police dash cams an wiretapping laws?

police dash cams an wiretapping laws?

Several states have started prosecuting civilians who videotape the wrongdoings of police under wiretapping laws. Question will these same states also be prosecuting police officers for the same violations? Either there is an expectation of privacy clause or there is not! What this means in plain simple language is that it is legal to tape in area where there is no expectation of privacy. The courts have chosen to ignore this in these cases against civilians How will they handle the first time a smart defense attorney brings charges against a police officer for the use of his dash cam?

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  • 10 years ago
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    If you look up most of the wiretapping laws you'll see that videotaping and recording by law enforcement is exempted by the law. At least that's what I've seen in the Maryland and Pennsylvania wording. It may not be written into some of the other states but I really doubt it. My experience with NC laws is that they write a six word law and then 25 paragraphs of exceptions.

    But as others have already posted, police officers and ordinary citizens have no expectation of privacy when out in public. Many of cases made against citizens have stemmed more from other issues or are just outright contempt of cop arrests.

    I've been out shooting police situations for over 20 years and I've seldom been confronted with this kind of a situation. When I have run into it, it has usually been private citizens or small town cops who don't know any better. During the hysteria following 9/11, some police thought that photography had somehow become regulated by the Patriot Act or their own policies. This was simply not the case.

    In the United States there are no laws that prevent you from taking video and or photographs of the police, or police situations. With that said, there are times when this could be a problem. If you were just a third party at a scene and had nothing to do with what was happening you would be fine. However if you were a party to nature of the call then you could be asked to put the camera down. For example you were a driver or passenger in a traffic stop. The camera could be construed as a weapon and the officer would likely make you turn it off and put it down.

    If you are out in public and you see police activity you have every right to videotape or photograph it. This is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Laws to prevent audio taping without consent would be not apply as long as you were clearly visible and were not going to any secret or extreme means to get sound. Some states have enacted wiretapping laws that law enforcement have tried use to prevent video being taken at scenes. I've heard of charges filed against videographers based on these laws but I've yet to actually see one of these cases get to court much less a conviction.

    Most photographers that are arrested in these scenarios are usually being stupid and crossing police lines or willfully harassing the police. If you are out of the way most police officers could not care less and some are even glad to have you.

    When police are in public they have no right of privacy just like everyone else and they also have the right to remain silent should a camera be rolling. I've seldom run into this problem other than requests not to show officers faces who might be working undercover and not shooting dead bodies. I don't shoot bodies anyway, and I always try to comply on the face requests although I'm under no obligation to do so. Sometimes crimes scenes may be expanded to get you further away from a scene or there may be genuine safety issues, if that happens or you're directed to leave because of a safety issue, you should comply and you may be subject to arrest if you do not. However, you can not be excluded from any area that the general public is being allowed in.

    If you are a third party to an incident and are confronted with this situation you best bet is to not cut off the camera and move your finger away from the trigger so you don't accidentally cut it off. Should you be arrested the tape would be your best evidence.

    Good luck and hope this helps.

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  • 4 years ago

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    Source(s): Criminal Record Search Database : http://CriminalRecords.raiwi.com/?yEyN
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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    There is no reasonable expectation of privacy out in the public so the taping of police officers is perfectly legal last time I checked.

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  • 10 years ago

    it is perfectly legal to video and audio police officers when there is no expectation of privacy.

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    and it is legal in every state.

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    it just depends on the manner that you do it.

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    just because you get arrested, does not mean that you have broken the law,and even if you plead guilty, it doesn't mean that you were guilty.

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    the reason police cant be charged with that, is because it isnt illegal to do.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    It is perfectly legal to video and audio police officers when there is no expectation of privacy.

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    and it is legal in every state.

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    it just depends on the manner that you do it.

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    just because you get arrested, does not mean that you have broken the law,and even if you plead guilty, it doesn't mean that you were guilty.

    Source(s): I am a retired police officer. I retired as a sergeant, after 29 years, from a very large department, about 12,000 officers. I was a patrol officer for 4 years in a very diverse area. I was a tactical officer in the high rise project areas of my city. We called it vertical patrol in that we walked the the stairways of the high rises most of the time. I did that for 5 years and was promoted by test to detective. I worked violent crime (homicide, sex, officer involved shootings, robbery, kidnapping, serious non property incidents) for 11 years until I was promoted to sergeant. I worked as a street supervisor, a bicycle patrol supervisor and a desk sergeant/watch commander. During my time as a tactical officer and a detective I was a unit representative for the police union. I have a B.A in English and an M.S. in Law Enforcement Administration..
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  • 10 years ago

    Oh yeah?....which states?

    "Wiretapping" and "Video cameras" are two entirely different animals.

    This is propaganda. And dash cams are used to record the actions of the driver or person in front of it as well as to protect the police officer AND prosecute the police officer if he commits an assault or violates a person's rights.

    Get you facts straight Jazzbo.

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