Boston admits videotaping police is not a crime

Posted on Sunday, April 1st 2012 at 2:19 a.m.

The City of Boston paid $170,000 to Boston defense attorney Simon Glik  in settlement for illegally prosecuting him for recording an arrest of an individual on Boston Common.

The U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last August that Boston’s prosecution of Glik was a violation of Glik’s First Amendment rights.

The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these (First Amendment) principles… This is particularly true of law enforcement officials, who are granted substantial discretion that may be misused to deprive individuals of their liberties… Such peaceful recording of an arrest in a public space that does not interfere with the police officers’ performance of their duties is not reasonably subject to limitation.”

The ruling of the First Circuit applies to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, and Puerto Rico.  Hopefully the precedent will extend to other courts across the land as police departments have regularly arrested and prosecuted individuals recording their activities.

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