Thursday, May 17, 2012

Recording On-Duty Police Is a ‘Form of Free Speech’


US Department of Justice (DOJ) issues a statement affirming the Bill of Rights which states that Recording -VIDEO-AUDIO- of 'On-Duty Police' during an arrest is a ‘Form of PROTECTED Free Speech!’

The 11-page statement iterates what the US Department of Justice   (DOJ) thinks US Police Depatments nationally should include in their general order to ensure adequate protection of US Citizen's constitutional rights. Key points made by Smith in the letter regarding rights of US Citizens recording On-Duty Police officers in pursuant to their duties:

  • Recording governmental officers engaged in public duties is a form of speech through which private individuals may gather and disseminate information of public concern, including the conduct of law enforcement officers.

  • US Police should clarify that the right to record public officials is not limited to streets and sidewalks – it includes areas where individuals have a legal right to be present, including an individual’s home or business, and common areas of public and private facilities and buildings.

  • Policies should prohibit officers from destroying recording devices or cameras and deleting recordings or photographs under any circumstances. In addition to violating the First Amendment, police officers violate the core requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process clause when they irrevocably deprived individuals of their recordings without first providing notice and an opportunity to object.

  • US Police should instruct officers not to threaten, intimidate, or otherwise discourage an individual from recording police officer enforcement activities or intentionally block or obstruct cameras or other recording devices.

  • General Order J-16 should encourage officers to provide ways in which individuals can continue to exercise their First Amendment rights as officers perform their duties, rather than encourage officers to look for potential violations of the law in order to restrict the individual’s recording.

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
Originally, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress. However, starting with Gitlow v. New York, the Supreme Court has applied the First Amendment to each state. This was done through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Bill of Rights are not granted by the government! 

They are inalienable rights set forth by the Creator!

Glory to Almighty GOD and to HIS only begotten Son JESUS CHRIST our Savior! 

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