New Bill In Connecticut Would Make It Illegal For Police To Stop You From Recording Them

from the good-to-see dept

We've seen numerous stories in the last year of police abusing anti-wiretap laws to go after people who record police activities in public. Thankfully, there are some people who realize this is wrong. A Connecticut state senator, Martin Looney, has apparently introduced legislation that not only says that it's the right of citizens to record on-duty police officers, but (more importantly) gives citizens a civil action against police officers if they violate that right. As Radley Balko points out at that link:
That second part is important. A right doesn’t mean much if there are no consequences for government officials who ignore it. Witness this case in Florida, where an officer erroneously tries to say federal law prohibits citizen recordings of cops. Even in states where courts have thrown out criminal charges, a cop who doesn’t want to be recorded can still harass, threaten, and even arrest you. You may not be charged. But he won’t be punished, either.
It would definitely be nice if a similar rule was taken up at the federal level.

Filed Under: police, recording

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  1. identicon
    Rekrul, 3 Mar 2011 @ 11:33am

    Cops need the discretion to handle things according to their gut interpretation of procedures and common sense. They don't need people second-guessing everything they do while watching out of context videotape.

    The problem is that a lot of cops don't use discretion and common sense. Look at how many innocent, non-violent people have been tasered simply for not doing what a cop tells them. How many un-armed suspects have been turned into swiss cheese by trigger happy cops? How many people have been beaten simply because they mouthed off to a cop?

    When a crime is committed, the first thing the detectives look for is to see if there is any surveillance footage of the incident so that they can use it in court. When a cop abuses their power, the first thing they look for is any surveillance footage of the incident, so that they can cover up the incident.

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