The Instigator
Letsdebate24
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
bmsherry
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

A law should be enacted that allows citizens to record interactions with police

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Letsdebate24
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 878 times Debate No: 44052
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

Letsdebate24

Pro

The majority of people that try and record interactions with law enforcement are often times detained and told that they do not have the right to record the police. Whether or not it is illegal has been a heated topic in many debates but the point of this debate is whether or not a law should be enacted and the reasoning why.
bmsherry

Con

Although citizen video recording can prove indispensable in upholding police accountability, there are other means which introduce fewer hazards to members of the law enforcement community. For instance, mandating the use and effective archiving of footage from dashboard and lapel mounted recording devices would ensure that interactions with uniformed police officers, namely traffic stops, are properly documented.
If citizens were given carte blanch to record law enforcement at will, laws prohibiting the outing of undercover officers couldn't be enforced. This could both compromise said officers' personal safety, as well as undermine important criminal investigations. Also, ambiguities exist pertaining to whether a specific interaction between a LEO and another citizen could be considered an 'interaction with police' for the purposes of this proposal. A criminal operation with enough resources could potentially monitor police activity to assist in evading detection. Another example is the use of digital means to expose traffic patrols among motorists, allowing reckless driving habits to go unchecked. This proposal would sanction practices like these as well as other criminal tactics that hamper law enforcemnt.
A more prudent solution would be to afford immunity to those citizens who expose police wrongdoing, as well as the above-mentioned mandate on archiving police footage. While an outright ban on citizen videography is far from legitimate, for the protection of peace officers, confidential informants, and those in protective custody, it is important we allow individual communities to judiciously restrict these recordings in accordance with thier needs.
Debate Round No. 1
Letsdebate24

Pro

Excellent point I too believe that if people were to go around recording any LEO such as an undercover officer it could have very negative side affects such as aiding a criminal escape. As with any law there are stipulations that go along with the law such as the "Stand your ground law" in Florida. You cannot simply run up to someone and start attacking them and then claim you were just defending yourself when its all said and done.
A law that would give citizens the right to record interactions with law enforcements should only apply when the officer is the one to start the interaction such as a traffic stop or when an officer comes to your property.
Someone recording an undercover officer should be punished for it as the officer has not engaged them. This law would be to protect the citizens from police misconduct and to validate the story of both parties. Cops are already allowed to legally record citizens even without our consent but often times their dashboard cameras don't catch the entire situation leaving gaps in the story.
As for exposing traffic patrols this has been a heated debate in Florida for a while now. The people believe that flashing your lights to warn of a speed trap is a form of communication which is protected under the 1st amendment and there are some cops that will not argue that but the majority do.In 2005 a Florida judge ruled that the statute did no make it illegal to warn people of speed traps. These illegal tickets resulted in people paying over 1,042,900 to the state. Everyone should have accountability for their actions LEO included. This is just speed traps, this isn't counting all the other illegal acts that the police commit some of which are physically assaulting people. Recording interactions with law enforcement would force the police to act with proper conduct. Citizens have a right to protect themselves from an abusive law enforcement. There should also be more severe consequences for LEO that are caught in illegal acts. The first video shows the misconduct of the police but the vast majority of these situations go unrecorded. Who can protect us when the ones who are trusted to do so are the ones that threaten us?

http://youtu.be...
http://youtu.be...
http://www.leftlanenews.com...
bmsherry

Con

While there do need to be unambiguous protections for citizens exercising the first amendment freedom(press) to record and report police wrongdoing(as well as exceptional conduct), a one size fits all approach to this could compromise police departments' ability to conduct operations. For example, the right to use zoom lenses on police could be critical in rural environments where the police may be executing a warrant hundreds of meters from the closest neighbor. However, this same protection could put the operational security of urban police forces at risk to Organized Crime conducting 'counter-intelligence' by spying through a window into barracks or field command posts. Also, during a hostage incident, even the established press must sometimes be gagged in order to prevent the insurgents from monitoring police activity on the news.
Speaking to the efficacy of mandating police record themselves(thoroughly), in 2010 a SWAT officer recorded a raid in Columbia, MO that lead to a controversy surround the shooting of a family dog, over a de-criminalized quantity of marijuana. This video started to open our eyes to the vast over-militarization of our police force, and more a comprehensive protocol requiring this be the standard procedure would be much more rational than a national law allowing anyone to record police, even if they have clear, yet unprovable, malicious intent. Police need to be granted some discretion to judge between the citizen press and a thug taking a record of the officers who may be arresting his friend, for the purposes of retribution.
Debate Round No. 2
Letsdebate24

Pro

In all those situations a person recording the present situation would have no detrimental affect on the officers except for the press giving a live feed. In that particular situation I could understand restricting their reasoning to restrict the live coverage but I still don't agree with it one hundred percent.
The raid you speak of has been the center of much heated debate because of the excessive force being used when a only a de criminalized amount of marijuana was found. The problem with law enforcement being the only ones allowed to record such encounters is that it leaves room for further corruption.
For example: The officer recording a raid could be simply looking the other direction when another officer is planting drugs.
One side being entrusted with the responsibility of recording such encounters leaves room for corruption. Both the civilian and law enforcement sides should bear the responsibility. It is each sides right to have the means necessary to defend themselves such as in a court of law the defense and prosecution are both represented by attorneys.
Law enforcement is here to protect and serve the people so it should be the needs of the people that come first. The people are the ones that need the extra protection for obvious reasons.
bmsherry

Con

bmsherry forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Letsdebate24

Pro

I hope my opponent is able to make a return
bmsherry

Con

bmsherry forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Letsdebate24

Pro

Anyone else care to take up this debate?
bmsherry

Con

bmsherry forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Letsdebate24 3 years ago
Letsdebate24
This is hypocritical, cops are always allowed to record citizens
http://youtu.be...
Posted by Letsdebate24 3 years ago
Letsdebate24
This man followed the law to the T
http://youtu.be...

This person also followed the law
http://youtu.be...

This woman was in a public setting well within her rights to be filming.
http://youtu.be...

These men broke no laws but were assaulted for recording
http://youtu.be...
Posted by hidude398 3 years ago
hidude398
You always can tape encounters. In public, the police have no expectation of privacy (everyone sees them) so until you're in a private area (his house, car, etc.) then you can film. Oh, by the way, Filming isn't harmful to the officer, and can be the only evidence if the dash cam is "accidentally turned off" or the evidence is destroyed.
Posted by Letsdebate24 3 years ago
Letsdebate24
In some places you can where as others you get arrested for it.
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
You guys know you can video tape encounters, right?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
Letsdebate24bmsherryTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate, Pro deserves the win since bmsherry conceded