Course Summary:The proliferation of recording devices has resulted in a new reality for police officers: encountering civilians who are recording them as they do their job. While the Supreme Court has yet to give law enforcement officers a clear definition of the constitutional right to record (subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions), the writing is on the wall. The overwhelming majority of courts that have taken up the question have concluded that the First Amendment prohibits officers from infringing upon a civilian’s right to record them in public while performing their official duties. This is particularly true when there is no question as to whether or not the civilian was lawfully present—meaning that the civilian was not ducking below police tape or otherwise placing themselves into a position where they are putting officer safety and/or investigations into jeopardy. Arrests motivated by the fact that a recording was taking place where a civilian was lawfully present have been tossed out by local prosecutors and have resulted in a multitude of lawsuits and settlements. Yet the YouTube® footage going viral often shows officers angrily asserting the act of recording is illegal.
In response to this clear momentum, law enforcement agencies across the country are publicly acknowledging that recording officers is not an arrestable offense in and of itself, absent exigent circumstances. Many of these agencies are also instructing their personnel to respect the First Amendment right of civilians to record. But how many of these agencies are actually training their people to recognize that a civilian’s right to record in many instances is not an affirmative defense to charges independent of the act of recording? It is crucial that officers have a keen understanding of the difference between arresting someone for recording them in public versus arresting someone while they happen to be recording them in public. This distinction is a crucial one.
Situations in which officers approach a suspect and are confronted with a camera are now commonplace. If officers “over-correct” in their interactions with the public and refrain from taking actions they would otherwise deem appropriate due to a misunderstanding of the limits of the First Amendment right to record, police operations and public safety could suffer.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Individual Fee: $95.00 per registered attendee
Group Rate: $95.00 for the first attendee - $25.00 per each additional attendee.
Training Room Special: $500 - This fee will allow for up to 40 attendees to participate in the webinar
* Registration fee includes course materials and certificate of attendance.
Dolan Consulting Group
*Certificates of completion will be sent to attendees electronically following course completion.
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