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Where/When legal to record LEOs

Bill Starks

State Researcher
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
4,310
Location
Nortonville, KY, USA
Can we tape?


http://www.rcfp.org/taping/



Federal law allows recording of phone calls and other electronic communications with the consent of at least one party to the call. A majority of the states and territories have adopted wiretapping statutes based on the federal law, although most also have extended the law to cover in-person conversations.

Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia permit individuals to record conversations to which they are a party without informing the other parties that they are doing so. These laws are referred to as “one-party consent” statutes, and as long as you are a party to the conversation, it is legal for you to record it. (Nevada also has a one-party consent statute, but the state Supreme Court has interpreted it as an all-party rule.)


Twelve states require, under most circumstances, the consent of all parties to a conversation. Those jurisdictions are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington. Be aware that you will sometimes hear these referred to inaccurately as “two-party consent” laws. If there are more than two people involved in the conversation, all must consent to the taping.
Regardless of the state, it is almost always illegal to record a conversation to which you are not a party, do not have consent to tape, and could not naturally overhear.
Federal law and most state laws also make it illegal to disclose the contents of an illegally intercepted call or communication.
At least 24 states have laws outlawing certain uses of hidden cameras in private places, although many of the laws are specifically limited to attempts to record nudity. Also, many of the statutes concern unattended hidden cameras, not cameras hidden on a person engaged in a conversation. Journalists should be aware, however, that the audio portion of a videotape will be treated under the regular wiretapping laws in any state. And regardless of whether a state has a criminal law regarding cameras, undercover recording in a private place can prompt civil lawsuits for invasion of privacy.
 
Last edited:

eye95

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
13,525
Location
Fairborn, Ohio, USA
Can we tape?

http://www.rcfp.org/taping/

Federal law allows recording of phone calls and other electronic communications with the consent of at least one party to the call. A majority of the states and territories have adopted wiretapping statutes based on the federal law, although most also have extended the law to cover in-person conversations.

Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia permit individuals to record conversations to which they are a party without informing the other parties that they are doing so. These laws are referred to as “one-party consent” statutes, and as long as you are a party to the conversation, it is legal for you to record it. (Nevada also has a one-party consent statute, but the state Supreme Court has interpreted it as an all-party rule.)


Twelve states require, under most circumstances, the consent of all parties to a conversation. Those jurisdictions are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington. Be aware that you will sometimes hear these referred to inaccurately as “two-party consent” laws. If there are more than two people involved in the conversation, all must consent to the taping.
Regardless of the state, it is almost always illegal to record a conversation to which you are not a party, do not have consent to tape, and could not naturally overhear.
Federal law and most state laws also make it illegal to disclose the contents of an illegally intercepted call or communication.
At least 24 states have laws outlawing certain uses of hidden cameras in private places, although many of the laws are specifically limited to attempts to record nudity. Also, many of the statutes concern unattended hidden cameras, not cameras hidden on a person engaged in a conversation. Journalists should be aware, however, that the audio portion of a videotape will be treated under the regular wiretapping laws in any state. And regardless of whether a state has a criminal law regarding cameras, undercover recording in a private place can prompt civil lawsuits for invasion of privacy.

The above fails to consider that the interactions with officers acting in their official capacity are rarely electronic or private.

If the officer has no expectation of privacy (and, if he has terry-stopped you, he hasn't), record away.
 

KS_to_CA

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
443
Location
National City, CA, ,
Umm, Illinois seems to have a problem with it...

http://reason.com/blog/2011/01/23/another-illinois-resident-char



Apparently the ACLU is fighting it, and it seems it is OK for THEM to record YOU!!

Also Maryland and Masachusetts are using "eavesdropping" or "wiretapping" laws as ways to arrest those videotaping teh Police.

http://gizmodo.com/#!5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns

Maybe they have something to hide from the public. Makes it easier for the DA and the DEA to proclaim "no evidence" of police abuse of power later on when a citizen decides to sue?
 

eye95

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
13,525
Location
Fairborn, Ohio, USA
By way of a coincidence, one of our Alabama members was arrested last month for videotaping a stop on the side of the highway. The incident was just posted yesterday, so we are just learning about it now.

He was charged with obstructing a government official, and the municipal trial is tomorrow.

He was OC at the time, but the taping was not related in any way to OC. However, his OC did result in his getting drawn on. He was also told by one of the officers that, had the officer been the only one on the scene, the officer would've shot him!
 

Irish_Dave

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
39
Location
Peoples Repulic of MA
In Massachusetts anyone in public can be video recorded. For audio recording it's only a crime if being done secretly, then it's considered a wire tap violation and it's a felony. If the recording device is not concealed (video camera held in front of you) then there is no crime.
 

sheepdog251

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
21
Location
WI
No states require consent to record video unless there is an expectation of privacy, like in a bathroom or changing room.


Are you sure about this statement of yours? ^^

Somebody ought to inject some real law and knowledge in here, as the flippant B.S. really drops this Forum's credibility with the L.E. community. We would rather have the L.E. community on the side of our O.C. legal lines, rather than spreading false rumors and portraying ourselves as victims of L.E.O.s.

Find a professional approach to these kinds of things, or risk setting up the dramatic "us vs. them" scenario which we lose everytime.
 

sudden valley gunner

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,689
Location
Whatcom County
By way of a coincidence, one of our Alabama members was arrested last month for videotaping a stop on the side of the highway. The incident was just posted yesterday, so we are just learning about it now.

He was charged with obstructing a government official, and the municipal trial is tomorrow.

He was OC at the time, but the taping was not related in any way to OC. However, his OC did result in his getting drawn on. He was also told by one of the officers that, had the officer been the only one on the scene, the officer would've shot him!

Yep I have heard those threats before, makes me wonder what they feel we are obstructing? Them being able to change the story for the courts?
 

sheepdog251

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
21
Location
WI
He was OCing a loaded pistol while driving a vehicle?

Let's see the recording he made.







By way of a coincidence, one of our Alabama members was arrested last month for videotaping a stop on the side of the highway. The incident was just posted yesterday, so we are just learning about it now.

He was charged with obstructing a government official, and the municipal trial is tomorrow.

He was OC at the time, but the taping was not related in any way to OC. However, his OC did result in his getting drawn on. He was also told by one of the officers that, had the officer been the only one on the scene, the officer would've shot him!
 

sheepdog251

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
21
Location
WI
I did not say that.

AFIK, the police confiscated his recording.

You wrote he was pulled off to the side of the road, OCing, and made the tape recording.

" ...By way of a coincidence, one of our Alabama members was arrested last month for videotaping a stop on the side of the highway. The incident was just posted yesterday, so we are just learning about it now.

He was charged with obstructing a government official, and the municipal trial is tomorrow.

He was OC at the time,..."

So, now you're saying he was walking down the highway, in OC condition, happened on a L.E. traffic stop and video-taped it? You go on to say a L.E.O. reasoned out his murder if there had been only one cop on the scene, rather than the # of LEOs that HAD been there?
 

eye95

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
13,525
Location
Fairborn, Ohio, USA
Let me put your annoying little distraction down and then move on to actual discussion of the event I posted.

I did not say he was driving OC. Likely he was. I don't know. He didn't say. I didn't say. I don't care. It is not what he nor I was discussing. :banghead:

Now, go ahead and carry on with your distraction. I won't reply further.
 

OC for ME

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
12,453
Location
White Oak Plantation
I think you don't record LEOs anywhere near where that fella got rousted for recording. They apparently don't take too kindly to being recorded in those parts. I don't think any court directed LEO education program is gunna change that anytime soon.
 

OC for ME

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
12,453
Location
White Oak Plantation
Collecting evidence for the obstruction charge....I guess. Who wudda thunk it that a LEO(s) wudda confiscated a recording. I thought that the odds of that happening were just about 1 in a bazillion.
 

sudden valley gunner

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,689
Location
Whatcom County
Collecting evidence for the obstruction charge....I guess. Who wudda thunk it that a LEO(s) wudda confiscated a recording. I thought that the odds of that happening were just about 1 in a bazillion.

Without RAS of a crime it is theft in my book I know how they want it to play out in court, but it should play out illegal detention/arrest, theft of private property etc.
 

sheepdog251

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
21
Location
WI
Well, why let this annoying distraction of FACTS, get in the way of you telling a fictional story to try and discredit a Law Enforcement Officer who was legally doing their job.

You were discussing a friend videotaping a traffic stop. Your friend was OCing at the time. On the side of the highway.


Guess what? If you park on the shoulder of the highway, BEHIND a L.E.O. who is in the middle of a traffic stop, odds are you are about to bite into a good sized portion of the "**** sandwich".

I can't guess what the Officer's reasoning was for confiscating the video tape, if it even happened, but it's their discretion anyway. You won't put anything down except for maybe your own rights to carry, if you keep acting and talking like every cop is the enemy. Go ahead, take a nice big bite of your buddy's sandwich.






Let me put your annoying little distraction down and then move on to actual discussion of the event I posted.

I did not say he was driving OC. Likely he was. I don't know. He didn't say. I didn't say. I don't care. It is not what he nor I was discussing. :banghead:

Now, go ahead and carry on with your distraction. I won't reply further.
 

MKEgal

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
4,385
Location
in front of my computer, WI
sheepdog251 said:
I can't guess what the Officer's reasoning was for confiscating the video tape, if it even happened, but it's their discretion anyway.
How do you reason that?
Theft of property is never at their discretion; neither is "collecting evidence".
And if the person filming had done nothing more than stand out of the way & film, there was no crime, so no evidence of it existed.

You won't put anything down except for maybe your own rights to carry, if you keep acting and talking like every cop is the enemy.
Most officers, of whatever flavor, are probably decent people.
Problem is the few who are anti-rights or high on power show up far too frequently and can make someone's life really difficult.
It's safer to treat them politely but firmly while standing up for our rights.
 

VW_Factor

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
1,098
Location
Leesburg, GA
if you keep acting and talking like every cop is the enemy. Go ahead, take a nice big bite of your buddy's sandwich.

I don't think anyone mentioned anything about acting like every cop is an enemy. I am sure that everyone knows that is simply not the case. Why do you assume that people think that? Do you hang out with those sorts of people?

Recording interactions with police should not be construed as an attack on them, nor ill will. If they do their job properly without violating anyone's rights, why should it matter if they are recorded? Hell, they record themselves and their interactions with the public most of the time.
 

eye95

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
13,525
Location
Fairborn, Ohio, USA
I don't think anyone mentioned anything about acting like every cop is an enemy. I am sure that everyone knows that is simply not the case. Why do you assume that people think that? Do you hang out with those sorts of people?

Recording interactions with police should not be construed as an attack on them, nor ill will. If they do their job properly without violating anyone's rights, why should it matter if they are recorded? Hell, they record themselves and their interactions with the public most of the time.

Good post. You're right. No one did.

You know, there are as many folks here and on ALOC accusing me of being a cop-basher as are on here accusing me of being a LEO-apologist. Funny.

I look at each individual situation in isolation and react to the actions of the officers. Period. Sometimes I feel the officers acted properly. That gets me called an apologist. Sometimes I criticize their actions. Then I am a basher. Not a lot of discernment going on.

In this case the officers exceeded their authority and went a little power-mad.

Anyway, I tossed that poster on my ignore list. Ain't worth wasting my time on him or his shallow, accusatory posts any more.
 
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