A District Court in California recently said that the act of threatening to arrest a person solely for recording police officers is a clear violation of the First Amendment.
The summary judgment was given in Barich v. City of Cotati, where a civilian who often records city officials claimed the chief of police violated his First Amendment rights by threatening to arrest him if he recorded the chief.
The court also said the police chief is not entitled to qualified immunity, which would shield him from liability for the violation of an individual’s federal constitutional rights, as it’s clear that the public has the right to record government officials in public places.
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