Federal Court: Massachusetts Law Against Recording Of On-The-Job Cops Is Unconstitutional

A federal appeals court ruled that the people have the right to record police officers when they’re on the job in public. A U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals judge found that a Massachusetts law used to ban such actions is unconstitutional.

Universal Hub reports the case involved a Boston lawyer who was arrested and had his phone seized when he recorded a drug arrest. In the ruling (PDF), the judge wrote “Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting “the free discussion of governmental affairs.”

The judge noted that because the recording took place in a public park, the officers weren’t able to claim immunity to the protections.

Court says state law used to ban recording of police officers in public is unconstitutional [Universal Hub via Slashdot]