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-   -   Criminal law (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/taking-care-business/9415-criminal-law.html)

Robert Knecht Schmidt May 7th, 2003 09:36 PM

Criminal law
Does one have the legal right to videotape one's own arrest?

Corollary: can an officer of the law legally insist that an innocent bystander desist videotaping the arrest of a friend?

Robert Poulton May 7th, 2003 10:15 PM

LoL. Well do you have the right to shoot someone. Yes did you retain the right to shoot your friends arrest? Yes. So I would think so. I am unsure about the officer, you might still have to ask him for his permission. lol. jk.

For him to tell you to stop taping depends on where you are at the time of the arrest. Most of the time if the tape is for personal use you can tape anywhere on public property. If it is for profit then you need permit. So tell us the rest of your story.


Michael Prediger May 9th, 2003 07:39 PM

You hooked me....
I'm gonna have to follow Robert on this and request the rest of this story....it's like really bad reality TV....for some reason, I just can't turn it off! :-)

K. Forman May 9th, 2003 07:52 PM

A couple of officers down here just got in trouble for asking someone to stop taping another getting arrested. The department said they PREFER someone to tape the arrest, just to be sure that everything is above board.

Robert Knecht Schmidt May 9th, 2003 07:53 PM

They're hypotheticals prompted by Alex Knappenberger's posts re: his mall arrest.

Additionally, I've heard horror stories about people being pulled over for speeding, then going to court to challenge the ticket, but being testified against by an officer other than the one who issued the ticket. For this reason I always carry a little digital camera on me, so that I can photograph any officer who pulls me over so he can't pull a switcheroo when it's my day in court.

So I just want to know about the legality of photographing officers of the law conducting their business.

Richard Alvarez May 9th, 2003 08:46 PM

The police have a little legal loophole that covers anything they want.

"Interfering with police business"

You need a lawyer to sort it out usually. It's the sort of thing they might throw at someone who was "Getting in the way, causing a disturbance..."

It's an arguable point.

But that's what lawyers call job security.

Robert Poulton May 10th, 2003 12:20 PM

Remember if you got the tape and your not compling with the officer the tape will show it. So over all I wouldn't think they would use that as an excuse. I don't know how you would tape yourself you still might need the officer to finish taping if your handcuffed. lol.

I got it HELMET-CAM! Just watch your head when you get in and out of the backseat of the police car. hehe.


Patrick Buchanan May 13th, 2003 11:57 PM

Interestingly enough there is a federal law that limits the ability of one to use electronic means to record audio with prior notification. The law was primarily designed to cover electronic and surreptitious monitoring of people's conversations (without their knowledge). Without going into the meat of the law the federal law protects what some would refer to as protected and private conversations between people. The federal law only requires that one party involved in the conversation be aware that the conversation is being recorded. Some states supplement that law by making it required that both parties be aware that the conversation is being recorded.

Additionally some states allow for an officer to seize all pertinent evidence related to the case. By turning on your camera to capture the arrest of a friend, you could subject your tape and your camera to seizure by the police as a record and evidence to be used against your friend -especially if they believe that the tape may have to evidence on it.

In any event, unless you can record the event without recording the audio, and from a distance where you were undetected, then I would shy away from recording and possibly being seen as interfering with the arrest - Unless of course you have a good reason.

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