US Department of Justice sides with the public in federal court on their right to record cops.

The U.S. Department of Justice‘s Civil Rights Division has urged a federal court to side with a Howard Countyman in a lawsuit over his cellphone being seized by Baltimore police at the Preakness Stakes after he filmed officers making an arrest.

The federal attorneys say the lawsuit “presents constitutional questions of great moment in this digital age.” They asked U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg to rule that citizens have a right to record police officers and that officers who seize and destroy recordings without a warrant or due process are violating the Fourth and 14th amendments.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/bs-md-ci-aclu-doj-videotaping-20120111,0,7691935.story

ADDED: While this story is from Baltimore MD, it gives us a look into the behind the scenes thinking at DoJ, regarding this issue. The right of the public to record video and audio of police officers, on duty and in public. Once one of these cases ends up before the US Supreme Court, which will happen, most likely in the next 12 to 24 months. This gives us a preview how the US DoJ will respond, in support of a public right to record its officials.

The police are on the wrong side of this issue, as they usually are on most constitutional issues their actions raise. Every single case in the US that has been brought before a federal judge, regarding this issue, has been ruled in favor of the public and their rights to record the police.

The cops love cameras, they love to record and surveil the public, both in cases of suspected criminal activity and where none is suspected. They simply love to keep us under close surveillance. But when that technology was turned on them and it revealed to the world horrific acts of crimes and misconduct being committed daily by our cops. And those acts ended up on Youtube or their local 6 o’clock evening news, then it changed. Cops no longer liked cameras, because they no longer controlled them and had a monopoly on their usage.

Now every person a cops sees each day is a potential citizen journalist who’s duty it is to watch the watchers, and report acts of crime and misconduct they capture on video to the rest of the world.

In our opinions the only cops who would be against this are the cops with something to hide.

Cops love to tell folks who refuse to submit to verbal consent to search, “what are you afraid of, if you got nothing to hide”…

Well, officer, that knife cuts both ways…

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