Don’t “Shoot!”: Recording Police Behavior Doesn’t Qualify for First Amendment Protections (At Least in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania)

cldcBy Samuel Daheim

Our constitutional right to the freedom of expression under the First Amendment reaches a broad spectrum of wide-ranging activities. From flag burning to expenditures on campaigns for elected governmental office, the First Amendment protections of expression reach the lives of all U.S. citizens. However, on February 19th of this year, the federal district court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that First Amendment protections of expression do not cover observing and recording police activity in a public forum where such observations and recordings are not accompanied by criticism or challenge to police conduct. Continue reading