A Florida Police Department is under fire after a recent memo expressed that undercover cops are advised to arrest citizens who record them in public – a right protected by the first amendment. [Read more…]
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.
With at least 1,108 American citizens killed by police in 2014, including some high-profile cases like the Ferguson shooting, and 2015 headed towards a similar figure, public scrutiny of law enforcement has increased dramatically.
Blaming police for killing innocent people as well as using excessive and fatal force against criminals, many civilians have taken it upon themselves to hold police officers accountable for their actions.
Be it by installing dashboard cameras in cars or recording police activity out in the streets, civilians are making it harder for officers to get away with police brutality and civil rights violations.
But, is it possible that this increased scrutiny is causing police officers to fear becoming the “stars” of the next viral video and in result leading to an increase in homicides and other crimes?
According FBI Director James Comey, this is exactly what’s happening, and if concerned civilians keep it up there will be “profound consequences”.
David Updike from Cambridge, Massachusetts was ‘detained’ by six policeman after a woman reported him to the cops for taking photos of children in a local park in his open letter just goes to show that not everyone who is sitting on a bench in a park with a camera is a ‘creep’
It’s no secret that photographers are often given a hard time by law enforcement officers, especially near sensitive buildings.
Be it due to abuse of power or ignorance of the law, the presence of a photographer near a security-related building is bound to attract the attention of the local authorities, and aerial photography using drones is no exception as can be seen in the video below.
While the drone operator seems to have been out hoping that police would infringe his constitutional rights, the trooper that stopped him seemed to have a lacking understanding of the law.
The dispute between the two came to an end when the sergeant in charge called off his officer and apologized to the drone operator, but it paints a worrying picture.
Do civil right advocates have to ruffle feathers to hold their ground, and when will law enforcement agencies finally get their act together?
Madelyn Milton, a doctoral student from Minneapolis, was out last year with her friends when an argument with a taxi driver over the fare led to police being called.
The young women decided to record police sergeant Tyrone Barze, and when Madelyn stood up for her right to record him she ended “lying unconscious and bleeding in the street”, according to the lawsuit.
Despite this being the fourth lawsuit against Barze, Minneapolis police union president described him as an “excellent” officer.
The police union chief’s response to the lawsuit was even more infuriating.
An Illinois woman, who was arrested and charges were filed against her after she recorded police officers on her friend’s property without their consent, decided to fight back and stand up for her rights.
Ironically enough the officers themselves were not given permission to enter the property in the first place. Additionally, the Illinois Eavesdropping Act under which the woman was arrested had already been ruled unconstitutional.
PINAC reports that after filing a lawsuit against the city of Naperville, a suburb of Chicago, and the police officers involved, the woman accepted a $117,500 settlement.
In the settlement agreement the city insists that the agreement is not an admission that the police “acted wrongfully”, but the videos below paint a different picture.
As a kid, I always loved receiving mail. It was exciting and made one little narcissist-in-training feel important. As an adult, I loath mail. What isn’t junk mail is bills, and I would be perfectly content to do without.
However, one piece of mail that Portland, Oregon photographer Jeff Kunkle was not expecting was a bill for $100 from the city for selling his own photographs.
In a move reversing a 40-year ban that I didn’t even know existed, the White House has lifted its photography restrictions. For more than four decades, visitors to the White House have not been allowed to take photos during tours. With this new decision, you will be allowed to document your visit, selfie all over the place, and share your bunny ears on Secret Service guards on social media. However, there are still restrictions…
Will public photography soon be impossible in Europe? A new proposal being submitted in the European Union parliament may mean almost that.
“Freedom of Panorama” is a a term we don’t hear frequently, but its importance is vital to the photography community. In short, Freedom of Panorama is a part of copyright law that gives individuals the freedom to create works of art (whether they be paintings, family snapshots, professional images, videos, etc.) in public. The specifics vary from country to country, but, in many places around the world, this is allowed for both personal and commercial use.
However, opponents within the EU want to pass legislation removing this freedom in all European countries. This would mean that, when taking any photograph or creating a video in public, you must obtain the permission of the copyright holder for any copyrighted work that may appear in it, including buildings, landmarks, and works of art.