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News Link • Police State

DOJ Weighs In On Police Taping Case

In May 2010, Christopher Sharp used his cell phone camera to record Baltimore City Police officers arrest and beat a female acquaintance at the Plimlico Race Course. The officers detained Sharp, seized his cell phone, and returned it later with all his videos deleted, including videos of his young son at sports events. Sharp filed a complaint in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City Maryland which was later moved the United States District Court for the district of Maryland.

The United States Department of Justice has decided to get involved, on the side of Sharp.

The DOJ filed a Statement of Interest of the United States with the District Court. The statement starts off with a bang:

This litigation presents constitutional questions of great moment in this digital age: whether private citizens have a First Amendment right to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties, and whether officers violate citizens’ Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights when they seize and destroy such recordings without a warrant or due process. The United States urges this Court to answer both of those questions in the affirmative.


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