"BOSTON -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled unanimously late Friday that Simon Glik had a right to videotape police in action on Boston Common. Mr. Glik sued three police officers and the City of Boston for violating his civil rights after police arrested him and charged him with illegal wiretapping, aiding the escape of a prisoner, and disturbing the peace--all for merely holding up his cell phone and openly recording Boston police officers who were punching another man on Boston Common in October 2007. As a defense, the police argued the law was not clear, but the Court decisively rejected their claim of immunity from being sued.
"This is a resounding victory for the First Amendment right to openly record police officers carrying out their duties in a public place," said Sarah Wunsch, ACLU of Massachusetts staff attorney. "It will be influential around the country in other cases where people have been arrested for videotaping the conduct of the police," said Wunsch.
"Police officers must be trained to respect the right of people to openly record their actions in public," said David Milton, a Boston attorney representing Mr. Glik for the ACLU in the civil rights suit. "Simon did what we hope any engaged citizen would do, which was documenting what he thought looked like an improper use of force, and his action in no way interfered with the police."