FSP President Wins Case: Right to Film at Traffic Stops Established
From the Union Leader: Individuals have a right to film police during traffic stops, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday in a 2010 case filed by Free State Project President Carla Gericke against Weare police.
Even so, police may impose limits on the public's right to film when circumstances justify them, Judge Kermit V. Lipez ruled. Such situations include the need to maintain safety and control, particularly during traffic stops, which can be "especially fraught with danger to police officers."
"It was clearly established at the time of the stop that the First Amendment right to film police carrying out their duties in public, including a traffic stop, remains unfettered if no reasonable restriction is imposed or in place," Lipez wrote in his 21-page decision. The ruling upheld a Concord federal court decision that denied Weare police officers' claim that they were entitled to "qualified immunity'' in charging Gericke with illegal wiretapping during the March 24, 2010, traffic stop. Read more...
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