First Amendment Right to Record Police: When Clearly Established Is Not Clear Enough
30 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2015 Last revised: 4 Jun 2016
Date Written: February 23, 2015
Practically a citizen is restrained from freely exercising their right to film police activity in public even in circuits that have found the right clearly established. Because the reasonable restrictions have not yet been clearly articulated, a citizen has the recourse to film the police and merely hope that their unique situation is afforded First Amendment protections. Such uncertainty will inevitably lead to a chilling effect on the protected activity and encourage police officers to continue to limit the right to film police in public. My paper outlines the current Circuit decisions and demonstrates why a national standard outlining a right to record police activity would be a prudent policy decision if the Supreme Court grants certiorari.
Keywords: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law
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