Maryland Police Again Threaten Citizens With Arrest for Filming Them in Public

We have been following how police in the United States and abroad have started to arrest people filming them in public, including today’s story out of California (here). Maryland police continue (in my view wrongly) to claim that recording them in public is a crime in that state as shown in this video from the Preakness.

This video shows officers piled on a young woman and then telling a witness to turn off the camera, stating “Do me a favor and turn that off. It’s illegal to record anybody’s voice or anything else in the state of Maryland.”

We have previously discussed the stretched logic being used by police to threaten arrest with anyone filming them, here. It is clear that Maryland officials have not acted to stop this abuse and inform officers that they cannot threaten to arrest citizens filming them. We have seen countless cases where abuse was only prosecuted because of citizen videotaping. Otherwise, these incidents become matters of the word of the officers against an arrested individual — rarely resulting in action. It is bizarre to see the lack of response in states like Massachusetts and Maryland where police have claimed such authority. Not only is it based on flawed legal reasoning but it is clearly opposed to public interest.

For the story, click here.

10 thoughts on “Maryland Police Again Threaten Citizens With Arrest for Filming Them in Public

  1. Why don’t we go to the other extreme and have police officers who are always being recorded? Just like they now have dashboard cams, why not have them wear a small video camera anytime they are on duty?

  2. I have no issue with videoing every police/public interaction. It’s public record. If the cops have nothing to hide, they shouldn’t object either.

  3. If they are threatening citizens with arrest for filming them, common sense would dictate that the police know they are doing something wrong. But, it’s easier to threaten people than to correct their actions.

  4. Therefore, to ensure compliance with the various “consent” laws, if police officers are abusing any of you out there, please be certain–through your bloodied nose/mouth and perhaps with your last dying breath—to bleat-out toward the videotape or the cell phone users:

    You have my explicit permission to videotape/record my words and my body!

    That way, maybe we can stem the tide of the ever-increasing police abuse and get the bad LEOs in prison.

    Quoted from JT’s link:

    “I had talked with state police officials, prosecutors and several defense attorneys (including one who was a former federal prosecutor). All told me that it appeared the Harford County State’s Attorney was interpreting the law correctly, though most disagreed with his decision. His reading of the law is that it’s illegal to record the voice of anyone without their consent, even in a public place.”

  5. Jesus, what did that extraordinarily threatening looking twig of a woman in a skirt do to elicit getting jumped on by 4 obese brutes? And gee whiz, she looks more injured than noncompliant…

    definitely get the bleach, there is some strange virus out there invading the brain cells of the boys in blue…..

  6. i don’t think it will be much longer before bystanders become more active in defense of some of these use of force victims. people without jobs have less to lose.

  7. Similar laws also apply in the UK since last year.

    Perhaps our new government will include them in their “Great Repeal Bill” thay they or going on about. Or perhaps not.

    There is, however in the UK a worrying trend not to allow photo’s being taken in public places. Many believe this to be law, but it isn’t. The law only says that you cannot take pictures on private property (such as shopping malls) and that you can be removed from the malls (but not charged with anything) for taking the photo’s. The photo’s cannot be confiscated or deleted from your camera.

    The excuse given for all this is “to protect children from peadophiles”.

    There’s one on every corner you know.

    Planning to take YOUR child!!!!

    I know. I’ve seeeeeeeen them.

  8. we do not live in a free country but a police state if the police state if the police want to to act like military subject them to the Uniform code of military justice. let them face court martials for their action. Their should also should have rules of engagement. If the military took actions like these cops they would have been court martialed for sure.

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