Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


9th Circuit limits police privacy

The chief warned Anthony Johnson to point his video camera elsewhere, then wrestled the camera away and put Johnson in jail for recording communication without permission, court records say.

A 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel last week reinstated Johnson’s suit, which had been thrown out by a federal magistrate in Tacoma, and issued a ruling that expanded the public’s ability to record the words and actions of police officers.

In their actions as public servants, the actions of police ought to be public. Our interest in controlling them far outweighs their right to privacy.

I believe that if the state appeals, this may end up with the Supreme Court…Wasn’t there a MA ruling that taping a traffic stop violated MA’s wiretap laws? That sort of circuit conflict is one of the main reasons the Supreme Court takes cases.

(From the Seatle Post Intelligencer, via