Court upholds the right to film government officials

Published On: 3rd September 2011
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Simon Glik openly recorded video and audio of three Boston, MA police officers arresting a young man after Glik believed he was witnessing excessive force. Glik summarily arrested and charged for alleged violations of Massachusetts wiretap laws, disturbing the peace, and aiding in the escape of a prisoner. All charges were eventually dismissed through motions by Glik’s lawyer.

Glik then filed and prevailed in a civil rights action against the police officers and the City of Boston. The officers and the city appealed claiming qualified immunity. In denying the claim of qualified immunity, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals stated, “a citizen’s right to film government officials, including law enforcement officers, in the discharge of their duties in a public space is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.”

Read the court’s entire opinion here.

Glik v. Cunniffe et al., First Circuit United States Court of Appeals

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