The New Haven Police Department is re-training its force in accordance with a new policy, General Order 311. That policy states that cops can no longer arrest citizens for recording them in public. The caveat is that recording is permitted as long as it doesn’t interfere with police activity or jeopardize anyone’s safety, and you might think that would be abused. But, the order addresses that issue:
“The video recording of police activity in and of itself does not constitute a crime, offense, or violation. If a person video recording police activity is arrested, the officer must articulate clearly the factual basis for any arrest in his or her case and arrest reports.”
And as Assistant Chief Tobin Hensgen, who lead a training session (see above video), said:
“If a citizen wants to exercise his First Amendment rights and photograph you while you’re in a squad car and uniform or on detail while you’re performing your duties, as long as they’re legal, you have no expectation of privacy.”
The policy was initiated by Police Chief Frank Limon after a rash of incidents over the past year involving citizens and recording, where police clearly abused their authority. The New Haven Independent was a champion of the cause, and this is an impressively swift reaction by the police if you want to look at it optimistically.
Or, as a commenter put it: “Breaking News Flash—Cops ordered to Not arrest someone who is NOT breaking the law.”
Source: New Haven Independent