Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Supreme Court: Citizens Recording their Contacts With Police Officers Are Constitutionally Protected

Paul Huebl writes:
The ACLU sought to prevent and or document the abuse of citizens by police. In some cases the ACLU actually provided people with cheap video cameras to record their encounters with police. The ACLU asked the U.S. District court to invalidate the law [preventing such recording]. That matter has now been fully litigated and it is the law of the land throughout America. Citizens can record their encounters with police without fear of arrest.
Huebl details the full back story, here.

If you plan on filming the police, carry a note in your wallet that reads: U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of the American Civil Liberties Union versus Anita Alvarez, so that you can show the reference to the police, if the police try to hassle you.

If you are planning on regularly filming the police, print out a page of key excerpts from the decision and carry it with you.


  1. See also Glik v. Cuniffe from the 1st Circuit in August, finding “a citizen’s right to film government officials, including law enforcement officers, in the discharge of their duties in a public space is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.”

  2. Text of Glik v. Cuniffe:


  3. Sweet. The SCOTUS finally does something right!