DOJ says OK to recording the law

Marc Sanchez May 17, 2012

Too bad for protesters that the upcoming NATO Summit is taking place in Chicago instead of Baltimore. The Department of Justice is set issue a STRONGLY WORDED LETTER saying that people have the right to record the police as long as they’re in uniform – the cops, that is, not the protesters (although it would be kind of a fun rule to make videotaping protesters dress in a sort of uniform). The letter is in response to a 2010 incident involving the Baltimore Police Department and Christopher Sharp. The Verge reports:


Baltimore police arrested Sharp at the Pimlico Rase Course after he recorded officers arresting and beating his acquaintance — the officers seized Sharp’s cellphone and destroyed all of the videos it contained. The BPD and the Police Commissioner then sought to dismiss the case against them, citing a policy that instructs officers to leave citizens who are recording them alone, unless they are actively violating a law.

To put it into terms that public radio listeners can understand: recording McNulty while he and Bunk work a case = not OK. Recording McNulty cruising in a black and white = OK.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.