New policy for D.C. police: citizens can record cops without hassle

By , ITworld |  IT Management, D.C. Police, First Amendment

”D.C.

flickr/MartyPG13

Police have arrested people for recording their actions in the past. Washington D.C. police now know those behind cameras and cell phones have the right to record.

Thanks go to D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier, who said "The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) recognizes that members of the general public have a First Amendment right to video record, photograph, and/or audio record MPD members while MPD members are conducting official business or while acting in an official capacity in any public space, unless such recordings interfere with police activity," as quoted in the dcist.

Chief Lanier went on to say police can't ask the person to stop, obstruct their view, or ask the person doing the recording to move unless in the way of police business. More, she's quoted in Ars Technica saying, "a person has the right to express criticism of the police actively being observed."

Rights affirmed

I'm printing this, laminating it, and carrying a copy with me everywhere I go!!! Don't trust any cop to remember the RULES that apply to THEM!
swmluvah on dcist.com

Excellent news; a positive step for democracy in the US.
EnerJi on theverge.com

Holy crap some sanity. Hopefully this catches on in other cities.
Stabicron on arstechnica.com

Not convinced

"I'm confiscating that camera as evidence! Because it might have been used as a murder weapon! Now, into the car and strip."
monkeyerotica on dcist.com

And yet people are still getting arrested in Anaheim for recording cops…
Cbolton97 on theverge.com

Government accountability? Really?
jimCA on arstechnica.com

Shockingly reasonable is right, that's a fantastically worded policy... and, like many of the other posters, I wonder if it will be enforced.
ZebulonPi on arstechnica.com

Details

Of course they will, watching you the whole time via CCTV.
Over the River on dcist.com

This policy is great and all, but if the penalty for violating it is a slap on the hand and a paid vacation then it doesn't accomplish much.
cmacd on arstechnica.com

Do you cheer because of this new policy, or jeer because it was necessary?

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