Activism Justice Upriser

Cop To Cameraman: ‘If You’re Invoking Your Rights, You Must Be Doing Something Wrong’

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All U.S. citizens have the First Amendment right to film police officers and other public officials, but it often takes an official policy change before public servants will begrudgingly respect that right.

“Techdirt reader timlash sends in this video of two citizens filming a sally port (where prisoners are shuttled in and out of the courthouse) in Jacksonville, Florida. As is to be expected, police officers show up and try to shut down the recording of a public building from a public sidewalk. But the most amazing part of the video is the police officer’s statement in response to the cameraman invoking his rights.”

Such is the growing belief, invoke your Fourth Amendment rights to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures and the government assumes you have something to hide. Invoke your Fifth Amendment rights and the government assumes you’ve committed a crime. Invoke your First Amendment right to record police officers and you’re told that you’re “obstructing” an investigation or creating a public disturbance.

Your freedom rights as an American citizen won’t be respected by default. And when you invoke them, you’ll be treated as an activist or a criminal. The land of freedom has tipped the balance away from the citizens and towards the government — because whether we’re fighting terrorism, drugs or illegal immigration, the respect of citizens’ rights impedes the progress of the nation’s many “warriors.”

“People to cop: You are making yourself judge and jury. That is called taking the law into your own hands. That is criminal behavior, and warrants prosecution.” [KLMD](


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“Cop To Cameraman: ‘If You’re Invoking Your Rights, You Must Be Doing Something Wrong’”