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Illegal to tape/record a police officer?

Discussion in 'Donut Shop' started by LS2GTO, May 23, 2010.

  1. LS2GTO

    LS2GTO Active Member Established Member

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    I've always been wondering this, and it wasn't till I saw the news story of the biker that got pulled over by the plain cloths officer that I finally thought I'd ask. Is it illegal to video tape/voice record a police officer in a traffic stop? Is it illegal only if you don't ask for consent?
     
  2. Krwy

    Krwy New Member Established Member

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    All parties must agree on the recording. An ofc can record without consent if it is part of an investigation.
     
  3. Lt. ZO6

    Lt. ZO6 New Member Established Member

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    Depends on the state where you live. Some places require only one party consent, some require both.
     
  4. zerocool

    zerocool Douchy McDoucherson Established Member

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    How do the guys that are taping the Arizona officers looking for profiling get away with it then? As far as I know, they do it randomly and don't have consent of either party involved in the stop.
     
  5. acidshn20

    acidshn20 New Member Established Member

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    That about just audio? I believe recording just audio is legal correct? Video I know has different stipulations though...
     
  6. Lt. ZO6

    Lt. ZO6 New Member Established Member

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    In the majority of jurisdictions, taping is okay if done in an area where one wouldn't have any expectation of privacy.
     
  7. FordSVTFan

    FordSVTFan Oh, the humanity of it all. Established Member

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    AS pointed out above it all comes down to an R.E.P. (reasonable expectation of privacy). If there are two parties and they have a reasonable expectation of privacy then you need to determine if you are in a two party consent state. Also, as point out above, some states require only the knowledge of one party, while other states require the knowledge of both parties.

    In the state of Florida it is a felony to record a private conversation without the permission of both parties where there is an R.E.P.
     
  8. Lawfficer

    Lawfficer I pretend to be a cop Established Member

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    If you are in public, you have no expectation of privacy as a citizen or as a police officer. it's perfectly fine to record/tape whatever, as long as you do in such a fashion that it does not interfer with the officers work.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  9. FordSVTFan

    FordSVTFan Oh, the humanity of it all. Established Member

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    That is not accurate. Just because you are in a public area does not mean you dont have an R.E.P.

    For instance, if you and another person are in a public park and no one is around and the parties are talking in a normal conversant tone, there would be every reason to believe the conversation would not be overheard and therefore a R.E.P. exists.
     
  10. Lawfficer

    Lawfficer I pretend to be a cop Established Member

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    True, you could make an arguement to this point. But im not talking about using technology past what the general public has access to like a laser mic or N.S.A. satelites. Im more referring to a moron on the side of the road with a handi-cam or something along those lines and i believe that what the op was referring.

    I would point out though, if you are in a public park... you could argue it the other way too. :)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  11. kent1

    kent1 New Member Established Member

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    So if I get pulled by a police officer, can I taped the conversation between me and police officer-he will have his/her camera on recording the stop and if necessary evidence for his case. So can I do the same thing or is it illegal?
     
  12. RCMPSVT

    RCMPSVT New Member Established Member

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    We get recorded by Hells Angels, what ever who cares let them tape stuff no skin off our backs. In fact if any LEO's have had encounters with especially Hells Angels it common practice for them to audio tape you almost always and sometimes video. They love the audio though because they can conceal it without u knowing your being taped.

    I pulled a full patch over a few weeks back and asked him if I was gonna make it on You Tube, he wasnt amused.
     
  13. wvmystichrome

    wvmystichrome Premium Member Premium Member

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    That is not true here in WV. Legal people have been asked this in our area. As long as one person knows there is a tape recorder recording the conversation it is legal. The reason behind this. How do you think undercover TAPED drug transactions stand up in the court of law. If the drug dealer knew of the tape they would not open their mouth. I know this is true for WV not for sure in your state.

    The reason we/I know this is a situation that occurred in our church. Someone secretly taped a conversation. But since the person that recorded the conversation knew about the recorder it was legal.

    If this is wrong I would like to know because the local LE has said it is perfectly legal.

    OBTW. Adam great answer and you to Lawfficer.

    RCMPSVT. I'll bet you made his day. When we vacationed in Ontario at our house up there every summer there used to be a motorcycle group called Satan's Choice. I never saw so many motorcycles in my life. They had a farm about 5 -6 miles up the road from us and they would pass by, in groups of 5 for like 24 consecutive hours or more. I never seen anything like it since. Just be careful messing around with some of those gangs.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  14. Lawfficer

    Lawfficer I pretend to be a cop Established Member

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    Unless you were driving inside the Hoffman Building's, a nuclear missle silo, or The Whitehouse, you should be fine.

    Put it through the Girl Scout Test. If a girl scout wondering around selling cookies could see it, then it's in public and there is no REP. If there is no REP, you are fine.

    The problem comes into play when idiots are filming from public places, into private places. Like people crawling onto their roof in order to film the neighbor in the shower, etc... This is where most of the challenges to REP come from, situations like this. Again, girl scout test. Can a girl scout crawl on your roof and try to sell cookies?
     
  15. FordSVTFan

    FordSVTFan Oh, the humanity of it all. Established Member

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    You could try that but there is case law that goes against that argument.

    Another classic example is the restaurant booth versus and open table. There is case law that a private booth away from other customers in a public restaurant does afford the parties an R.E.P.
     
  16. FordSVTFan

    FordSVTFan Oh, the humanity of it all. Established Member

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    I found this and thought it was a good breakdown for everyone interested.

     
  17. colsgt

    colsgt New Member Established Member

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    So if I get pulled over in CA and I want to record the stop, I must tell the officer right away that I am recording? That being said, what if the officer declines consent? I need to turn off the recording device?
     
  18. sfadchi

    sfadchi Active Member Established Member

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    Notification and consent are two different things!
     
  19. Lawfficer

    Lawfficer I pretend to be a cop Established Member

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    Speaking of the Devil..... WHAT A crock of $h!T!!!!

    Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com


    If I were this guy, I would challenge this until the end of time. This is the slipperly slope of making it ileagle to record the police(gov't) doing anything. Even if the state courts uphold the conviction, I would keep appealing it as i'm sure SCOTUS would be more than happy to issue an opinion on the matter in the other direction.

    If they seized the computers etc as evidence of a crime that is one thing. However, seizing it under the two-party consent law is complete non-sense as I'm sure this is not what the spirit of the law was when it was drafted/passed.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  20. LS2GTO

    LS2GTO Active Member Established Member

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    ^^ That was the story that inspired me to make this thread. I guess since he's in Maryland he needs the 2 notification rule.
     

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