Police Using Body-Mounted Video Cameras – NYTimes.com

Police Using Body-Mounted Video Cameras – NYTimes.com.

Video, a New Tool for the Police, Poses New Legal Issues, Too

When a man was fatally shot by a police officer on a street in Oakland, Calif., late last month, the shooting was captured by a video camera.

But the video was not taken by an alert pedestrian with an iPhone. It was recorded by a device clipped onto the police officer’s chest.


The cameras, legal experts say, are the latest addition in a world where everyone is increasingly watching everyone else.


The ubiquity of video in police encounters — some of it promptly uploaded onto YouTube — is creating new frontiers for judges and lawmakers, who must sort out the issues raised by the new technologies.

Courts in several states are considering cases where citizens who videotaped the police have been charged with violating wiretapping or eavesdropping statutes, prosecution that civil rights lawyers say violates First Amendment rights.

If body cameras are widely adopted by police departments — Vievu, the Seattle firm that sold Oakland its cameras, has supplied them to more than 1,100 police agencies across the country, according to Heidi Traverso, a company spokeswoman — privacy questions are likely to be added to the legal stew.


Read the full story here: The New York Times

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Filed under 4th Amendment, Constitution, police, surveillance, USA

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