Appeals Court Rules It Is Not Illegal To Film PolicePaul Joseph Watson
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Despite the mass hoax still being promulgated by both the mainstream media and local authorities across America, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it is not illegal for citizens to videotape police officers when they are on public duty.
“The filming of government officials while on duty is protected by the First Amendment, said the Court,” reports Daily Tech.
“The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles [of protected First Amendment activity].,” said the Court. “Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting the free discussion of governmental affairs,” stated the ruling, adding that this has been the case all along, and that the right to film police officers is not just restricted to the press.
The case cited several examples where citizens were arrested for documenting acts of police brutality on recording devices, including that of Simon Glik, who was arrested after he filmed Boston police punching a man on the Boston Common.
Another case involved Khaliah Fitchette, a teenager who filmed police aggressively removing a man from a bus in Newark. Fitchette was arrested and detained for two hours before police deleted the video from her cellphone.
The court ruling also made it clear that bloggers who report news based on their recordings of police have equal protection under the law as journalists.
“The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status,” stated the court.
Despite the ruling, state authorities in Illinois are still trying to prosecute 41-year old mechanic Michael Allison for recording police officers in public. Allison faces a life sentence on five separate counts of “eavesdropping” that add up to 75 years.
The Attorney General’s Office is determined to make an example out of Allison in a bid to intimidate the public against filming the actions of police. In brazenly disregarding the law as well as legal precedent (every single charge against people for filming police, including a recent case in Illinois, has been thrown out of court), authorities are clearly using official oppression in their vendetta against Allison.
Despite innumerable cases where charges have been dropped against citizens arrested for filming police, the mass media still constantly invokes the misnomer that it is illegal to record cops in public.
The fact that arrests are still occurring on a regular basis nationwide also underscores how police are being trained to enforce a law that doesn’t exist, before hitting victims of this hoax with charges more severe than those a murderer would expect to receive and expecting them to back down and plea bargain, a startling reflection of the cancerous criminality that has set the United States well on course to becoming a police state.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.
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