Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The State can videotape you

But don't you dare videotape them, mundane. Slave.

Apparently this is the lesson learned from such incidences as the Maryland police beating of a man skipping down the street celebrating Maryland's victory over Duke: not to, you know, stop blatant and wanton brutality and abuse, but to crack down on the citizens who keep videotaping them in the act.

    CBS News Baltimore -

    Several Marylanders face felony charges for recording their arrests on camera, and others have been intimidated to shut their cameras off. That's touched off a legal controversy.

    Mike Hellgren explains the fierce debate and what you should do to protect yourself.

    A man whose arrest was caught on video faces felony charges from Maryland State Police for recording it on camera.

    "We are enforcing the law, and we don't make any apologies for that," said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police.

    Video of another arrest at the Preakness quickly made its way online, despite an officer issuing this warning to the person who shot it, "Do me a favor and turn that off. It's illegal to videotape anybody's voice or anything else, against the law in the state of Maryland."

    But is he right? Can police stop you from recording their actions, like a beating at the University of Maryland College Park?

    The American Civil Liberties Union says no.

    "For the government to be saying it has the power to prevent citizens from doing that is profoundly shocking, troubling, and particularly in the case of Maryland, simply flat-out wrong," said David Roach, ACLU.

    Under Maryland law, conversations in private cannot be recorded without the consent of both people involved.

    But can that be applied to incidents, such as one caught on tape three years ago where a Baltimore officer arrested a teenager at the Inner Harbor?

    "When you tell me to turn it off because it's against the law, you've proven to me that I'm not secretly taping you," said law professor Byron Warnken. "He doesn't have the right to say, if you don't stop recording me, I'm going to arrest you."

Read all of it.