In the last few years, ordinary citizens recording police activity has become popular. Citizens have documented police via recordings and published those videos on the internet.
Citizens argue that recording police helps keep them accountable. Citizens can use videos of misconduct as evidence if needed.
The constitutional right to record
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects citizens’ rights to free speech, expression and the freedom of the press. It also protects the right to record law enforcement.
However, the state of Indiana seems to look at it differently based on recent changes in legislation, criminalizing citizens’ right to record police.
Changes in legislation
A new Indiana law changes the rights of Indiana citizens, limiting what they can and cannot record around law enforcement.
As a result, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) got involved to support citizens who believe this law is unconstitutional.
Holding the police accountable differs from being anti-police. Those who oppose changing the law believe that recording law enforcement works to keep them accountable and that it is legal under the constitution.
Whether citizens have a constitutional right to record police or not, this matter raises important questions about the rights of citizens to interfere with police activity. If we do not resolve the matter promptly, other states may follow Indiana’s decision.