Editorial: Protect the right to record police

From The Denver Post:  In the era of smart phones, police officers ought to realize that they will inevitably run into people recording their activities and that they should not try to prevent this, let alone confiscate the recordings.

And most officers — and departments — seem to get it.

Unfortunately, that message hasn’t always gotten through. A few officers have been accused of forbidding recordings, seizing cameras and even trying to destroy videos — a clear violation of the First Amendment.

A witness told The Denver Post she was ordered by a Denver officer to not record the scene after officers shot and killed 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez in a Park Hill alley on Jan. 26.

A Denver officer in November was recorded punching a man in the face. But the witness who recorded the arrest says police confiscated his tablet and later returned it — after erasing the video. Fortunately, the video was stored on the cloud.

Thankfully, Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, is drafting legislation that would clarify the rules around what police can and cannot do when confronted with a camera, according to the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.

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