Video taping

ACLU of Southern California & EFF v. Superior Court

May 4, 2016

The ACLU of Southern California and Electronic Frontier Foundation are suing Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the City of Los Angeles under California\'s Public Records Act for records generated by the law enforcement agency's use of automated license plate readers. This case concerns whether information collected by police using "automated license plate readers" - high-speed cameras that automatically scan and record the license plate numbers and time, date and location of every passing vehicle without suspicion of criminal activity - constitute law enforcement "records of . . . investigations" that are permanently exempt from disclosure. We argued that the agencies proposed a definition of "records of . . . investigations" that would expand the exemption beyond recognition.

New D.C. bodycam policies too restrictive, critics testify

Soo Rin Kim | Freedom of Information | News | October 29, 2015
October 29, 2015

Open-government advocates warned District of Columbia officials last week that exemption of all police body-worn camera footage showing "assaults" will undermine the very purpose of the program, as will other provisions designed to delay or deny the release of footage to the public.

The discussion came at a D.C. Council committee's public hearing to discuss three proposed amendments regarding the Metropolitan Police Department’s bodycam program.

The debate centered on how to balance transparency and privacy concerns and whether police body-worn camera recordings should be granted special treatment outside the existing D.C. Freedom of Information Act.

“It is our view that body camera footage is just another public record in simply different format,” said Rebecca Snyder, the President of Maryland, Delaware and D.C. Press Association President.

10th Circuit reverses dismissal of 'Dateline' defamation case

Bradleigh Chance | Libel | News | July 14, 2014
July 14, 2014

Last week the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that while NBCUniversal reporters did not violate anyone’s Fourth Amendment rights creating the 2008 Dateline segment titled “Tricks of the Trade,” a lower court will have to review the originally dismissed defamation claims made by an insurance broker featured in the piece.

Tyrone M. Clark and his company, Brokers’ Choice of America, initially sued NBC over video clips recorded with a hidden camera by Dateline crew members during an insurance brokers’ seminar in Colorado located on BCA property.

The reporters worked with Alabama law enforcement to gain access to the event since it was only open to licensed insurance agents, which Clark and BCA claimed to be a Fourth Amendment violation of the company’s right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Police department agrees to implement recording rights guidelines in settlement with videographer

Danielle Keeton-Olsen | Newsgathering | News | June 19, 2014
June 19, 2014

New York’s Suffolk County Police Department agreed to take new measures to instruct police on citizens’ recording rights in a settlement following the arrest of a freelance videographer.

Phillip Datz, a videographer and member of the National Press Photographers Association, filed a complaint against Suffolk County Police in 2012 after an officer arrested him for obstruction of governmental administration because Datz filmed police activity while on a public street.

Before the case made it to trial in the U.S. District Court of New York, Datz and Suffolk County reached a settlement. Suffolk County agreed to develop resources on citizens’ recording rights and to pay Datz $200,000 to cover attorney’s fees and costs.

Recent settlement in suit over arrest for recording police follows growing trend

Danielle Keeton-Olsen | Newsgathering | News | June 16, 2014
June 16, 2014

The town of Weare, New Hampshire, settled a lawsuit last week for $57,500 with a woman arrested for videotaping a police officer, adding to the growing list of settlements stemming from police officers’ restriction of video and audio recordings in public places.

In Gericke v. Begin, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston (1st Cir.) upheld a lower court opinion that Carla Gericke was within her First Amendment rights to record a police officer at a traffic stop.

Following that opinion, instead of choosing to continue with the trial, Weare settled the case with Gericke.

Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, said most of the cases in which citizens sue police for unlawfully arresting them or confiscating their cameras reach a settlement, although this settlement was low in comparison to others he has noticed.

New Hampshire Supreme Court reverses blogger's felony conviction for recording phone conversations

Cindy Gierhart | Privacy | News | February 12, 2014
February 12, 2014

The New Hampshire Supreme Court overturned a felony wiretapping conviction Tuesday of a blogger who recorded phone conversations with a law enforcement official and two school officials.

The blogger, Adam Mueller, operates the website, which says it aims to hold police accountable.

A New Hampshire statute makes it a felony for anyone to “willfully intercept” a communication without the consent of all parties to the communication. At trial, the jury was instructed to find Mueller guilty if he “purposefully” intercepted the communications.

Supreme Court ignores requests for video and audio access to health care ruling

Amanda Simmons | Newsgathering | News | June 28, 2012
June 28, 2012

Disregarding appeals made by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press on behalf of nearly 50 news media organizations and the Senate Judiciary Committee, the U.S. Supreme Court did not allow live video or audio coverage in the courtroom today, when it announced its historic decision upholding President Obama’s health care overhaul law.

Transit system removes "suspicious" label for photography

Rachel Bunn | Newsgathering | Feature | January 13, 2012
January 13, 2012

A New Jersey-based transit system has removed photography from its list of “suspicious activities," after receiving a letter from a photojournalist advocacy group.

New Jersey transit system labels photography "suspicious"

Rachel Bunn | Newsgathering | Feature | January 11, 2012
January 11, 2012

A photojournalist advocacy group wants a New Jersey-based transit system to reconsider its policy asking riders to report any photography involving trains or stations to authorities as "suspicious activity."

Reporters Committee asks U.S. Supreme Court to allow audio, video coverage of health-care reform arguments

Press Release | November 18, 2011
November 18, 2011

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has written to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts asking the Court to allow audio and video recording of upcoming oral arguments in the three cases involving proposed federal health-care legislation.