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Tue July 20, 2010
Shop Talk - July 20
Macomb, IL – The panelists talk about an apparent increase in the number of people arrested for filming police in action in public places.
The online magazine Gizmodo says the legal justification for arresting the "shooter" rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws.
However, in most states, there is "no expectation of privacy" while someone is in a public place such as a park or a street. These states generally require just one person (for example, the photographer) to consent to the filming.
The situation is different in Illinois, where legislators approved a law about 15 years ago to protect police from such an expectation. Both parties - the photographer and the police - must consent to the filming.
The issue is gaining attention because more people have cameras with them at all times - they're able to shoot photos and film with their phones.
The issue is also of concern to photojournalists. For example, a freelance photographer working for ProPublica was recently hassled by BP security and police in Texas City, TX after taking pictures of a BP refinery. He took the photos while in the public right-of-way.