Chief’s Counsel: Public’s Right to Video-Record Police Should Be Set in Policy

The recording of police activity by members of the public is now such a commonplace occurrence that officers should assume that they are being recorded at all times while on duty. The recording of police officers raises important First and Fourth Amendment issues, and all law enforcement agencies, large or small, should set forth a policy and guidelines for officers to follow regarding allowing individuals to record their actions and when officers may properly seize and search a cell phone or other recording device for recorded evidence that might be on it.

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Just over two years ago, in 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in City & County of San Francisco, California v. Sheehan portended a potential shift in the court’s view on police use of fo...
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