NYPD: Public has the right to film/photograph police in public, and always has



It’s a step in the right direction, and a desperately needed one.

But it remains to be seen if the cop on the street will pay it more than lip service.


The NYPD issued an internal memo last week telling officers they cannot prevent someone from photographing or filming them unless the cameraman is interfering with police operations. In other words…

In other words, JACK FUCKING SHIT.

This is completely meaningless. Police already knew that they couldn’t arrest people for just taking pictures, and they were already bending the “interfering” exception to their every whim or just making shit up.

We lack sufficient tools for holding authorities (of many kinds) accountable in the US.


“… is interfering with police operations”.

There lies the yawning loophole.


People who record the police breaking the law should not post their clips online.

They should register a complaint with the police complaints commission who should then investigate the incident, wait for the officers to incriminate themselves by lying about the incident and once the investigation is complete release the video proving they lied.

This is the only way to really destroy the careers of cops who continue to, quite literally, get away with murder.
(make sure you make a secure backup since the cops will likely come to ‘collect’ your evidence).


Not sure how that would pan out in practice. That’s like non-full disclosure, a legitimate complaint that you’d be right to complain about if evidence exonerating you were secretly withheld by prosecuting authorities. And yes I know they do that, and what’s sauce for the goose etc (but cf two wrongs etc).

Besides. if this evidence turns up later then they’ll just say it was faked, doctored, edited, whatever. You’d have to secure, tamperproof and timestamp it. I suspect the only way you could do that in a way satisfactory to said authorities would be to plonk it into a bank or something equally ‘official’. They’re sure as hell not going to pay any heed to the mathematical authority of vaults like SpiderOak. And the problem with banks is that they’re quite amenable to >cough< co-operation >cough< with those same authorities.

I’d love to see an attorney release a paid app that streams recorded video to a server controlled by that attorney that can only be viewed by the attorney and the person whose app recorded it and that can only be deleted by the attorney or those with physical access to the server.

I’m not an attorney myself, but wouldn’t that be a form of privileged communication with that attorney? If it is, wouldn’t it be guarded by attorney-client privilege – remember you paid for the app [and probably storage space?] The attorney could, with your permission and waiver of privilege, enter the video into evidence and swear was authentic because it was stored on their server. And I think a judge would be a LOT less pleased with a police raid on a law office to grab a server than they would be with “accidentally” smashing a camera phone.


Nice. BetterCallStreamItAll?


Oh, it’s easy. Every video that might embarrass the police is interfering with their operations. Because if they’re embarrassed in public their next operation will be more difficult. This decision changes nothing. Besides, the officer had a reasonable belief that the camera was a gun, and so deadly force was warranted. It’s a shame the videographer died, but that’s just a hazard of war.

Also, no choke holds NYPD.

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