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Another thread brings up an intriguting (to me) question about videoing

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  • Another thread brings up an intriguting (to me) question about videoing

    The thread about the officer arresting the guy in LV who was videoing him prompted me to look up information about photographing (not just police, but public photography in general). Well, I've seen posts by LEOs saying they could take video as evidence, but what I've read elsewhere says "Law enforcement officers may have the authority to seize film when making an arrest but otherwise must obtain a court order." Is this true, or not? I'm only asking for curiosity sake, I'm not a photographer or videographer by a long shot.
    The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

  • #2
    True, you have evidence of the crime therefore it's mine.
    "Naw officer, I was hanging with my cousin"

    "Sooo, real cousin or play cousins ?"

    Originally posted by JasperST
    I'm thinking a battalion of menstruating bearded women could kick some serious booty!

    Comment


    • #3
      If I think a news photog has something of evidentiary value, I'll inform him/her of that and kindly ask that they make sure the tape or other media gets preserved in case it needs to be subpoenaed. If you ask nicely, they may just give you a copy.

      There is no reason, IMO, to go grabbing tapes or hard drives or any other media from news photographers. Too many coppers have opened themselves up to lawsuits in the past due to situations like this.

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      • #4
        I'm not saying snatching it but if he is the only one with footage of the even prior to my arrival or even after it's definitely evidence. I will confiscate as evidence and give you a property receipt form. You will get it back eventually.
        "Naw officer, I was hanging with my cousin"

        "Sooo, real cousin or play cousins ?"

        Originally posted by JasperST
        I'm thinking a battalion of menstruating bearded women could kick some serious booty!

        Comment


        • #5
          Roger that. I thought we were talking about a news photog covering a crime scene or something. I see what you're saying.

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          • #6
            Those guys are pretty cool from what I've head although I've never dealt with them.
            "Naw officer, I was hanging with my cousin"

            "Sooo, real cousin or play cousins ?"

            Originally posted by JasperST
            I'm thinking a battalion of menstruating bearded women could kick some serious booty!

            Comment


            • #7
              Depends on the circumstances.... if I have reason to believe (that I can articulate) that someone might destroy the tapes or erase the hard drives, I would snatch them. But I would also get the court order as quick as possible, plus writing a detailed report.

              It has never come up though.

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              • #8
                Never been an issue around the Montgomery area. Local media would probably provide the agency with a copy of any tape(s)

                Comment


                • #9
                  I should point out too, that the Montgomery area is a pretty small market compared to say, Los Angeles, Chicago, or other large urban venues where "stringers" abound. Not implying these folks are a problem either. We simply don't have them here.......yet. As I said, local media is usually pretty cool, and pretty cooperative.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Law enforcement officials in Zurcher v. Stanford Daily were sued because of a search warrant issued against Stanford Daily (newspaper) when they printed photographs of suspects assaulting officers during a demonatration in the 1970s. The newspaper argued that since they (or their photographers) were not the actual culprits involved in the assault, a warrant should not have been issued. They won the civil action in the US District and Appellate courts, but the lawsuit was tossed by the US Supreme Court. It reinforced the notion that officers can seize any type media (with or without a warrant) if it contains evidence of a crime or possibly identify the criminals that committed it. 436 U.S. 547, 98 S.Ct. 1970, 56 L.Ed.2d 525 (1978).

                    I think the best idea is for both sides to work together so that it doesn't turn into a pi**ing contest at the scene of the incident.
                    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have never been offended by anyone taking photos at any incident. If I saw someone taking photos, I would simply ask them their name, address, etc., and inform them that they may be called to testify in a court case (criminal and civil) and present their photos as evidence.

                      As long as they do not interfere with the investigation, they are free to stand behind the tape and take all of the photos they desire.
                      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Depends on law and local dept policy.....we are strictly prohibited from taking film from legit media sources except under very specified and limited circs.

                        Same with seizing film from anyone else absent a warrant or limited circs. (not as limited as when dealing with the media, but still pretty narrow)
                        The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

                        "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

                        "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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                        • #13

                          I think the best idea is for both sides to work together so that it doesn't turn into a pi**ing contest at the scene of the incident.
                          Amen.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
                            Depends on law and local dept policy.....we are strictly prohibited from taking film from legit media sources except under very specified and limited circs.
                            Except it's getting more and more difficult to determine what's a "legit" media source with the internet explosion.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Example 1
                              You respond to a house fire- building is going. You jump out of your vehicle and roll tape. Credentialed or not, I will let you shoot( from the perimeter) and then ask for your press id very politely. "Sir( ma'am) you were first on scene and you may have something of evidential value to our investigation. I would like to see your press id( or your id) I copy down who you are and tell you "A detective may or may not contact you to view this tape. You will want to hold onto it and keep it in a safe place". Then we both go about our business.

                              Example 2 You come late to a crime scene that's about to be wrapped up. I leave you alone as you film from the perimeter.

                              example 3 You are filming an argument on the street ( from a distance) and you capture a shooting before we get there. I find out you have this on film. If you are a credentialed media person, I tell you to call your boss cause i want to see the tape. Not take it but see it. 99999999.9999% of the time you guys will comply. If you are just shooting and wanna put this on youtube I will be polite and want you to show me this tape. I will not take it. I may call a supervisor who will escort you to a place where you can make a copy. If you tell me to pizz off. No problem, Id please and if you have a parking ticket from 15 years ago you just got detained.
                              If you are clean and still don't want us to see the tape, you will be detained anyway until we can obtain a warrant for your tape, where we will see it anyway.
                              At no time will you be strong armed, arrested, or have your equipment separated from you. If you erase or tamper with this tape you are now in a heap of trouble. I hope this answers your questions.

                              Comment

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