A federal court has ruled in favor of cops over privacy laws.
‘Body-cams’, cameras fitted onto the chest plates of police officers have been responsible for a number of prosecutions both on the side of the police and the public, but one court has ruled that turning the tables on the cops is a crime.
A court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia has ruled that it is illegal to film a cop on duty, as decided in the cases of Fields v. City of Philadelphia, and Geraci v. City of Philadelphia.
In the Fields case, Temple University student Richard Fields was prosecuted simply for taking a picture of a group of police officers who had congregated outside a party, whereas Amanda Geraci was arrested and charged for filming police during a fracking protest in September 2012.
In the past, the public were freely allowed to film the police as “expressive conduct,” after all, the police are payed with tax payer money, and it is supposed to be their duty to protect the public, what do they have to hide?
Fields and Geraci are both seeking damages from the Philadelphia courts due to the harshness of their treatment.
The court released a statement saying:
“Fields’ and Geraci’s alleged ‘constitutionally protected conduct’ consists of observing and photographing, or making a record of, police activity in a public forum. Neither uttered any words to the effect he or she sought to take pictures to oppose police activity. Their particular behavior is only afforded First Amendment protection if we construe it as expressive conduct.”
“We find no basis to craft a new First Amendment right based solely on ‘observing and recording’ without expressive conduct.”
“Absent any authority from the Supreme Court or our Court of Appeals, we decline to create a new First Amendment right for citizens to photograph officers when they have no expressive purpose such as challenging police actions,”
Across America there is a developing attitude of a ‘them and us’ situation between the police and the public. Trust in the police is at an all time low, and it is incidences like this which seem to put the rights of cops way higher than the rights of the public which are making people think twice about which side the law is really on.
Via The Anti Media