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hoffmang
05-17-2012, 5:01 PM
Earlier this week, the US Department of Justice issued this letter (http://www.pixiq.com/sites/default/files/united_states_letter_re_photography_5_14_2012_0.pd f) in a case in Baltimore taking the position that individuals have a right to record police in the carrying out of their official duties.

This is somewhat tangential to the 2A, but as we've seen, recording law enforcement interactions - especially around California byzantine gun laws, is key to restoring our rights.

DOJ position letters like this on these sorts of topics carry very strong weight.

-Gene

Kodemonkey
05-17-2012, 5:04 PM
Yeah, hopefully the people that jailed this gal TWICE will get the memo:

http://www.laweekly.com/2012-04-19/news/los%20angeles-sheriff-cop-watch-intimidation/

I've got a black box video recorder in both of our cars. My wife has been instructed to keep it running if she is ever pulled over.

Dreaded Claymore
05-17-2012, 5:04 PM
Thank the Gods. This is about four years overdue, but I'm glad it's here at last.

Maltese Falcon
05-17-2012, 5:06 PM
Wow, this is coming from the AG Holder DOJ?

What happened?, maybe he was too busy trying to keep his job?

.

nick
05-17-2012, 5:10 PM
A retraction will be forthcoming :p

GaryV
05-17-2012, 7:08 PM
The one problem I see is that I couldn't find any place in the letter where audio recordings were specifically mentioned. When anything other than the general term "recording" was mentioned, it was always video recording. Even the title of the PDF file says "photography". This is potentially a problem because in some of the states where the police have been particularly heavy-handed about recording them (such as Florida), it is the audio part that causes the trouble, not the video part. They have construed the wiretapping law to claim that it is a crime to record speech, but not images. In fact, at least one of the federal cases cited in the letter occurred in Florida, so there is already case law protecting video recording there, but they still claim that audio recording is illegal. So I can easily see them saying that this letter doesn't address what they're doing at all.

glockman19
05-17-2012, 7:23 PM
I just got an e-mail regarding this from the ACLU...:)

bohoki
05-17-2012, 7:42 PM
only seems fair they seem to have the right to record us

cdtx2001
05-17-2012, 7:54 PM
The one problem I see is that I couldn't find any place in the letter where audio recordings were specifically mentioned. When anything other than the general term "recording" was mentioned, it was always video recording. Even the title of the PDF file says "photography". This is potentially a problem because in some of the states where the police have been particularly heavy-handed about recording them (such as Florida), it is the audio part that causes the trouble, not the video part. They have construed the wiretapping law to claim that it is a crime to record speech, but not images. In fact, at least one of the federal cases cited in the letter occurred in Florida, so there is already case law protecting video recording there, but they still claim that audio recording is illegal. So I can easily see them saying that this letter doesn't address what they're doing at all.

Recording is recording. Whatever form that is, it is recording. In this circumstance, a lack of definition as to what is specifically "recording" is good.

bob7122
05-17-2012, 7:59 PM
The one problem I see is that I couldn't find any place in the letter where audio recordings were specifically mentioned. When anything other than the general term "recording" was mentioned, it was always video recording. Even the title of the PDF file says "photography". This is potentially a problem because in some of the states where the police have been particularly heavy-handed about recording them (such as Florida), it is the audio part that causes the trouble, not the video part. They have construed the wiretapping law to claim that it is a crime to record speech, but not images. In fact, at least one of the federal cases cited in the letter occurred in Florida, so there is already case law protecting video recording there, but they still claim that audio recording is illegal. So I can easily see them saying that this letter doesn't address what they're doing at all.

interesting

Kid Stanislaus
05-17-2012, 8:08 PM
Carlos Miller in Florida is doing great work in this area. Visit Pixiq.com fo-mo-info.

Fyathyrio
05-17-2012, 9:06 PM
All kinds of interesting buzz words like prior restraint and heightened protection. Imagine if First Amendment was replaced with Second Amendment, and recording device replaced with legal firearm...a boy can dream...

One has to wonder, why is it the police see a difference between Joe Schmuckatelli with a camera and Channel One's Suzy Grande-Tatas with a camera?

nicki
05-17-2012, 9:12 PM
The Black Panthers originally were making recordings and photos of police abuse back in the 1960's when the police began attacking them.

It was only after they were attacked that they started openly carrying arms which of course lead to the Mulford Act which snowballed into other things.

If the state legislature asked the Black Panthers why they were there armed and they got to tell their side and they responded correctly by nailing racist cops rather than passing a racist cop protection bill, who knows what direction our state may have gone with regards to gun rights.

Point: The survival of the 2nd amendment is dependent on the survival of the rest of the bill of rights.

Nicki

thebokdude
05-17-2012, 9:26 PM
why would it ever be illegal to film cops? i know they will point to rodney king and the subsequent riots but don't we have the right to lay and gather evidence in our defense? don't we have the obligation to keep our public servants honest? we live in a society where everyone has a cell phone and all phones have cameras on them. we all become impromptu filmers of life when something interesting happens. we are monitored with every step we make. go to any grocery store or Walmart and tell me i am wrong! cops have dashboard cameras, traffic cameras at their disposal and only they have the right to film others? this will be a supreme court issue in time.

FastFinger
05-17-2012, 9:43 PM
That this was ever in question to begin with is frightening.

bwiese
05-17-2012, 11:51 PM
Good video + lip readers = audio ;-)

FBI used lipreaders for ages when bugs & shotgun mikes didn't work in noisy environments.

Kharn
05-18-2012, 2:03 AM
The one problem I see is that I couldn't find any place in the letter where audio recordings were specifically mentioned. When anything other than the general term "recording" was mentioned, it was always video recording. Even the title of the PDF file says "photography". This is potentially a problem because in some of the states where the police have been particularly heavy-handed about recording them (such as Florida), it is the audio part that causes the trouble, not the video part. They have construed the wiretapping law to claim that it is a crime to record speech, but not images. In fact, at least one of the federal cases cited in the letter occurred in Florida, so there is already case law protecting video recording there, but they still claim that audio recording is illegal. So I can easily see them saying that this letter doesn't address what they're doing at all.MD has charged people for wire tapping for recording the voice of a police officer without his consent in a public place, during the course of arrest (one was a guy with the camera mounted to his motorcycle helmet, arrested while wearing the helmet). They've said you can record the video, but cannot record the audio without two party consent.

vantec08
05-18-2012, 2:09 AM
That this was ever in question to begin with is frightening.

"The Supreme Power of the State." well said

FF/EMT Nick
05-18-2012, 5:50 AM
Point: The survival of the 2nd amendment is dependent on the survival of the rest of the bill of rights.

Nicki

and vice versa

BigBamBoo
05-18-2012, 6:56 AM
So with all the comments so far I am surprised no one has asked about or recommended a good recording device (other then a cell phone)?

It would be hard to always have in hand a camcorder when being talked to by law enforcement.

I have seen those "pen" video recorders in magazines and very small wearable type video cameras....anyone know if they work? Any other recomendations?

Ratboy
05-18-2012, 7:41 AM
Yeah, hopefully the people that jailed this gal TWICE will get the memo:

http://www.laweekly.com/2012-04-19/news/los%20angeles-sheriff-cop-watch-intimidation/

I've got a black box video recorder in both of our cars. My wife has been instructed to keep it running if she is ever pulled over.

What kind of recorder do you use? I've been thinking about getting one.

Yemff
05-18-2012, 12:20 PM
Very good news, it always sickens me to watch videos where the person recording day to day police activity gets accosted and their camera gets taken away under threat of force or arrest.

AJAX22
05-18-2012, 12:49 PM
Yeah, hopefully the people that jailed this gal TWICE will get the memo:

http://www.laweekly.com/2012-04-19/news/los%20angeles-sheriff-cop-watch-intimidation/

I've got a black box video recorder in both of our cars. My wife has been instructed to keep it running if she is ever pulled over.

where did you get the black box recorder and for how much? I REALLY want to install one in my car...

HBrebel
05-18-2012, 2:10 PM
I remember when cops used to love being on film. That was back when honest, oath keeping men and women were cops.

kcbrown
05-18-2012, 3:28 PM
Very good news, it always sickens me to watch videos where the person recording day to day police activity gets accosted and their camera gets taken away under threat of force or arrest.

While position letters such as the one originally mentioned may traditionally carry a lot of weight, I doubt this one will carry much weight. Law enforcement is too used to doing what they want, and the "qualified immunity" shield combined with the fact that 18 USC 242 is a dead letter means that arrests for such recordings and improper confiscation of those recordings will continue unabated.

What else do you expect from a thoroughly corrupt system?

Kukuforguns
05-18-2012, 3:37 PM
Wow, this is coming from the AG Holder DOJ?

What happened?, maybe he was too busy trying to keep his job?

.

Just because he does some things wrong, does not mean he will do everything wrong.

Also, do recall that he is a black man. I'm sure he got the talk from his parents about the perils of being black. He probably has strong personal feelings that the police need to be held accountable.

Well done General Holder.

lrdchivalry
05-18-2012, 4:08 PM
Point: The survival of the 2nd amendment is dependent on the survival of the rest of the bill of rights.

I would say it's the opposite. The survival of the rest of the Biil of Rights is dependant on the survival of the 2nd amendment.

nick
05-18-2012, 4:28 PM
To Stan: anything that allows you to record most of your day on one battery charge (it's easier to discard a file at the end of the day than to fumble with it when you actually do need to record something) and can provide good sound quality when recording from insidd a pocket. The phone can be used as a backup (or more obvious) recording device, and it can upload the audio/video to the Internet (so the "accidents" don't destroy your recording). Personally, I always carry an Olympus ws-321m. It records well from under the clothes, and has about 10hr recording time on one battery. My phone OS set up to upload to Qik, and to my shared hosting. Haven't used this setup past the testing phase, but it's better to have it and not use it. A few years ago I didn't have ot, and needed it. Never again.

GaryV
05-18-2012, 4:42 PM
Recording is recording. Whatever form that is, it is recording. In this circumstance, a lack of definition as to what is specifically "recording" is good.

Except that there are several references to video recording in the letter, and they titled the PDF "photography", not "recording", so the lack of even a single reference to audio recording means that those in LE who have been arguing that audio recording is illegal even though video recording is legal aren't likely to agree with you.

lrdchivalry
05-18-2012, 5:53 PM
Except that there are several references to video recording in the letter, and they titled the PDF "photography", not "recording", so the lack of even a single reference to audio recording means that those in LE who have been arguing that audio recording is illegal even though video recording is legal aren't likely to agree with you.


I do not court cases to cite, unfortunately, however, if I recall correctly all these cases of people being prosecuted for "recording" police have been thrown out of court so the attempts by police to use the wiretapping laws have been unsuccessful.

Scarecrow Repair
05-18-2012, 6:09 PM
I would say it's the opposite. The survival of the rest of the Biil of Rights is dependant on the survival of the 2nd amendment.

No, they all hang together, unless we want to hang separately.

nicki
05-18-2012, 6:42 PM
I would say it's the opposite. The survival of the rest of the Biil of Rights is dependant on the survival of the 2nd amendment.


I agree that without the 2nd amendment that all of our other rights become government revocable privileges, that being said, my point is that some gun owners would gladly trash the rest of the bill of rights as long as their 2nd amendment wasn't touched, kinda like the press and the 1st amendment.

Point being, all of our rights are interdependent on each other, our rights are as only as strong as the weakess one and if one breaks, our chains on the government will break.

All of our rights depend on each other, there is no superior amendment.

Now if we can have the 2nd amendment given the respect that is given the other amendments, we will be off to a good start.

Nicki

GaryV
05-18-2012, 7:59 PM
I do not court cases to cite, unfortunately, however, if I recall correctly all these cases of people being prosecuted for "recording" police have been thrown out of court so the attempts by police to use the wiretapping laws have been unsuccessful.

The vast majority never get to court. But people get threatened (at least one guy at gun-point that I know of - he managed to hide his sim card before they seized and busted his phone, so the video of that got out), arrested, have their property seized and destroyed, etc. And then they throw on other charges like resisting arrest and threaten to prosecute on those if you don't walk away once they drop the wiretapping charge. There've been dozens of cases like this in Florida, and generally the prosecutors have backed the police, claiming that the law makes recording illegal. I don't know of a single one dealing with audio recording that has led to a favorable court ruling for the citizen in Florida.

epilepticninja
05-18-2012, 8:00 PM
MD has charged people for wire tapping for recording the voice of a police officer without his consent in a public place, during the course of arrest (one was a guy with the camera mounted to his motorcycle helmet, arrested while wearing the helmet). They've said you can record the video, but cannot record the audio without two party consent.

Whatever happened to "no expectation of privacy in a public area?"

kcbrown
05-18-2012, 8:15 PM
Whatever happened to "no expectation of privacy in a public area?"

That only applies to "little people", of course...

Kodemonkey
05-18-2012, 8:20 PM
What kind of recorder do you use? I've been thinking about getting one.

This is the one I have. Takes excellent video. I have it pointed out the front of the car (I am more concerned with insurance fraudsters), but it records good audio and it was one of the few that recorded in a H.263 format that did not require the use of special software. I looked around and I found a lot of people complaining about other cameras that they upgraded to win7 or had a 64 bit and the software didn't work and the company that makes it in China no longer supports the software because they discontinue models every 3 months.

So far I've been happy with it. Has a GPS logger on it too.

http://www.amazon.com/DOD-GS600-Black-Logger-1920x1080/dp/B004Q78QH2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1337401333&sr=8-2

If you decide to buy it, please remember to click through this Amazon link FIRST. A portion of the proceeds from each Amazon sale goes to Calguns Foundation and it doesn't cost you a single penny.:cool2:

http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=calgunfounda-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957

However, I might consider that the GoPro may be better. The only thing is that I am not sure if it is designed to shutoff when the car shuts down. the Gopro is a heck of a lot bigger too. This thing hides behind the mirror few people have even noticed it.

tuolumnejim
05-18-2012, 8:38 PM
Carlos Miller in Florida is doing great work in this area. Visit Pixiq.com fo-mo-info.

While I fully support anyones right to record any LEO, Miller is an asshat.

Mulay El Raisuli
05-19-2012, 5:55 AM
All kinds of interesting buzz words like prior restraint and heightened protection. Imagine if First Amendment was replaced with Second Amendment, and recording device replaced with legal firearm...a boy can dream...


Yeah.


One has to wonder, why is it the police see a difference between Joe Schmuckatelli with a camera and Channel One's Suzy Grande-Tatas with a camera?


Well, there are a couple of differences to be seen. :D


No, they all hang together, unless we want to hang separately.


Yup.


The Raisuli

Racer_X
05-19-2012, 6:14 AM
MD has charged people for wire tapping for recording the voice of a police officer without his consent in a public place, during the course of arrest (one was a guy with the camera mounted to his motorcycle helmet, arrested while wearing the helmet). They've said you can record the video, but cannot record the audio without two party consent.

Whatever happened to "no expectation of privacy in a public area?"

It turned out pretty well: http://www.pixiq.com/article/maryland-judge-throws-out-wiretapping-charges-against-anthony-graber

Kid Stanislaus
05-19-2012, 10:16 PM
While I fully support anyones right to record any LEO, Miller is an asshat.

If you have anything more to offer than than sophmoric opinion, then let's hear it. Miller has been doing great work in Florida as I see it.;)