THESE ARE YOUR RIGHTS: Commish Says Documenting Police Activity Is Not A Crime

philly_police_beatdown.jpgPHILLY.COM:  Philly’s top cop has issued a memorandum to eliminate any confusion about a civilian’s right to record, videotape or photograph officers in a public space. The two-page memo by Commissioner Charles Ramsey circulated throughout the department on Sept. 23, roughly two weeks after the Daily News reported on several incidents involving cops who had wrongly arrested bystanders for using their cellphones to record what they considered violent arrests and who later emerged from police custody with smashed phones and no footage. “It is not illegal to videotape a police officer,” Ramsey said in a phone interview. “Cameras are everywhere. [Officers] need to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. If someone wants to videotape, they have the right to do so.” The memo said that officers “should reasonably anticipate and expect to be photographed, videotaped and/or be audibly recorded by members of the general public.”Additionally, “officers have no authority to confiscate the recording devices” and should never intentionally damage or destroy them or delete images, the memo said. MORE

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