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Thread: Will recording police become illegal? Maybe.

  1. #1
    Regular Member CenTex's Avatar
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    Will recording police become illegal? Maybe.

    Have you heard of Michael Allison? He is possibly facing 75 years in prison for recording police when he felt they were harassing him. Police say they do not lose their rights as citizens when they donn their uniforms.

    Here is an excerpt from the first report back in August of this year.
    Crawford County State’s Attorney Tom Wiseman is currently bringing five felony charges against Michael Allison, a 41-year-old construction worker who recorded police officers and other public officials he thought were harassing him. ... Allison was fighting a zoning ordinance forbidding the storage of unregistered or inoperable vehicles on private property. Allison thought he was being unjustly targeted by local authorities and was planning a civil rights lawsuit, so he began recording his conversations with local law enforcement. He faces up to 75 years in prison for the recordings.
    See this link for entire article: http://reason.com/archives/2010/08/0...dont-check-the

    Here is an excerpt from what I think is the latest report on this situation.
    Should ordinary people be arrested for filming on-duty police abusing their power? If a string of recent cases is any indication, judicial systems throughout the country think so.
    See this link for entire article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/1..._n_795295.html

    Please add any additional information if you have any that will bring this up to date.
    Last edited by CenTex; 12-18-2010 at 10:31 AM.
    The words of a tyrant: “I never entertain opposing opinions. I am always right.”

    Socialism is just another dirty word for totalitarianism.

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined." -Patrick Henry

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    Regular Member RockerFor2A's Avatar
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    I don't know, but I have a Michael Allison living down the street from me. A few clunkers out front, but when I was looking at Google Earth the other day, this guy's got a veritable private junk yard going on behind his house. I won't drop a dime on the guy, but it's why some zoning and code enforcement is necessary. You DON'T want to live by a Michael Allison-- it's called BLIGHT.

    I think he should be able to video anything that happens in public however. I just don't have a lot of sympathy for people who accumulate junk cars in residential neighborhoods if they're not zoned for industrial.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Kloutier's Avatar
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    I gave that to my buddy and he responded with this to a few people:

    I found this article and became quite upset.
    http://gizmodo.com/5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns
    Basically it says if you video tape a cop you are committing a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.

    I don't think Police have the right to say they don't want to be filmed if they are on duty, as they are Government Public Identities just like politicians. I am not sure if Police fall into this category but because Politicians fall into the "public domain" the use of their picture can be used on a t-shirt or any other item, including video tape as long as there is not an infringement of copyright issues regarding the person that took a particular photo or video.

    Video capture is a passive from of observation, in which nobody gets physically hurt or detained so why is the video capture a problem? The police choose this venue for that exact reason, and use it in court as evedence. And excuse me but if they are on duty they have the right to video tape you, but you can't tape them? In court an officers word has more weight then an average citizens, so why not have the ability to have proof to what the citizen is saying. Video is a perfect witness, It won't lie, it is 100% impartial, and it can perfectly recall 100% of what it saw. If the officer is lying the video will confirm it, if the accused is lying the video will confirm it. I mean "Those that have eyes let them see, those that have ears let them hear!"

    If an officer tries to stop a recording or confiscates it and wipes it, I think the case needs to be thrown out since my ability to find and present my own evidence has been destroyed. Additionally I would want the officer thrown in jail as they tampered with evidence, and in a way committed witness tampering too. After all if they have done nothing wrong the tape will reflect this and provide proof of the illegal act being committed by the accused. And how many times have you been told by the police that if you have done nothing then you have nothing to fear. I don't believe in big brother but, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. After all wasn't the arrest in Public, by Public Officials?

    With much power comes much responsibility, and therefore those in power need to be held responsible for ALL of their actions, both good and bad. At the same time leniency should be given for minor infractions of the officers as the real world is never going to be as simple as the rule books. Putting a knee in an arrested persons back is not considered police brutality if the person has given reason to the officer that he is a risk of physically harming the officer or himself. After all being in law enforcement is dangerous and very difficult, who wants more grief of someone calling foul at every movement. That is where a jury and a court of law can make that decision.

    Don't think this won't affect us either, these laws have already been passed and average citizens are going to jail for it. What has to happen before we realize we are in the fast lane to a prison state and we have no more freedom?

    Here is another example of government officials, people we place in power who we trust to do the right thing and protect us, trying to get into the legal position of not being held responsible for any of their their current and future actions. J. Edger Hoover of the FBI wanted to put the Constitution and Bill of Rights in a safe and make it illegal for anyone to see it or copies of it, making it impossible to confirm the newly made laws against it.

    If more of these kind of laws get passed we will have to decide on if we want to be beaten savagely by a cop that will deny doing it, or catch them on tape and get prosecuted for illegal recording, which is a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison. Remember, if we try to protect ourselves from a beating it is resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, and impeding an investigation, and YES officers have been caught using that before.

    So I ask you now, Where do we as people get to fight back? The system is built to make the average citizen feel helpless, and like there is nothing that they can do. What is it that we can do? Where do we go? If you hire gun men to protect your sheep, who protects you from them if they decide they want the sheep? Or as more popularly said, "Who polices the policemen?"

    Think about it, think hard,
    - Professor

  4. #4
    Regular Member CenTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ca Patriot View Post
    You got to be kidding me !! This issue has NOTHING to do with junk and EVERYTHING to do with freedom and transparency. I dont care if the guy was a raving child molestor I will defend his right to record police !!!

    BTW : The case you are talking about is in Texas. This is a California sub-forum and we dont have any laws against recording police here.
    Read the "elsewhere" in the following statement.
    The debate over whether citizens should be permitted to record on-duty police officers intensified this summer. High profile incidents in Maryland, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, and elsewhere spurred coverage...
    Now, go back and reread the second article. It takes place in California.
    Last edited by CenTex; 12-18-2010 at 06:29 PM.
    The words of a tyrant: “I never entertain opposing opinions. I am always right.”

    Socialism is just another dirty word for totalitarianism.

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined." -Patrick Henry

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    Regular Member RockerFor2A's Avatar
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    My original comments did not condone improper police behavior. I think whenever public servants like police are out and about in public, we should be able to video them unless we are demonstrably interfering with their duties-- for example being physically too close to an officer or distracting them.

    That's a whole separate issue from people who want to fill their back yards with rusty old cars in a residential area. Unless of course your property value means nothing to you. It is why there are zoning restrictions. They are not always a bad thing.

  6. #6
    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    Photography is not a crime.
    Anything you see with your eyes while you are on public property is legal to photograph.
    There is no expectation of privacy when in public.
    Police have no expectation of privacy when in public.
    "Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
    Abraham Lincoln

    "Some time ago, a bunch of lefties defied the law by dancing at the Jefferson Memorial, resulting in their arrests. Last week, a bunch of them pulled the same stunt and - using patented Lefist techniques - provoked the Park Police into having to use force to arrest them."
    Alexcabbie

  7. #7
    Regular Member CenTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kloutier View Post
    I gave that to my buddy and he responded with this to a few people:

    I found this article and became quite upset.
    http://gizmodo.com/5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns
    Basically it says if you video tape a cop you are committing a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.

    I don't think Police have the right to say they don't want to be filmed if they are on duty, as they are Government Public Identities just like politicians. I am not sure if Police fall into this category but because Politicians fall into the "public domain" the use of their picture can be used on a t-shirt or any other item, including video tape as long as there is not an infringement of copyright issues regarding the person that took a particular photo or video.

    Video capture is a passive from of observation, in which nobody gets physically hurt or detained so why is the video capture a problem? The police choose this venue for that exact reason, and use it in court as evedence. And excuse me but if they are on duty they have the right to video tape you, but you can't tape them? In court an officers word has more weight then an average citizens, so why not have the ability to have proof to what the citizen is saying. Video is a perfect witness, It won't lie, it is 100% impartial, and it can perfectly recall 100% of what it saw. If the officer is lying the video will confirm it, if the accused is lying the video will confirm it. I mean "Those that have eyes let them see, those that have ears let them hear!"

    If an officer tries to stop a recording or confiscates it and wipes it, I think the case needs to be thrown out since my ability to find and present my own evidence has been destroyed. Additionally I would want the officer thrown in jail as they tampered with evidence, and in a way committed witness tampering too. After all if they have done nothing wrong the tape will reflect this and provide proof of the illegal act being committed by the accused. And how many times have you been told by the police that if you have done nothing then you have nothing to fear. I don't believe in big brother but, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. After all wasn't the arrest in Public, by Public Officials?

    With much power comes much responsibility, and therefore those in power need to be held responsible for ALL of their actions, both good and bad. At the same time leniency should be given for minor infractions of the officers as the real world is never going to be as simple as the rule books. Putting a knee in an arrested persons back is not considered police brutality if the person has given reason to the officer that he is a risk of physically harming the officer or himself. After all being in law enforcement is dangerous and very difficult, who wants more grief of someone calling foul at every movement. That is where a jury and a court of law can make that decision.

    Don't think this won't affect us either, these laws have already been passed and average citizens are going to jail for it. What has to happen before we realize we are in the fast lane to a prison state and we have no more freedom?

    Here is another example of government officials, people we place in power who we trust to do the right thing and protect us, trying to get into the legal position of not being held responsible for any of their their current and future actions. J. Edger Hoover of the FBI wanted to put the Constitution and Bill of Rights in a safe and make it illegal for anyone to see it or copies of it, making it impossible to confirm the newly made laws against it.

    If more of these kind of laws get passed we will have to decide on if we want to be beaten savagely by a cop that will deny doing it, or catch them on tape and get prosecuted for illegal recording, which is a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison. Remember, if we try to protect ourselves from a beating it is resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, and impeding an investigation, and YES officers have been caught using that before.

    So I ask you now, Where do we as people get to fight back? The system is built to make the average citizen feel helpless, and like there is nothing that they can do. What is it that we can do? Where do we go? If you hire gun men to protect your sheep, who protects you from them if they decide they want the sheep? Or as more popularly said, "Who polices the policemen?"

    Think about it, think hard,
    - Professor
    I have no intention of what I am about to say being an indication that I am bashing law enforcement officers. I have close friends who are in law enforcement. My own brother was a deputy sheriff.

    Thank you Kloutier for your thoughts presented here. I have had the same questions and is one of the reasons I posted this thread. And it is certain that this subject already is a problem in California.

    I was also wondering whether or not private citizens have the authority to place a citizen's arrest on a LE officer. If they don't, they should. No LE officer should act as though they are above the law. Once they break our Constitutional rights, we should have the right to arrest them. They are paid "servants" of the people, but they do not act like it when they abuse our rights. They can go from servant status to tyrant quite fast. We should be able to record them in the process of confronting us on a stop to make sure that they do not break our rights. BTW, they have no qualms about filming us for their protection!

    I hate it when we have our Constitutional rights molested and LE says it is OK because "they do not know us." Well, hells-bells, we don't know them either. Do we have an excuse to abuse their rights? NO! We face a person we do not know, we don't know how his day has gone, personal problems that are affecting his emotions, and worse...he has a gun and has the authority to use it against us when he may be at his wits end for matters that has nothing to do with us.

    This may not go down well with some, but we should have every right to protect ourselves against "anyone" who is trying to kill us "until" we are found guilty "of a crime worthy of death" in a court of law and sentenced to die at the hand of the state. Protecting your right to live at anytime before sentencing by a court should not be a crime. But it is when used against LE...even when you may be innocent of a crime, or guilty of a crime that is no more than a misdemeanor. I am not talking about anyone who is caught in the commission of a crime where people's lives are endangered by a criminal or someone has killed someone. I am talking about law-abiding citizens whose lives are being threatened by LE.

    Well back to my question: Is it legal to place a citizen's arrest on a law enforcement officer when your Constitutional rights are infringed upon?
    Last edited by CenTex; 12-18-2010 at 07:27 PM.
    The words of a tyrant: “I never entertain opposing opinions. I am always right.”

    Socialism is just another dirty word for totalitarianism.

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined." -Patrick Henry

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    CenTex,

    I may be wrong, and will admit that this is only my opinion. I do not think a LEO can be arrested for a Rights violation. You would have to take that up with civil court.

    However, you can make a C/A on anyone that comments a crime in your presence. Or a felon if you have RAS to believe that a felony has been committed, and that the person being arrested is the person that committed the felony.
    Be it punk or LEO.

    However, be mighty sure of the facts, as you open yourself up to a lot of grief if you are wrong. You, as a private citizen DO NOT have protection for false arrest charges.

  9. #9
    Regular Member CenTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iopencarry View Post
    CenTex,

    I may be wrong, and will admit that this is only my opinion. I do not think a LEO can be arrested for a Rights violation. You would have to take that up with civil court.

    However, you can make a C/A on anyone that comments a crime in your presence. Or a felon if you have RAS to believe that a felony has been committed, and that the person being arrested is the person that committed the felony.
    Be it punk or LEO.

    However, be mighty sure of the facts, as you open yourself up to a lot of grief if you are wrong. You, as a private citizen DO NOT have protection for false arrest charges.
    Is it not a crime to intentionally break someone's Constitutional rights? If not, what would it be?

    Police should not have protection for false arrest either.
    Last edited by CenTex; 12-18-2010 at 07:47 PM.
    The words of a tyrant: “I never entertain opposing opinions. I am always right.”

    Socialism is just another dirty word for totalitarianism.

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined." -Patrick Henry

  10. #10
    Regular Member Gundude's Avatar
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    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    In some states, it's illegal to video LEO's on duty. I remember a video a guy took with his helmet cam. He was speeding on his bike and a off duty LEO stopped him and pulled a gun. The biker was prosecuted for having the video. I don't remember what state it was. In Calif, its ok to video LEO's while they are violating your rights.
    A citizen may not be required to offer a ―good and substantial reason-- why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs.

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    G-dude,

    The guy on the bike was charged with 'wire tapping' if I remember right. The case was also dropped.

  12. #12
    Regular Member CenTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ca Patriot View Post
    Remember that qualified immunity for law enforcement doesnt cover civil rights violations.
    OK. Do you have any official information to support your statement?
    The words of a tyrant: “I never entertain opposing opinions. I am always right.”

    Socialism is just another dirty word for totalitarianism.

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined." -Patrick Henry

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    and that's why i duct tape my little mp3 recorder to my balls. they'd have to run their hands in and out of my crotch to find this one. in the last incident, the cops illegal search and seized everything in my pockets except my recorder.

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    Regular Member Gundude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xnetc9 View Post
    and that's why i duct tape my little mp3 recorder to my balls. they'd have to run their hands in and out of my crotch to find this one. in the last incident, the cops illegal search and seized everything in my pockets except my recorder.
    It must be fun pulling that tape off your crotch.
    A citizen may not be required to offer a ―good and substantial reason-- why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs.

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    Anthony Graber v Maryland

    Quote Originally Posted by CenTex View Post
    OK. Do you have any official information to support your statement?
    Citation

    The challenge to police having a reasonable expectation of privacy begins in the first complete paragraph on page seven.

  16. #16
    Regular Member demnogis's Avatar
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    If recording the police, while in public/on the job becomes illegal, does that mean we would see the end of dash cams? Video recording of "interviews" while in police custody? Surveillance video of precincts or public offices?

    Removing that form of "auditing" only allows them that much more less methods to be audited. Your word against theirs; and theirs is worth 5.
    Gun control isn't about guns -- it is about control.

  17. #17
    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gundude View Post
    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    In some states, it's illegal to video LEO's on duty. I remember a video a guy took with his helmet cam. He was speeding on his bike and a off duty LEO stopped him and pulled a gun. The biker was prosecuted for having the video. I don't remember what state it was. In Calif, its ok to video LEO's while they are violating your rights.
    Ill and Mass have turned old wiretapping laws against citizens. Other states are following.
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/TheLaw/vide...1179076&page=3
    Only in Massachusetts and Illinois is it illegal for people to make an audio recording of people without their consent.
    The charges against the rider were dismissed.

    Videotaping/photographing anything you can see while on public property is legal. But you still run the risk of being arrested, charged, tried, and convicted.


    http://jolt.unc.edu/blog/2010/10/14/...ce-still-issue

    Photography is not a crime:
    http://www.pixiq.com/contributors/248
    Last edited by HandyHamlet; 12-27-2010 at 03:16 PM.
    "Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
    Abraham Lincoln

    "Some time ago, a bunch of lefties defied the law by dancing at the Jefferson Memorial, resulting in their arrests. Last week, a bunch of them pulled the same stunt and - using patented Lefist techniques - provoked the Park Police into having to use force to arrest them."
    Alexcabbie

  18. #18
    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    How about wear a shirt. All interactions with me are subject to audio/video recording. By talking to me all permissions are given for said recordings.

    I am sorry. A cop is not a private citizen when performing duties hence some of the special rules and protections they have. They are paid by taxpayer money so hence the publics employees. We have every right to monitor our workers.

  19. #19
    Regular Member Gundude's Avatar
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    I hope they don't make it illegal. I just got a new spypen and spy sunglasses.
    A citizen may not be required to offer a ―good and substantial reason-- why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right‘s existence is all the reason he needs.

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