Federal Court Explicitly Establishes Filming Cops as a Right – Free Thought Project
There’s been an ongoing battle between police and the citizenry over who has the right to film in public. Disputes between police and the public have led to camera’s being confiscated by police, and citizens being manhandled, beaten, and arrested. Now, it seems, the courts are weighing in, and not on the side of police.
The court’s opinion comes from a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Phillip Turner vs. Driver, Grinald, and Dyess (2017). The plaintiffs are all officers from Ft. Worth, Texas. According to court documents, “Plaintiff-Appellant Phillip Turner was video recording a Fort Worth police station from a public sidewalk across the street when Defendants- Appellees Officers Grinalds and Dyess approached him and asked him for identification. Turner refused to identify himself, and the officers ultimately handcuffed him and placed him in the back of a patrol car.”
Prior to this case, as we’ve reported before, even though other courts have found the filming the police is protected, it is still challenged. U.S. District Judge Mark Kearney of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued a ruling last year stating that citizens do not have a First Amendment right to record the police in public. This was in spite of the ruling of Glik v. Cunniffe which found a citizen’s right to film government officials, including law enforcement officers, in the discharge of their duties in a public space is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.
This court even pointed it out. According to the recent precedent:
At the time in question, neither the Supreme Court nor this court had determined whether First Amendment protection extends to the recording or filming of police.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/appeals-court-sets-precedent-filming-cops/#1kqpwZAj2rC8ALPV.99
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