Taking Videos of Working Cops: Routine or Dangerous?


Should private citizens be able to take videos of working police officers? Newark officers arrested Khaliah Fitchette for recording them dealing with a possibly drunk man on a bus. The American Civil Liberties Union is suing on her behalf, reports NPR. Jim Pasco of the Fraternal Order of Police says video recording is potentially dangerous for cops. “They need to move quickly, in split seconds, without giving a lot of thought to what the adverse consequences for them might be,” he says. “We feel that anything that’s going to have a chilling effect on an officer moving — an apprehension that he’s being videotaped and may be made to look bad — could cost him or some citizen their life or some serious bodily harm.”

Tom Nolan, a former Boston police officer, says police must get used to the world of cameras everywhere. “There’s always going to be a pocket of police officers who are resistant to change,” he says. “But I think the vast majority of police have been acclimated to the reality that what they’re doing is likely being recorded at any given time.”

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