Smile You’re On Camera

Just in time for the “Occupy ___ (fill in the blank) __” events that are fanning out across the country, is this primer on when citizens can film police in action. That question – whether the Constitution protects the right of citizens to record police activity – has been in the news a fair amount lately. In August, the United States Court of Appeals for the First District found that citizens do have the right to film police in action, and that police may be liable for a civil rights violation if they try to stop it. It’s either the benefit or the burden of living in a free society. And I suppose your view on the question depends on whether you’re in front of the camera or behind it.