Law Enforcement Agencies Consider Citizen Videotaping Policies

A July 27 Frederick News Post article discusses the challenges posed to state and local law enforcement agencies by the increasingly common citizen practice of recording law enforcement officers as they perform their duties.  The article notes that the Frederick Police Department and the Maryland State Police created s recording policy this year but that most law enforcement agencies have not yet addressed the issue.  The Maryland branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has sent a letter to local law enforcement agencies requesting them to establish a recording/videotaping policy.  The attention stems from a recent incident involving an incident at the Preakness Stakes where the United States Department of Justice is supporting the citizen plaintiff.

A total of 33 departments received the letter, according to an ACLU news release. Meredith Curtis, an ACLU spokeswoman, said agencies were chosen based on size.

Deborah Jeon, legal director for the ACLU of Maryland, said in a statement: “The federal government’s selection of Maryland as the place to speak out in support of the First Amendment right to record police actions in public gives our law enforcement officials a unique opportunity to set a national example.”

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