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We Can Now Legally Film The Police and Government Officials Without Being Prosecuted


Finally, The First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that:

First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules OK to Film Police and Government Members

September 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm (PT)

(Excerpts)

Please be advised that the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has just ruled on August 26, 2011 that citizens have the right under the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States to record the police. You will find beginning on page 8 of the copy of that ruling that it is well established that members of the public may record members of the government, including the police, while they are engaged in their duties in a public place.

(“It is . . .well established that the Constitution protects the right to receive information and ideas.”). An important corollary to this interest in protecting the stock of public information is that “[t]here is an undoubted right to gather news ‘from any source by means within the law.‘” Houchins v. KQED, Inc., 438 U.S. 1, 11 (1978) (quoting Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665, 681-82 (1972)).

Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting “the free discussion of governmental affairs.” Mills v. Alabama, 384 U.S. 214, 218 (1966).

Moreover, as the Court has noted, “[f]reedom of expression has particular significance with respect to government because ‘[i]t is here that the state has a special incentive to repress opposition and often wields a more effective power of suppression.’”  MUCH MORE

This ruling has been a long time coming, however, now that it’s been adjudicated and the Fascist Five at SCOTUS doesn’t overrule it – “we the people” have been re-granted a valuable Civil Liberty that may help to curb Police Brutality.  The time to halt the murder and beatings of American citizens past due and I’m sure that everyone is hoping that law enforcement officers will no longer be able to harass, confiscate our cameras, or stop the public from exercising their Federal Constitutional Rights.

How about that – chalk one up for the people!

 

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