Federal judge: Recording cops isn’t necessarily protected by the First Amendment

February 23, 2016
“In a bizarre ruling issued last week, federal District Court Judge Mark Kearney ruled that the First Amendment rights of two people were not violated when they were apprehended for attempting to photograph or record police officers. As far as I know, this is the first time a federal court has not found that recording cops while on duty and in a public setting is protected by the First Amendment. Two federal appeals courts, at least two state supreme courts and a few other federal circuit court judges have all determined otherwise. Some of those decisions found that the right hasn’t been clearly established long enough for those wrongly arrested to overcome the qualified immunity afforded to police officers, but they did find that the right to record exists. Kearney in this decision rules that no such right exists.There are two plaintiffs in these cases. One, Richard Fields, is a man arrested for taking a photo of a group of police officers who had gathered outside a private house during a party. The other, Amanda Geraci, is a woman who was apprehended by an officer in retaliation for recording him. This happened while she was attending a protest as a legal observer.”

February 23, 2016, Washington Post, “Federal judge: Recording cops isn’t necessarily protected by the First Amendment”, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/02/23/federal-judge-recording-cops-isnt-necessarily-protected-by-the-first-amendment/?utm_term=.80bb4d0bc28c

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