Justice Department asks 10th Circuit to recognize a right to record police

Colorado Politics: The U.S. Department of Justice is urging the federal appeals court based in Denver to establish that the First Amendment protects the public’s right to record police in the performance of their duties.

In a brief submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Wednesday, the department’s Civil Rights Division advocated for the appellate court to settle the question once and for all as cases continue to arise implicating the right to record. The government indicated it has a stake in the outcome, given its authority to investigate patterns of police misconduct.

“The U.S. Department of Justice frequently relies on photos and videos of police misconduct — including photos and videos taken by members of the public — when investigating and prosecuting police officers” for constitutional violations, wrote attorneys Natasha N. Babazadeh and Nicolas Y. Riley.

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