Recording the Police: Is Citizen Journalism against the Law?

Policy Forum
September 22, 2010 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring Neill Franklin, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; Joseph I. Cassilly, State’s Attorney, Harford County, Maryland; and David Rittgers , Legal Policy Analyst, Cato Institute; moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.

Should it be illegal to record the police? Several high‐​profile cases of police brutality have been exposed by citizens who recorded police actions with cell phones. Yet some state wiretapping laws, written before the age of ubiquitous recording devices, prohibit recording these events and then further criminalize the publication of the recordings on the Internet. Does the First Amendment protect citizen journalism, or do police agents have a right to privacy while performing public duties? Please join us as we discuss this timely and provocative topic.

Additional Resources:

7 Rules for Recording Police,” by Steve Silverman, Rea​son​.com

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