NYU releases guide on legal rights when recording police

MEDFORD, Ore. — Videos can impact millions.

We’ve seen that recently with a viral cell phone video capturing a Minneapolis law enforcement officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck.

But before you take out your smart phone and press record, it’s important to know your rights.

This week, New York University created a guide called “A Citizen’s Guide to Recording Police” drawing from roughly 12 landmark court decisions.

The guide says only 61 percent of citizens live in states where federal appeals courts have recognized a first amendment right to record police officers in public.

But the U.S. Supreme court has not ruled on the issue, so the legal protections are only fully secure in those jurisdictions.

The guide goes on to discuss topics like public versus private places, non-consensual recordings, and whether police can seize or view smartphone recordings.

It says a case “Riley v. California” from 2014 prevents police from seizing a person’s recording device or later searching through its contents.

The only legal way for police to do so, would be through an arrest and to acquire its contents… would take a warrant.

Click here to read the guide.

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