Do you have the right?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from DanCP. Show DanCP's posts

    Do you have the right?

    To openly film an arrest in public in Massachusetts? The cops in MA say no, claiming it's a violation of the two party consent law designed to prevent conversations from being recorded without all parties' consent. It seems crazy to me that you could be arrested for filming an arrest...
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ForumCleaner. Show ForumCleaner's posts

    Re: Do you have the right?

    I think there is a conflict of laws here. Because my understanding is anything that happens in public view, can be recorded. Otherwise those same cops wouldn't be able to conduct surveilance of public places without you signing a consent form. I've heard cops say you aren't allowed to do this, but if that were the case, then papparazi wouldn't be able to snap shots and videos of stars in Boston...but they do it all the time.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedFishBlueFish. Show RedFishBlueFish's posts

    Re: Do you have the right?

    Audio vs. video is the key.

    You can take video images, but audio is illegal. Since few personal devices (cellphones, cameras) have video without audio, they can get way with saying it's wire-tapping. Still photography is fine.


    But I completely agree that it's crazy.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from DanCP. Show DanCP's posts

    Re: Do you have the right?

    It seems like the cops think audio is the key, but the courts have disagreed when they've had to rule on these cases. As long as the filming is done in an overt fashion, it's legal even if the audio is recorded. If, on the othe rhand, you hide your camera and/or mic, you are violating the law. I think it's nuts. Any actions, particularly actions by law enforcement, that occur in a public sphere should be fair game for filming IMO.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from DanCP. Show DanCP's posts

    Re: Do you have the right?

    Yes, but it's absurd that you have to be arrested, charged, spend money on a lawyer and appear in court to be vindicated. The police commissioner should make it clear to his people that it is not illegal to film an arrest.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: Do you have the right?

    The standard used to be if you were on public property, your own property, property on which you were invited, you were fine.  dn't know if this lined up with the law or not, but that used to be the assumed standard.  I would say this is a reasonable man standard. 

    If the courts rule that standing on public property, I can't film police doing anything, then we have lost yet another battle, moving towards being subjects of the state, and no longer citizens.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ForumCleaner. Show ForumCleaner's posts

    Re: Do you have the right?

    I think it is very important that police be subject to the same laws as you or I. I think police are important, and am happy to have my tax dollars go toward helping them do their job. But stories like this, or even when you see something small like a cop turn on his siren to blow through a red light (when they aren't actually going to an emergency), is very dishreatening. Police can film us with their dash board cams, we need the same power.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from p-mike. Show p-mike's posts

    Re: Do you have the right?

    I think if the average person understood just exactly how much surveillance he is under at any given time, there would be quite a bit more outrage about these kinds of things. That, and any ruling which gives the appearance of protecting police from documenting potential cases of abuse (or "excessive behavior" -- if you prefer that) and allowing courts to continue to take the cops' word for everything, smacks of my dear, departed mother's favorite adage. "Do not do as I do. Do as I say."


     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from SwizzleSticks. Show SwizzleSticks's posts

    Re: Do you have the right?

    The audio vs. video thing is what confuses me.  ForumCleaner made a great point when he stated that "Police can film us with their dash board cams......"

    Don't the police cameras have audio capability as well?  We've all seen those "Wildest Police Videos" shows on tv and all of the clips (from the cop dashboard cams) have audio.  Although, most of those clips are taken from states other than MA.

    Do the dashboard cams for MA police record video and audio?  If so, why are the citizens limited to just video?
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from topaz978. Show topaz978's posts

    Re: Do you have the right?

    The issue is civil rights under the first and fourth amendments to the constitution. If I record a public act and seek no commercial value from it. I say I am createing art as a protected speech right under us law trumping state law. The police take my property without reasonable cause( ie stealing a picture/street sound recording they think suggests the police broke the law). The issue of stealing is critical. When digital media recordings are taken it is argueable that returning a wiped device presents no monetary damage. But the still deprived me of a right to own the property without a court deciding that this was ok in a situation that was not an emergent threat. They had no court order of siezure. The right to own property is to not have it taken without reasonable cause. That should include the property and all it contains. Digital ownership is still an issue not clearly decided. If you had a film camera, they had to destroy the actual film. This is an illegal act for the police. So wherefor art thou US constitution?
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from George of the Port. Show George of the Port's posts

    Re: Do you have the right?

    What exactly are the Boston Police trying to hide? This country is already drifting towards a police state - witness the student shot in New York state. Personal experience right here in Boston tells me we need to keep the police MORE accountable, not less.
     

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