Photographing The Police

Photographing The Police

The right to photograph or record the police has repeatedly been upheld in the courts, yet new lawsuits and cases highlight the complicated line for both police and citizens.

In the era of smartphones and cheap digital cameras, most Americans now carry some sort of recording device. Though the right has been upheld repeatedly, cases continue to crop up across the country in which citizens are prevented from capturing images of arrests and other law enforcement actions. We explore an issue that has divided activists and law enforcement, and find out why Washington's Metropolitan Police Department issued an order upholding a citizen's right to photograph officers.

Guests

Kristopher Baumann

Chairman, Fraternal Order of Police Metropolitan Police Department Labor Committee

Arthur Spitzer

Legal Director, ACLU of the National Capital Area

Mickey Osterreicher

General Counsel, National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)

Related Links

Metropolitan Police Department General Order

The policy recognizes that members of the public have a First Amendment right to video record, photograph and audio record members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) while MPD officers are conducting official business or acting in an official capacity in any public space, unless such recordings interfere with police activity. Read the full order:

Video Published In Baltimore Brew

Scott Cover was harassed by the Baltimore City Police Department for filming an arrest in February 2012.

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.