Citizens’ Right To Record Police Reaches Monumental Milestone
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia had a ruling on Friday which decided that citizens have a constitutional right to film on-duty police officers. This decision has already been ruled in a number of states throughout America, but this particular ruling marks a milestone: Half of U.S. states are now covered by rulings that protect the right to videotape law enforcement.
JudgeThomas Ambro said of this decision, “this is vital to promote the access that fosters free discussion of governmental actions, especially when that discussion benefits not only citizens but the officers themselves.”
This verdict in Philadelphia was reached by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, though the similar decisions have been ruled by the First, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits dating back to 2011. As aforementioned, exactly half of U.S. states are all protected by this right to record, which amounts to roughly 60 percent of the American population–no federal appeals court has ruled to the contrary, while the Supreme Court has not yet weighed in at all on the subject.