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View Full Version : Videotaping an arrest is a 1st Amend. Right


Acsenray
08-30-2011, 10:13 AM
In Glik v. Cunniffe (http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/10-1764P-01A.pdf), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit holds that a bystander videotaping an arrest by police is exercising rights protected under the First Amendment. The court also rules that the police officers who arrested the cameraman are not protected under the doctrine of qualified immunity from a claim that they violated his constitutional rights.

Looks like a good decision to me.

Snowboarder Bo
08-30-2011, 10:37 AM
Good. Let's see if it stands; I doubt the police will just say "okay" and not appeal.

Evil Captor
08-30-2011, 10:51 AM
Excellent decision. What are we supposed to do, avert our eyes?

Snowboarder Bo
08-30-2011, 11:12 AM
I just got done reading the whole decision. That was quite the judicial smackdown.

strugglingChristian
08-30-2011, 11:37 AM
This is soooo very troublesome. The first idea that pops into my head is that the only reason police would not want their actions recorded is because they plan on doing bad actions that would get them into trouble if recorded. Ay, there are actually many officers out there who plan on doing illegal things during arrest? That is really scary.

Una Persson
08-30-2011, 11:51 AM
The officers even charged him with "aiding in the escape of a prisoner" for recording the arrest with his cell phone camera. Does no one in the law in that court district care about clearly egregious and false arrest? Even being as charitable as possible, it casts a light on police officers who need remedial training in the law.

Chronos
08-30-2011, 11:55 AM
I'm amazed that this could even make it to court, but given that it did, they reached the correct decision.

kayaker
08-30-2011, 12:04 PM
Is there a debate here?

Little Nemo
08-30-2011, 12:31 PM
I'm curious. To save me from having to read the decision, can you tell me what part of the First Amendment was invoked to guaranteeing the right to record an arrest?

miss elizabeth
08-30-2011, 12:33 PM
So... I know they are passing laws that say recording police officers is illegal. Does this invalidate those laws, or what?

Lakai
08-30-2011, 12:37 PM
I'm curious. To save me from having to read the decision, can you tell me what part of the First Amendment was invoked to guaranteeing the right to record an arrest?

Freedom of the press. In this day and age we are all potential reporters and deserve the same rights as traditional reporters.

Diogenes the Cynic
08-30-2011, 12:46 PM
I'm curious. To save me from having to read the decision, can you tell me what part of the First Amendment was invoked to guaranteeing the right to record an arrest?
Essentially the ruling cites both freedom of the Press and freedom of speech and cites a number of Supreme Court decisions holding that the freedom to gather and disseminate information about government officials engaged in public business is an essential First Amendment right.

Diogenes the Cynic
08-30-2011, 12:53 PM
By the way, the state had already dropped the charges against Glik as being groundless. This particular ruling basically says that Glik has the right to sue the cops, and they did not have qualified immunity.

The state itself is not even trying to defend the constitutionality of the arrest.

Bricker
08-30-2011, 01:44 PM
Essentially the ruling cites both freedom of the Press and freedom of speech and cites a number of Supreme Court decisions holding that the freedom to gather and disseminate information about government officials engaged in public business is an essential First Amendment right.

In the First Circuit, the opinion concludes, those Supreme Court decisions add up to the right to openly record cops.

I say that not to correct you -- your summary is accurate -- but to point out that the opinion acknowledges the existence of a contrary, albeit unpublished, Fourth Circuit opinion. The First Circuit goes on to dismiss it as having no precedential value and thus not fodder that the cops might have relied upon.

Bone
08-30-2011, 02:38 PM
Good cops should be relieved at being recorded. It can vindicate them against unfounded allegations just as easily as it could implicate them in nefarious behavior.

Too bad the ruling didn't go further and state that it's okay to record anybody (not just police) in a public place, and that the recording didn't have to be obviously being done. I think it's reasonable to want to covertly record a cop who is beating the crap out of someone, lest the police turn their aggression on the person recording. The fact that many people are getting arrested for filming cops is illustrative that those particular cops are assholes.

Too often footage taken by cops is lost when it could provide either damaging evidence to a case or show criminal behavior on the part of the police.

Acsenray
08-30-2011, 02:42 PM
Too bad the ruling didn't go further and state that it's okay to record anybody (not just police) in a public place, and that the recording didn't have to be obviously being done.

The decision is based on the importance of people monitoring government activity. I don't see any reason why it should have said that it's okay to covertly record just anyone.

Bone
08-30-2011, 02:53 PM
It wasn't necessary to draw that conclusion to resolve the case, I agree. It will be litigated in the future and I predict it will be held that you can record a person in public, without their knowledge, and not run afoul of any law, generally. This is as it should be.

Bri2k
08-30-2011, 03:11 PM
Concur with the OP. If citizens have no expectation of privacy in a public place, why should law enforcement?

Besides, if the police are on the level, they should welcome being filmed instead of fighting it.

Bri2k

Acsenray
08-30-2011, 03:12 PM
This is as it should be.

I disagree. People in general who are engaged in private behavior should have the right to control their privacy and their image/likeness.

Sinaptics
08-30-2011, 03:19 PM
The only rational that I can come up with for officers to not want to be taped might be incomplete footage showing an incomplete portrayal of a situation.

I agree with the ruling, however. Officers have a lot of power to suppress the rights of the citizenry and should have the extra scrutiny.

Diogenes the Cynic
08-30-2011, 03:28 PM
I disagree. People in general who are engaged in private behavior should have the right to control their privacy and their image/likeness.
We're talking about public behavior, though. People have no expectation of privacy when they're in public.

strugglingChristian
08-30-2011, 03:31 PM
And I can't wrap my mind around incomplete footage showing an incomplete portrayal. No matter the situation, officers are not allowed to do certain things like punch and kick a person right? They can use their batons and force but not abuse correct? If there is footage showing abuse (physical) that is not allowed than how can the situation be incompletely portrayed? Are there instances when police are allowed to use illegal tactics such that if the incomplete footage does not show the situation then the portrayal is incomplete?

Of all the police abuse vids i've seen, not one did it seem possible that the situation was not what was captured. I don't get it when people say it's not what it looks like in the case of several officers kinking and punching a guy laying on a floor. they aren't kicking and punching him? It's ok to kick and punch people who flinch? This is the right way to treat a person as long as they are on drugs? Inserting a plunger into a man's anus is acceptable under certain situations?

Diogenes the Cynic
08-30-2011, 03:41 PM
And no matter how complete the video is, the cops can always still say there's something that it didn't capture.

Acsenray
08-30-2011, 04:00 PM
We're talking about public behavior, though. People have no expectation of privacy when they're in public.

Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. They may still have certain kinds of privacy rights, such as false light. They still have the right to control their own image and voice with respect to commercial misappropriation. They have certain rights under specific federal statutes, such as wiretapping laws.

These kinds of rights can be defined by common law and statute, and are not necessarily constitutional issue. So far as I am concerned, some kinds of privacy rights could stand to be stronger, even if a person happens to be standing in an otherwise public place.

kayaker
08-30-2011, 04:05 PM
Inserting a plunger into a man's anus is acceptable under certain situations?

When both parties are consenting adults, yes.

Odesio
08-30-2011, 04:12 PM
And I can't wrap my mind around incomplete footage showing an incomplete portrayal. No matter the situation, officers are not allowed to do certain things like punch and kick a person right?


Officers can punch people or kick them if the situation warrants it.

strugglingChristian
08-30-2011, 04:15 PM
When both parties are consenting adults, yes.

oh my word, thanks for the visual of someone consenting to have police officers insert a plunger into their anus. I have to say, I am 100% positive that no arrestee would consent to have an officer insert a plunger.
You are more than welcome to prove me wrong with an actual case, but until then, my prejudice stands.

strugglingChristian
08-30-2011, 04:16 PM
Officers can punch people or kick them if the situation warrants it.

and which situation is that? And where are these rules written.

Diogenes the Cynic
08-30-2011, 04:18 PM
Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.
They have no legal entitlement to it, though. Anything you do in public is fair game to photograph. Fair use doesn't play into it, because that entails how the image is used, not the mere collection and possession of it. They can't use it to advertise Pepsi, but they can put it on TMZ and make fun of it.

Acsenray
08-30-2011, 04:25 PM
..

Telemark
08-30-2011, 04:34 PM
and which situation is that? And where are these rules written.
If a suspect attacks a police officer they can defend themselves. They can use appropriate force to subdue a dangerous person. They can use force (up to deadly force) when people's lives are in danger. Each police force has their own rules of engagement, but they follow along similar lines of escalating force.

Odesio
08-30-2011, 04:37 PM
and which situation is that? And where are these rules written.

http://www.president.ufl.edu/incidents/2007/tasing/UFPD-use-of-force-policy.pdf

From the University of Florida Police Department on the very first page of this PDF on the use of non-deadly force.

"When a confrontation escalates suddenly, an officer may use any means or device at hand to defend himself/herself as long as the level of defensive action is reasonable given the existing circumstances."

I imagine other police departments have similar policies but I'm not going to look them all up.

Odesio

Bone
08-30-2011, 06:29 PM
There was a recent example in Seattle where aggressive jaywalkers attacked an officer. He punche a girl in the face (on camera) and it seemed to do the trick. I fully support face punching in that situation.

@Acsenray - There is no expectation of privacy when in public, generally (police in Chicago passed a law to state that police do have an expectation of privacy on duty - watch that one get challenged). This is pretty clearly the way the law stands. This does not cover upskirt type pictures or other fringe BS, but taking pictures of someone while they are standing in public can not be construed as violating someone's privacy - there is no expectation of privacy to violate.

Some police and departments have gone out of their way to arrest, detain, harass, and generally be assholes to people filming them. Here's hoping they pay massive damages.

Snowboarder Bo
08-30-2011, 06:58 PM
In fact we had a discussion about a police videotaping (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=618353) recently. Note that Nevada is not one of the states that passed a "wiretap" law like Massachusetts did.

Whack-a-Mole
08-31-2011, 01:08 AM
(police in Chicago passed a law to state that police do have an expectation of privacy on duty - watch that one get challenged).

I hope it gets challenged. Or perhaps this ruling settles things unless/until SCOTUS reviews it.

As it stands video tapping a Chicago cop can net you 15 years in prison (http://www.dailytech.com/Chicago+Police+Tape+Us+Get+Sentenced+to+15+Years+in+Prison/article20735.htm). Not sure but I think only rape and murder will get you a longer prison sentence in Illinois.

And yeah...that is seriously fucked up. Makes a mockery of cruel and unusual punishment.

Sailboat
08-31-2011, 07:28 AM
This is an issue with protests, as well. Despite the inescapable fact that the Constitution protects the right to peaceably protest, authorities in general and police in particular often don't like it.

A particular issue arises when off-duty police officers are hired by a business to run off protestors, and the line between off-duty officers and their on-duty uniformed buddies gets blurred. A very popular tactic is to falsely claim the protestors are doing something wrong (standing on the wrong side of a property line, for example) and then arrest them "just to sort things out" and then release them without charges after the protest, so that the purpose of the protestors is thwarted.

Other, more aggressive tactics can also be used -- bumping protestors physically and claiming they fought back or resisted, for example.

Protestors have started using observers to videotape the protests so that there's clear evidence of whether they were in any kind of violation, or of police misconduct. Police have become very sensitive about these videos and try to shut them down.

Shodan
08-31-2011, 08:25 AM
And I can't wrap my mind around incomplete footage showing an incomplete portrayal. Think Rodney King.

I think I am the only person in North America who saw the videotape first in its entirety. If you saw the edited version, you saw a black man being beaten down by racist white cops. If you saw the complete version, including the parts where he charged the cops, and also learned that he was on parole, speeding while drunk on his ass, violently resisted arrest, did not submit after being Tasered twice, and that the two passengers in his car, both as black as he was, were not damaged in the slightest, things look a bit less cut-and-dried.

Video can be edited, faked, or misleading. Unfortunately, a generation raised on TV has great difficulty remembering this.

That having been said, this sounds like a very reasonable decision. Not just for the citizens, but for cops, who can also whip out video to prove that the felon they arrested is lying his ass off about how he never did anything wrong - the pigs started whomping on him for no reason at all.

The only drawback might be that juries won't believe anything unless they see video.

Regards,
Shodan

Paul in Qatar
08-31-2011, 08:35 AM
I would very much like to see your unedited version of the Rodney King tape. Can you provide a link? I bet you cannot.

Oddly enough, the BART policeman who shot a man in the back did get off (with a short jail sentence) in his case. The short version of the tape shows the shot. The long version showed the policeman's reaction indicating he thought he had the Taser. It also showed him trying to save the guy's life.

The Rodney King tape? Not so much. Oddly enough, the chief of police, the investigators and the court all sided with my characterization of the Rodney King case. Thank goodness you can prove me otherwise.

Go on, try.

Saint Cad
08-31-2011, 09:00 AM
I would very much like to see your unedited version of the Rodney King tape. Can you provide a link? I bet you cannot.

Oddly enough, the BART policeman who shot a man in the back did get off (with a short jail sentence) in his case. The short version of the tape shows the shot. The long version showed the policeman's reaction indicating he thought he had the Taser. It also showed him trying to save the guy's life.

The Rodney King tape? Not so much. Oddly enough, the chief of police, the investigators and the court all sided with my characterization of the Rodney King case. Thank goodness you can prove me otherwise.

Go on, try.

Living in L.A. at the time, I saw the full version and concur with Shodan's assessment. What struck me at the time was King was on the ground on his knees being yelled out to stay down yet he was still going after the cops. I don't claim their use of force wasn't excessive and I don't think Shodan did either, but it is clear that there was a lot more going on than "here's a nigger. let's beat on him".

Diogenes the Cynic
08-31-2011, 09:09 AM
I saw the whole tape. Nothing on it excused the beat down. They were acting in anger, not self defense. His drunken resistance at first was more pathetic than threatening. The fact that he was on parole is completely irrelevant, as is the fact that he had been driving drunk.

Lets not forget those assholes were convicted on federal civil rights charges, so the lame-ass excuses didn't work in front of a jury that wasn't hand-picked to be friendly to the cops.

Rhythmdvl
08-31-2011, 11:00 AM
If you saw the complete version, including the parts where he charged the cops, and also learned that he was on parole, speeding while drunk on his ass, violently resisted arrest, did not submit after being Tasered twice, and that the two passengers in his car, both as black as he was, were not damaged in the slightest, things look a bit less cut-and-dried.
Ah, so the Rodney King case comes down to 'he needed beating'. The cops were entirely justified. Taping police actions is bad because tapes may not show how despicable the person was before taping started, and may not excuse the level of beat-down the suspect deserved. This is because we give our police officers complete freedom of violence against people, the discretion being based on how badly the suspect pissed off the officers beforehand.

Shodan
08-31-2011, 11:06 AM
Ah, so the Rodney King case comes down to 'he needed beating'. The cops were entirely justified. Taping police actions is bad because tapes may not show how despicable the person was before taping started, and may not excuse the level of beat-down the suspect deserved. This is because we give our police officers complete freedom of violence against people, the discretion being based on how badly the suspect pissed off the officers beforehand. Congratulations on winning the "Stupidest Strawman of the Week" Award.

Regards,
Shodan

Rhythmdvl
08-31-2011, 01:23 PM
I don't think your point was the stupidest thing I saw on the Dope this week. Close, but not the stupidest.

Or, when replying to strugglingChristian's questioning how an incomplete recording can be a problem with perceptions, you meant something other than the 'complete' footage showed the cops in a better light/exonerated their actions.

Actually, perhaps it was the stupidest thing this week.

Shodan
08-31-2011, 02:02 PM
I don't think your point was the stupidest thing I saw on the Dope this week. Then maybe you should have responded to it, instead of the grotesque misrepresentation you chose to make of it.

Regards,
Shodan

kanicbird
08-31-2011, 03:37 PM
Officers can punch people or kick them if the situation warrants it.

Then the officers should be able to explain their actions, instead of try to suppress public knowledge of it. And let the Public decide if this is something that should be continued policy or should it be changed.

outlierrn
08-31-2011, 04:14 PM
Congratulations on winning the "Stupidest Strawman of the Week" Award.

Regards,
Shodan

I dunno, I'd have gone with ''Most Extreme Excluded Middle of the Week.''

Rhythmdvl
08-31-2011, 04:15 PM
And I can't wrap my mind around incomplete footage showing an incomplete portrayal.

Think Rodney King.

I think I am the only person in North America who saw the videotape first in its entirety. If you saw the edited version, you saw a black man being beaten down by racist white cops. If you saw the complete version, including the parts where he charged the cops, and also learned that he was on parole, speeding while drunk on his ass, violently resisted arrest, did not submit after being Tasered twice, and that the two passengers in his car, both as black as he was, were not damaged in the slightest, things look a bit less cut-and-dried.

...

The only drawback might be that juries won't believe anything unless they see video.

Then maybe you should have responded to it, instead of the grotesque misrepresentation you chose to make of it.
The sentimentality behind this is grotesque enough. You offered the background behind Rodney King's abuse as an example of how complete footage would make things less "cut-and-dried."


Your description was given in contrast to "If you saw the edited version, you saw a black man being beaten down by racist white cops." There is little wiggle room to suggest that viewing the "complete" version's additional details--that he had charged the cops, that he was on parole (that was on the complete version of amateur's videotape?), that he had (note your own tense) violently resisted, and that he didn't submit after Tasering--are not an exoneration of the cop's actions.

You can try going the obscenely disingenuous route and insist that by bringing up the two other non-abused black passengers you were merely refuting claims that the cops had racial motives, but that is undercut by the majority of your descriptors dealing with King's pre-arrest actions.

The so-called "complete" version, offered as a justification for his beating, is a justification for a grotesque society.

Shodan
08-31-2011, 04:52 PM
Still trying it, eh?

:shrugs:

Regards,
Shodan

yojimbo
08-31-2011, 04:52 PM
King may have needed to be treated with lots of violence to bring him to a point where the police could control him enough to get the cuffs on and lawfully arrest him. Police need to be able to use power and might to control and arrest suspects who resist arrest.

What is clear to me from the video is that the police got to that point and then kept going. They beat the man and stomped him well after the point where the 5/6 of them could have used their force and weight to restrain him with cuffs and whatever else they had.

I've no problem with cops doing what they need to do to arrest people and keep themselves safe. They went too far with King no matter what he did. I doesn't matter wether he's black, white or purple. There are rules and they crossed the line.

Shodan, do you think they crossed that line? I'm not asking if King deserved to be treated roughly while he was resisting. I'm asking if you feel the cops went as far as they should have and no further or did they keep going when they already had the situation under control considering their numbers and physical presence?

Saint Cad
08-31-2011, 05:36 PM
King may have needed to be treated with lots of violence to bring him to a point where the police could control him enough to get the cuffs on and lawfully arrest him. Police need to be able to use power and might to control and arrest suspects who resist arrest.

What is clear to me from the video is that the police got to that point and then kept going. They beat the man and stomped him well after the point where the 5/6 of them could have used their force and weight to restrain him with cuffs and whatever else they had.

I've no problem with cops doing what they need to do to arrest people and keep themselves safe. They went too far with King no matter what he did. I doesn't matter wether he's black, white or purple. There are rules and they crossed the line.

Shodan, do you think they crossed that line? I'm not asking if King deserved to be treated roughly while he was resisting. I'm asking if you feel the cops went as far as they should have and no further or did they keep going when they already had the situation under control considering their numbers and physical presence?

As someone who saw the full video at the beginning of the arrest, King was not following directions and acting in a way that IMO justified significance force to subdue him. Even while being subdued, he still made aggressive motions to the officers and still refused to follow officer directions.

That being said, there is a point in the video where it stops being the use of force to protect the officers from an unknown but potentially unsafe situation to one of a beating for entertainment/retribution. I believe what Shodan believes (and I do as well) is that the full video justifies the original use of force and how it grew out of control into something heineous.

Odesio
08-31-2011, 06:11 PM
Then the officers should be able to explain their actions, instead of try to suppress public knowledge of it. And let the Public decide if this is something that should be continued policy or should it be changed.

Uh, okay. I'm not on the side of making it illegal to videotape them. I was simply explaining that there are situations where an officer of the law may punch or kick a suspect.

magellan01
08-31-2011, 06:24 PM
They have no legal entitlement to it, though. Anything you do in public is fair game to photograph. Fair use doesn't play into it, because that entails how the image is used, not the mere collection and possession of it. They can't use it to advertise Pepsi, but they can put it on TMZ and make fun of it.

So, can some anonymous guy take pictures of your daughter at the playground? Can he then put them on a website? If so, what can and can't he do with these pictures? How about the guy who goes to the mall and takes pictures looking up girls dresses?

For the record, I'm greatly in favor of the ruling and the videotaping of police officers, but private citizens should have more control over being filmed.

user_hostile
08-31-2011, 07:03 PM
So, can some anonymous guy take pictures of your daughter at the playground? Can he then put them on a website? If so, what can and can't he do with these pictures? How about the guy who goes to the mall and takes pictures looking up girls dresses?

If your kid is in a public setting, a person can take as many pictures as they want and put them on the web all he wants.

On the other hand, a mall is not a public place; the mall owners can ask that person to leave; if not, they can detain or arrest him for trespassing. Not sure about the underwear fetish/posting pictures if that is a crime or not, others can fill this gap.

Diogenes the Cynic
08-31-2011, 07:03 PM
The answer to those first two questions is yes. Anybody can take pictures of my kids, and put them on a website, and I personally don't give a fuck.

The kind of upskirt photos you're talking about have been explicitly made illegal because legislators determined that there is an expectation of privacy about one's undergarments.

Paul in Qatar
08-31-2011, 11:16 PM
Living in L.A. at the time, I saw the full version and concur with Shodan's assessment. What struck me at the time was King was on the ground on his knees being yelled out to stay down yet he was still going after the cops. I don't claim their use of force wasn't excessive and I don't think Shodan did either, but it is clear that there was a lot more going on than "here's a nigger. let's beat on him".

Good, excellent, please post a link to this mysterious complete tape. I contend it does not exist.

Go ahead, put me in my place. If you can.

gonzomax
09-01-2011, 10:51 AM
If they don't video tape, it becomes their word against the polices. That means the cop wins.
Strange, the police can video tape all they want, and it is legal. But if you tape them, it is suddenly wrong and illegal.
If the cop feels he is justified in beating up a suspect, he should be able to defend it. The film does not change the act nor does it give a slanted view. It just records it.

E-Sabbath
09-01-2011, 11:36 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZDrZDEqeKk

This gentleman, George Holliday, seems to have it, and can license it.

John Mace
09-01-2011, 11:49 AM
The only rational that I can come up with for officers to not want to be taped might be incomplete footage showing an incomplete portrayal of a situation.

I agree with the ruling, however. Officers have a lot of power to suppress the rights of the citizenry and should have the extra scrutiny.

The issue in your first paragraph is significant only insofar as the video may or may not be admissible in court or how it might by admissible, not whether the video should be allowed to exist.

carnivorousplant
09-01-2011, 11:59 AM
Strange, the police can video tape all they want, and it is legal. But if you tape them, it is suddenly wrong and illegal.


Well, they don't let us carry guns or tasers, either. :)

Paul in Qatar
09-01-2011, 01:22 PM
Never mind. I am still waiting for the full version of the video to justify the Rodney King beating.

Johnny L.A.
09-01-2011, 01:43 PM
Never mind. I am still waiting for the full version of the video to justify the Rodney King beating.

Lots of people have seen the full video. Some of them have posted here, and there are many people elsewhere who have written about seeing it. I have not seen it myself, but I was living in L.A. at the time and remember the news reports mentioning that jurors would see the full video.

Are you contending that the video doesn't exist? It does, as there are people who have seen it and it was shown at the trial. Or are you contending that the parts of the video not generally seen still do not justify the beating? In that case, it's open to interpretation. I can't interpret it myself, since I haven't seen it.

Jonathan Chance
09-01-2011, 02:02 PM
Freedom of the press. In this day and age we are all potential reporters and deserve the same rights as traditional reporters.

As a (former) reporter I just want to qualify this a bit (though not to make fun of [b]Lakai[b/]).

It's not a matter of 'in this day and age'. It's been well-established for a long time that all citizens may gather and present information obtained legally and that being a reporter or a member of the media confers no special right at all. Public records are just that, public records, and are open to all comers.

So it's not that all have become journalists but that we have always been so. You, me, that guy down the hall. All have the right to public information and to record and disseminate information.

Bone
09-01-2011, 02:20 PM
So, can some anonymous guy take pictures of your daughter at the playground? Can he then put them on a website? If so, what can and can't he do with these pictures? How about the guy who goes to the mall and takes pictures looking up girls dresses?

For the record, I'm greatly in favor of the ruling and the videotaping of police officers, but private citizens should have more control over being filmed.

So I'm in a park, taking pictures of my kid on the swings. Your kid walks in frame and is now captured on my memory card. Am I now prohibited by force of law from posting those pictures online in your scenario? How does that work?

E-Sabbath
09-01-2011, 02:43 PM
http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/lapd/kingvideo.html

It seems this is the full video, with analysis. Warning, requires real media player.

Paul in Qatar
09-01-2011, 03:10 PM
Lots of people have seen the full video. Some of them have posted here, and there are many people elsewhere who have written about seeing it. I have not seen it myself, but I was living in L.A. at the time and remember the news reports mentioning that jurors would see the full video.

Are you contending that the video doesn't exist? It does, as there are people who have seen it and it was shown at the trial. Or are you contending that the parts of the video not generally seen still do not justify the beating? In that case, it's open to interpretation. I can't interpret it myself, since I haven't seen it.

I have also seen the video. There is a popular conspiracy theory that several seconds from the beginning of the recording were cut off. Further, it is claimed, King's activity in those edited-out several seconds shows why beating the living snot of the guy was called for.

This is not true. I remember Andy Rooney on Sixty Minutes showing the whole tape, it showed the inside of the apartment, camera walks to the patio and the police are doing their thing. Rooney showed this just to disprove the conspiracy theories.

The full tape shows King trying to stand at the two-second mark. The police contend this was a 'lunge.'But then again, the court, prosecutor and chief of police all saw it differently. In any case, after the lunge at two seconds, the tape show one minute and forty-one seconds of brutality by several officers.

The tape commonly shown on TV, the one etched in our minds, is the complete video. There is no 'full version.' There is no version that shows a reason for the police doing what they did. Saying there is is simple foolishness.

Johnny L.A.
09-01-2011, 04:15 PM
The tape commonly shown on TV, the one etched in our minds, is the complete video. There is no 'full version.' There is no version that shows a reason for the police doing what they did. Saying there is is simple foolishness.

The version commonly shown on TV when I was down there at the time only lasted a minute or so. The linked video is nine minutes.

Rhythmdvl
09-01-2011, 04:38 PM
The version commonly shown on TV when I was down there at the time only lasted a minute or so. The linked video is nine minutes.

AIUI, the portion normally seen on TV comprises the first couple minutes of the entire tape--the violent beat-down. The remaining seven or eight minutes take place after King is in handcuffs.

What do you speculate the post-abuse footage adds--particularly to the discussion?

Snowboarder Bo
09-07-2011, 09:38 PM
Elijah Matheny was arrested and charged with a felony violation of Pennsylvania's Wiretap Act in April 2009 after using his cell phone to record the detention and questioning of a friend by a police officer.

The Wiretap Act forbids audio recording without the consent of all parties involved, but the ACLU argued it does not apply to government officials in public settings.

The lawsuit claimed the officer violated Matheny's First and Fourth Amendment rights by retaliating against him for lawfully gathering information about police activities.

The settlement ends a case that the ACLU lost in the U.S. District Court in Western Pennsylvania, but was expected to win in the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

All charges against Matheny were later dropped. (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/09/07/aclu-settles-case-of-man-arrested-for-recording-friends-arrest/)

I'm not sure why they settled when they expected to win in the 3rd Circuit; any lawyers want to speculate or explain why?

ISTM that this indicates that even the police are aware that the wiretap laws as applied to this scenario are untenable.

rat avatar
09-07-2011, 11:12 PM
Freedom of the press. In this day and age we are all potential reporters and deserve the same rights as traditional reporters.

The "press" was not the group of individuals who were employed in the news industry it was the device.

It relates to the right of people to publish information.

FXMastermind
09-07-2011, 11:24 PM
True dat. The printing press itself was the object of destruction, not those using it. Of course they were also considered criminals and scum, but it was the replication and distribution of information that was feared, hated and attacked by the powers that ruled.

This has not changed much at all.

PBear42
09-08-2011, 01:05 AM
Too bad the ruling didn't go further and state that it's okay to record anybody (not just police) in a public place, and that the recording didn't have to be obviously being done.As I read the decision, the court is careful not to posit either of those things. On the first point, the fact that the persons being recorded were public officials is emphasized often. How they would treat a case involving private citizens is unclear. On the second, the court says at p.13, "To be sure, the right to film is not without limitations. It may be subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. See Smith, 212 F.3d at 1333." After discussing a few other points, the last third of the opinion discusses how Glik's recording didn't violate the Massachusetts wiretap statute because it was open rather than secret. If they thought the First Amendment permitted secret recording in public places, at least of public officials, it would have been easy to say that and shorten the opinion considerably. Arguably, they were using the narrow ground of no statutory violation to avoid reaching the constitutional question, but they don't say so.

Martin Hyde
09-08-2011, 09:30 AM
And I can't wrap my mind around incomplete footage showing an incomplete portrayal. No matter the situation, officers are not allowed to do certain things like punch and kick a person right? They can use their batons and force but not abuse correct? If there is footage showing abuse (physical) that is not allowed than how can the situation be incompletely portrayed? Are there instances when police are allowed to use illegal tactics such that if the incomplete footage does not show the situation then the portrayal is incomplete?

Of all the police abuse vids i've seen, not one did it seem possible that the situation was not what was captured. I don't get it when people say it's not what it looks like in the case of several officers kinking and punching a guy laying on a floor. they aren't kicking and punching him? It's ok to kick and punch people who flinch? This is the right way to treat a person as long as they are on drugs? Inserting a plunger into a man's anus is acceptable under certain situations?

There aren't any hard and fast rules saying they can't punch and kick. It's very rare that proper LEO tactics would come to that, but it does happen. There is a video out there in which a cop books a suspect into jail and then sits down at a computer to write up the incident report, he has removed the suspect's handcuffs and turned his back on the suspect to write the report. Most likely this is something he has done many times before with no trouble, most suspects don't desire to go after a police officer in a station, unless they are a terminator it is madness to think you can fight your way out.

However in this case the suspect jumps up on the cops desk and attacks him, the police officer responds in the same way he is attacked, by punching and then grappling with the suspect and eventually he wraps both of his hands around the suspect and starts choking him. Is that normal police procedure? No, but the cop was blind sided and had no time to go for any of the tools he had to go about it in another way, he was essentially in a fight for his life and just like if me or you were in a fight for our lives, we can reasonably defend ourselves by striking and doing violence to our assailant.