Colorado Politics: Civil liberties advocates are celebrating the Denver-based federal appeals court’s decision this week to recognize the First Amendment protects the right to publicly record law enforcement officers, even while scratching their heads at some of the reasoning the court employed to reach its conclusion.
“All right, at last. Finally,” said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the ACLU of Colorado. “Finally, they say the right to record police is not just a First Amendment right but was clearly-established at least in 2019.”
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Monday ruled in favor of Abade Irizarry, who, as a bystander, attempted to record a drunk driving traffic stop in Lakewood in May 2019, only to have one officer block his camera and drive close to him and other amateur videographers. Irizarry sued, alleging Agent Ahmed Yehia retaliated against him for exercising his First Amendment rights.
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