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  1. #1
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    Default Appeals from a Federal Appeals Court

    When a Federal Appellet Court gives a verdict, may that be challenged at some point in the future? I was curious IF someone or entity will be able to challenge and possibly get reversed the positive ruling today by a FAC in Boston (?) regarding the videotaping of police and government officials in public......the court ruled it WAS a violation of a citizens' 1st Amendment right to be arrested and jailed just for videotaping (as long as there was/is no interferrence with the police or any other gov't officials performing their duties)

    Also; does the FAC's ruling hold for the entire country or just the district in which it's located?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Federal Appeals Court

    The decision only sets precedent in the First Circuit though it certainly be cited in cases elsewhere. The litigants can (Cunniffe, et al, and the City of Boston) certainly appeal in a timely fashion if they chose to and it would be up to the US Supreme Court to decide if it will hear it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Federal Appeals Court

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    The decision only sets precedent in the First Circuit though it certainly be cited in cases elsewhere. The litigants can (Cunniffe, et al, and the City of Boston) certainly appeal in a timely fashion if they chose to and it would be up to the US Supreme Court to decide if it will hear it.
    ...thanks for that....

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Federal Appeals Court

    I am very familiar with this ruling. I watched it go through the process (watched online.) It was of great interest on another forum I belong to.

    Who would want to appeal it? If someone did, I think they are almost certain to lose.

    A bystander used a cell phone cam to record police abusing a citizen. There was a law there which forbade citizens from recording the police, even though the police had dash cams to record the citizens. This incident of course happened out of view of the police camera.

    The person doing the filming was standing well back and didn't interfere with the police, but the video got the police in trouble. Then the police charged the citizen for illegal filming. It went to federal court as a US constitutional civil rights issue. The person who did the recording won.

    What's the beef? Are you a police officer?

    Why would the police object to being filmed? If they are doing the right things, the video could help exonerate them. If they are breaking the law and abusing a citizen, they need a new career IMHO.

    Edit: You asked if it applied to the whole country. No, as was already posted, but you'd better believe that police depts. all over the country will pay attention to it. It is a precedent, and it was the correct ruling IMHO. I believe the police would lose on this every time. Public places and people in public places have long been seen as "public" for the purpose of taking pictures. It just boggles my mind that anyone would have the gall to write such a law restricting freedoms.

    Edit 2: If I were a taxpayer supporting that police dept., I would be furious that they spent my money prosecuting and then defending an appeal of that law.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Federal Appeals Court

    I don't think NCC is a cop, I think what he was asking is if this ruling allows him to video a cop with impunity anywhere in the country. As I stated, it is only currently binding on the First Circuit, but given the pretty fundamental issues here, I would suspect that if it were cited in some case in another circuit, they'd give a lot of weight to it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Federal Appeals Court

    The problem with a lot of these films is that the part we tend to see on the evening news is about 15 seconds of what may be an event that lasted for 15-30 minutes. There are numerous examples of this including the infamous Rodney King video and now the various Occupy police actions and the recent UC Davis protest.

    That is not to say that it should be unlawful to record the actions of the police, but, one must also be careful not to judge an entire encounter based solely on one small snippet of film ... when you see the rest of a film it might make the situation seem less offensive because the entire situation might be put into perspective.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Federal Appeals Court

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    The problem with a lot of these films is that the part we tend to see on the evening news is about 15 seconds of what may be an event that lasted for 15-30 minutes. There are numerous examples of this including the infamous Rodney King video and now the various Occupy police actions and the recent UC Davis protest.

    That is not to say that it should be unlawful to record the actions of the police, but, one must also be careful not to judge an entire encounter based solely on one small snippet of film ... when you see the rest of a film it might make the situation seem less offensive because the entire situation might be put into perspective.
    Good points. In this case, the entire video and camera were confiscated by the police on the spot and the person cited for filming. The issue for the citizen wasn't what was on the film, but the entire film was later used to charge the officers with abuse.

    I think the original judge's conviction was egregious, and I don't believe that after this ruling another judge would rule the same. If it happened, I believe it would be overturned. It absolutely flabbergasted me in the first place.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Federal Appeals Court

    I believe there are still two states where recording the police is unlawful ... or has been charged as being unlawful. In the end, I believe the courts will see this as lawful activity provided there is no interference with police activity or threat to the officers as a result.

    How's the saying go? ... Learned men will spend years debating the legality of an officer's actions in a decision he had to make in less than one second.

    Even the video is not always the whole story.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Federal Appeals Court

    Quote Quoting cmre3456
    View Post
    I am very familiar with this ruling. I watched it go through the process (watched online.) It was of great interest on another forum I belong to.

    Who would want to appeal it? If someone did, I think they are almost certain to lose.

    A bystander used a cell phone cam to record police abusing a citizen. There was a law there which forbade citizens from recording the police, even though the police had dash cams to record the citizens. This incident of course happened out of view of the police camera.

    The person doing the filming was standing well back and didn't interfere with the police, but the video got the police in trouble. Then the police charged the citizen for illegal filming. It went to federal court as a US constitutional civil rights issue. The person who did the recording won.

    What's the beef? Are you a police officer?

    Why would the police object to being filmed? If they are doing the right things, the video could help exonerate them. If they are breaking the law and abusing a citizen, they need a new career IMHO.

    Edit: You asked if it applied to the whole country. No, as was already posted, but you'd better believe that police depts. all over the country will pay attention to it. It is a precedent, and it was the correct ruling IMHO. I believe the police would lose on this every time. Public places and people in public places have long been seen as "public" for the purpose of taking pictures. It just boggles my mind that anyone would have the gall to write such a law restricting freedoms.

    Edit 2: If I were a taxpayer supporting that police dept., I would be furious that they spent my money prosecuting and then defending an appeal of that law.

    I have no beef, and I don't go around videotaping police, personally I think it'd be bad for your health......I think it's absolutely ridiculous that people get arrested for videotaping or taking photos of the police in public (Provided they're Not interferring with official duties), after all, you can take a photo in public, why would the police be exempt from this? There are probably millions of places that have CCTV surveillance (from Safeway to McDonalds) that would capture police on, what about that? Why don't the police arrest the store manager or owners? Recently there was a story of a woman (?) standing in her own front yard videotaping a police stop in front of her house, the police ordered her back in her house, she wasn't interferring with any police action, she refused and was arrested......it seems heavy-handed to me...

    It's clear why the police don't want to be videotaped, and I'd speculate, most everyone knows why.....

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Federal Appeals Court

    Quote Quoting cmre3456
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    Good points. In this case, the entire video and camera were confiscated by the police on the spot and the person cited for filming. The issue for the citizen wasn't what was on the film, but the entire film was later used to charge the officers with abuse..
    Thats the idea about taping conversations (because 1 person can control it to a certain extent). So I wonder if audio was also on the recording.

    Did I miss the case name? Can anybody post a link or the case name? thx ..be a good read

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