Court: Constitution grants right to record police in public

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A federal appeals court in Philadelphia has joined five other circuits in finding that citizens have a First Amendment right to videotape police in public.

Friday’s ruling joins what the court calls the “growing consensus” that the public can photograph or record police without retaliation.

U.S. Judge Thomas Ambro says the Constitution grants citizens the right to “information about how our public servants operate in public.”

He says these recordings have both “exposed police misconduct and exonerated officers.”

The case involves a Temple University student who took a picture of Philadelphia police breaking up a party and a legal observer documenting the arrest of a fracking protester. Both were initially detained, and the student was issued a citation.

City police officials say a 2012 policy reminds officers not to interfere with public recordings.

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