Photographing The Police | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Photographing The Police

In the era of smartphones and cheap digital cameras, most Americans now carry some sort of recording device. Though the right has been upheld repeatedly, cases continue to crop up across the country in which citizens are prevented from capturing images of arrests and other law enforcement actions. We explore an issue that has divided activists and law enforcement, and find out why Washington's Metropolitan Police Department issued an order upholding a citizen's right to photograph officers.

Metropolitan Police Department General Order

The policy recognizes that members of the public have a First Amendment right to video record, photograph and audio record members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) while MPD officers are conducting official business or acting in an official capacity in any public space, unless such recordings interfere with police activity. Read the full order:

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Scott Cover was harassed by the Baltimore City Police Department for filming an arrest in February 2012.

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