Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

The original policeman arrests regcit for recording him case

with one comment

Case: KELLY v. ROGERS (M.D.Pa. 6-13-2012)

What happened: This case as been bouncing around the court system for a good five years now. Basically a passenger in a car in Pennsylvania recorded a traffic stop of the car in which he was riding. The policeman, after consulting the local Assistant District Attorney (ADA), arrested the passenger for violation of a wiretap act.

Decision: Policeman gets qi for the most part, largely because he consulted the ADA before making the arrest.

Interesting footnote:

The Court pauses to note the limited applicability of its holding. Although the Court is writing in 2012, this action springs from events that took place in May 2007. In the five years that have passed since the events underlying this litigation occurred, the landscape on which this case rests has shifted dramatically as technology has rapidly advanced. At one time, a police officer’s actions would only be recorded on the off chance that a nearby individual happened to be carrying a bulky video recorder. Today, mobile devices with video recording capabilities are ubiquitous. As a result of these devices, which the owner will nearly always have at the ready, a police officer patrolling the streets in 2012 should expect that nearly every interaction he has on a public street may be recorded. A strong argument could be made, therefore, that an officer’s failure to understand the contours of the public’s right to record his conduct would be objectively unreasonable in 2012.

Written by Burgers Allday

June 24, 2012 at 11:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. The 1st Amendment was never contingent on technology. The ADA and the cop were as wrong then as they would be now.

    BTW: I’ll be visiting more often!

    Pi Guy

    June 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

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