Federal Court Rules Filming Police Is Protected By First Amendment

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A federal court of appeals recently ruled that citizens have a first amendment right to film police. The decision stems from two local cases where police confiscated a bystanders’ cell phone.

ACLU To Appeal After Judge Rules No First Amendment Right To Film Police

“First Amendment is still an important check on government power,” said Molly Tack-Hooper a staff attorney at the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

They represented Rick Fields a Temple student who tried to film police as they broke up a house party, and Amanda Geraci who attempted to take photos of police arresting protesters at an Anti-Fracking rally.

A district court held the plaintiffs needed to assert the first amendment otherwise police could stop them. But a three judge Third Circuit Panel overturned that ruling.

ALSO READ: City Honors Small Business By Renaming West Philly Street

“In ruling in favor of our clients the court actually acknowledged that civilian recordings of police have played an incredibly important part in our national conversation about policing,” she said.

Five other federal appeals court have come to similar conclusions, so Tack-Hooper believe without a conflict in the circuit it’s unlike the US Supreme Court would weigh in.

In response to a request for comment, Lauren Hitt, spokesperson for the city of Philadelphia wrote, “as this is still open, we don’t have a comment at this time.”

More from Cherri Gregg
Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Philly

Getaway Guide To Eastern Shore Docking And Dining
Cap'n Mark Getaway
#CBS3Summerfest

Watch & Listen LIVE