Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Rules And Your Rights For Recording Arrests


This is TALK OF THE NATION. Im Neal Conan in Washington.
The Los Angeles police beating of Rodney King resonated, in part, because it was caught on video. Now, most modern cell phones have video cameras. Many police departments struggle to draw the line between citizens' and journalists' rights to film arrests, and their officers' rights to privacy.

Just about everybody who has a cell phone has a video camera in their pocket. And almost 20 years after the Rodney King video, friends, accomplices and passers-by scarcely hesitate to record interactions with the police.

You can find these videos on YouTube. There are blogs and websites solely devoted to these amateur recordings, and in some places, the police are trying to put a stop to it.

In Boston, a man was arrested for illegal electronic surveillance when he recorded audio of police officers making a drug arrest. In Baltimore, several people face felony charges for recording their own arrests. And, of course, the cops have video cameras, too, sometimes mounted on the dashboards of their cruisers, maybe someday soon, cap-cams on police headgear.

At best, the laws on this are fuzzy, and states are only now just trying to catch up. Later in the program, free agency in pro sports, from Curt Flood to LeBron James. But first, cops on camera.

If you have experience on either side of the camera, tell us your story. Our phone number here in Washington is 800-989-8255. Email us, You can also join the conversation on our website. Thats at Click on TALK OF THE NATION.

We begin with Radley Balko, a senior editor with Reason magazine, where he writes about the criminal justice system, and he joins us from a studio in Nashville. Nice to have you with us today.

Read the rest of the interview on Democracy Now

also from YouTube

US police state in full focus

Jeremy Marks' weapon was his cell phone. He used it to videotape Los Angeles Unified School District campus cop Erin Robles after she struck another student who tussled with her when she challenged the kid for smoking a cigar or joint at an MTA bus stop last May.

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