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Monday, September 22, 2008

Think Out Loud On Videoing Cops

Posted by Matt Davis on Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 9:27 AM

Central precinct commander Mike Reese and civil rights attorney Benjamin Haile are on OPB's Think Out Loud right now, talking about the right to video cops.

Reese is on there saying people should "ask permission" to record audio of cops in the street. Haile is saying there are "constitutional protections for people's rights to record the police."

Reese sounds a little out of his depth. He's now changed his tune from talking about audio to giving a protect the public argument..."I think the underlying concern is what it does to the people we're having conversations with." He says citizens have the right to privacy in the street when they're being interviewed by the cops.

"The reality is everyone is a journalist and they have the right to take their video and their perception of events and post that for everyone to see," says Reese.

Haile says "there's less and less of a line between people who are members of the media and people who are creating their own media," and he's emphasizing that "this kind of expression is fundamental to criticizing the police."

Reese is also drawing a distinction between journalists with "integrity" and "anybody with the ability to post anything and edit those images to make a statement..."

Reese is saying "when you're watching footage captured by a person with a bias, whatever that may be, it's important to look at what that bias may be."

Haile says "the danger, I think, of selective enforcement, is that this law is not really meant to address this situation and it's being stretched to apply in this situation. We're asking that the police clarify their policy so that they apply it consistently all the time."

Haile adds that it is not a private situation when a member of the public is talking to the police. Reese completely disagrees. Reese does agree, however, that the two of them are not going to find agreement on this point over the course of the program.

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