LEO (BIG EGO) 229 answered:
LEO 229 wrote:
HankT wrote:Here's another question for LEO 229, instigated partially by Mercutio's Wal-Mart case. But it is generalized to any law abiding citizen-LEO FTF interaction where the LEO stops a LAC for any official business reason.
Can a LAC openly record the verbal exchange? Also, can the LAC covertly record the verbal exchange?
For the purposes of simplicity, let's assume that the turning on of the recording device can be done without bringing in the"if you're reaching in your pocket for a recorder, the LEO might think it is a weapon" tangent. Let's just say that if openly recorded, the activation is done with a slowwww, non-threatening manipulation and, if covertly, by voice operation recording.
If the recording is legal, will the officerget PO'd? Will the LEO ramp up his concerns about the interaction? Will the LEO just accept the recording? Could the LEOsay he would prefer not to have the recording done?
Could this recording be used in any complaint, disciplinary proceeding, or civil court case? Could the recording be used by the police in any way, such as charge determination or as evidence in any trial of the recorder?
Canthe police confiscatethe recording for any reason? Who controls the recording after the interaction is over?
Yes, In Virginia as long as one of the party knows the recording is being made it is legal. Police here have video cameras with remote mics and they record everything and never tell the driver.
Will it upset the officer if he knew or was told? Only if hehas is aware that he is notvery professional in dealing with others. I would not care myself. I treat everyone fairly
Oh Yes... You can play the tape when you file the complaint too.
No!! The officer CANNOT take the tape from you. He will be in big trouble if he does. That would be an illegal seizure of your property.