Thursday, July 28, 2011
15 Years in Prison For Taping the Cops? How Eavesdropping Laws Are Taking Away Our Best Defense Against Police Brutality
Cases Keep Piling Up
Recording on-duty police officers has gained momentum in states around the country for some time now. But it's only in the last few years, after several high-profile incidents, that the topic has begun to generate nationwide headlines and debate.
"If police officers are doing their jobs in public places, for example policing a demonstration and something goes awry, it is very valuable for there to be a strong record, including audio of what happened, so that if there is a need to change the rules, the public can go to the government and say "look what happened, change the rules about how police officers are enforcing the peace at a political demonstration."
The court's decision in this case is said to be critically important in setting a precedent that will either protect or endanger newsgatherers‘ constitutional rights to monitor and record police misconduct. Schwartz said the ACLU is "cautiously optimistic" about the eventual ruling, which is expected to be handed down sometime in 2012.