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.