This is one of the most abusive cases. Andrew Henderson is a man who while legally filming outside of his apartment residence in Little Canada (by St. Paul, Minnesota) videotaped a person being taken away by local sheriff's deputies. Mr. Henderson was not involved in any criminal offense, nor was he suspected to be, and was a good distance away from this event. His camera was illegally taken by a Deputy Sheriff Jackie Muellner.
Andrew was later charged to cover up the illegal taking of the camera by Deputy Mueller, who said on a separate audio recording she doesn't want to be on YouTube, with a criminal offense. Quite clearly Mr. Henderson was within his rights to film and did not commit any illegal act. Unfortunately the Sheriff Department and local prosecutors are deciding to continue what is not only an injustice but a waste of taxpayer money. They of course erased the video, but still are stating he committed a crime. If he committed a crime, why erase it?
In Naperville, IL, Malia Bendis was arrested for misdemeanor eavesdropping by police in for openly filming them on the property of her neighbor. She had permission to film from her neighbor. She has a right to film police in public. There is no expectation of privacy in public. This arrest was illegal and unconstitutional and is a violation of her First Amendment's freedom of speech and the press.
The idea that someone can be arrested for filming uniformed police in public performing their public duties is absurd. The Federal 7th Court of Appeals in Anita Alvarez v. ACLU of Illinois, ruled that the eavesdropping law cannot be applied to persons recording police. Why the Naperville Police Department is blatantly ignoring this court decision, I have no idea. Were the police instructed on this ruling or are they ignoring this as they see fit? The people of Naperville wish to know if their Constitutional rights still apply within the city limits, when engaged with the police.
In New York City, photojournalist Shimon Gifter had his video erased on orders of a police sergeant in this district, for the journalist filming a stop/frisk. A previous officer ordered Gifter not to film the stop/frisk because the stop involved juveniles. First of all, this was in public, it does not matter if they are journalists or not, one of the rights of the press is to document the actioins of police to its' citizens. This was an illegal order.
Second,the erase of the video by the sergeant, because he filmed other action that was going on nearby, is completely illegal and unconstitutional. In fact, this isn't a question of an officer being being wrong but taking action in good faith. Any officer who does not realize that ordering a a videotape by a journalist to be erased is not only illegal and unconstituitonal should not be on the force, period. When and how is this action going to be investigated? Why does the NYPD constantly engage in illegal suppression of recording?
Finally, here in Milwaukee, a police officer illegally ordered a man to move away from a tavern area, because of a loitering law. But, the loitering laws do not deal with just being on a public sidewalk, but such things as causing an alarm, or loitering for the purposes of prostitution or drugs. Just being on a sidewalk filming at night is not a violation of a loitering law. Our MPD cops seem once again to be violating the law as they see fit.