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Can police record contacts in Washington State

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  • Can police record contacts in Washington State

    I was curious if officers in the State of Washington are allowed to record citizen contacts without telling them they are being recorded.

    I moved to Seattle from Boise, ID where I rode with Boise officers and every citizen contact a Boise Police officer makes must be recorded. The officers don't have to notify the citizen on the recording. Granted at times officers have gotten jammed up on a contact, but atleast a Sgt or LT knows exactly whats happened. Not to mention alot of officers have had their butts saved because of the recorded contact.

    I am pursuing law enforcement in Washington and was hoping I would be able to record contacts, but have heard conflicting stories on whether or not it can be done.

  • #2
    Here if one party to a conversation is aware it is being recorded then it is legal. The officer knows it is being recorded so therefore it is legal. The United States Supreme Court ruled on this some years back.

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    • #3
      Washington is a two party consent state! You can not record someone, audio or vidio, without their permission. If you do charges can and will be filled against you.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mach4
        Washington is a two party consent state! You can not record someone, audio or vidio, without their permission. If you do charges can and will be filled against you.
        Oh my gosh, charges will be FILLED against me if I record VIDIO?

        Post link to this law plz.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mach4
          Washington is a two party consent state! You can not record someone, audio or vidio, without their permission. If you do charges can and will be filled against you.
          How does this apply to LEO's. Florida is a two party consent state also, but you have no expectation of privacy when dealing with law enforcement, or when in a police station, or a patrol vehicle. Recording in any one of those situations is fair game. I would be shocked is WA is not the same. Please post the law, I am interested to see.
          In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

          In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

          Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

          I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.


          The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mach4
            Washington is a two party consent state! You can not record someone, audio or vidio, without their permission. If you do charges can and will be filled against you.
            Then how to they get away with video cams in cars? There is to expection to privacy in a public place. The courts have clearly stated that.

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            • #7
              I just read the sticky note about only LEO's answering...I deleted my response to the POST.
              Last edited by Grizzly; 07-30-2005, 08:03 PM.
              "We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mach4
                Washington is a two party consent state! You can not record someone, audio or vidio, without their permission. If you do charges can and will be filled against you.
                Sorry, but you can record someone on video without consent. In order to audio record them, then you must tell them. If our mics are not working, but our camera is, there is no need to tell a person that I stop that I am recording them. As soon as I turn the mic on, then I must tell them before anything else that they are being both video taped and their audio is being recorded.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mach4
                  Washington is a two party consent state! You can not record someone, audio or vidio, without their permission. If you do charges can and will be filled against you.

                  that is not exactly correct I believe ( but not positve) that there is a case.....decide by the ninth circuit that reverse a lower washington court ruling of a citzen charged with making an unlawful recording.......of a traffic stop by WSP. basically the recording statue 9.73 covers private conversations and not public contacts such as police traffic stop. That's why if your using a car cam all your required to tell them is that the contact is be recorded by audio...they just have to be aware not consent.....if is only video then no warning is required.

                  there are a few exception to 9.73 such a drug conversations. I use the drug exception all the time but it requires wire authorization affidavit/request that requires above a 1st line supervisor authorization. in many cases a Lt and above. After a recording is made then that supervisor is required to send report and the affidavit into the court for judical review. a judge then reveiws the affidavit to make sure proceedures were followed and there was enough PC to record. after six months then the party recorded is SUPPOSED ( I don't know if this ever happens cause their usualy arrested before then) be given notice that they were recorded. as far as video in drug operations .....as long as it is without sound and you did not have to covertly enter area you do not have control over like the person house or car then you don't need consent..... fair game tape away.

                  how 9.73 applies to drug contacts on a public street by a UC is still up in the air no one really has an answer for me ( DPA's I mean).

                  also all other crime that don't fall under the exception have to be brought before a judge and receive court authorization.

                  having stated all this if you decided to record the bathroom/lockerroom/ bedroom with video and sound then it is a total different crime or violation.
                  Last edited by narc; 07-29-2005, 01:26 PM.
                  "here's to us and those like us .....damn few left"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Luke
                    Sorry, but you can record someone on video without consent. In order to audio record them, then you must tell them. If our mics are not working, but our camera is, there is no need to tell a person that I stop that I am recording them. As soon as I turn the mic on, then I must tell them before anything else that they are being both video taped and their audio is being recorded.
                    So how does the media do their job?
                    Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chief Wiggum
                      So how does the media do their job?
                      they're cameras and mics are usually out in the open...so ....no private conversation
                      "here's to us and those like us .....damn few left"

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                      • #12
                        It amazes me that you have to tell someone that they are being recorded when dealing with law enforcement. So you cannot have a voice activated digital recorder in the back seat of your patrol car?
                        In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

                        In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

                        Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

                        I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.


                        The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.

                        Comment

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