District Court Judge Rules Secret Police Recording Okay

Recently, due to altercations regarding Massachusetts’ wiretap law, United States federal court has deemed it perfectly legal to record police on video, even if the camera or cell phone is hidden. Monday, United States District Judge, Patti B. Saris decided to block the state’s wiretap law, accusing it of overstepping and infringing upon every American’s freedom of expression. As police exploitation of power and brutal misbehavior goes viral in the modern age, the judge’s ruling is an important moment in history regarding the First Amendment’s “right to record” section.
Saris’ decision proved helpful in finding a solution to multiple Massachusetts cases involving the secret filming of police. For decades, cops and law enforcement have argued that secretive recording is not covered by the First Amendment, resulting in various lawsuits and criminal cases. Whether people who record police conduct are simply trying to capture unlawful behavior or attempt to smear individuals for their own personal purposes, both practices are protected by the judge’s overruling.
The wiretap law, commonly known as Section 99 was originally used for old-school wiretaps, however, the state has refused to modernize the law. For decades, police have been battling what some consider civil rights, by victimizing and debilitating anyone who might record their sometimes unfair and immoral behaviors. In fact, Boston police have been specifically trained to arrest and charge people who secretly record their actions.
Fortunately, the District Court Judge’s decision to overrule Section 99 now ensures that Massachusetts police cannot censor or overturn privately recorded videos of their daily work and habits. Thanks to the vigilance of those brave enough to privately record police, brutality, racism, and violence on behalf of the boys in blue has become increasingly harder to cover up. As videos highlighting the misconduct of certain police officers go viral on the internet, the American police force must now withhold its promise of justice for all.

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