[USA] Eighth Circuit: Citizens do not have a right to film public officials in public

Street Guardian USA

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#1
How can this be, if it contradicts six other federal circuit courts? (not good)

http://krcgtv.com/news/local/eighth...ve-a-right-to-film-public-officials-in-public

https://www.scribd.com/document/355935027/Akins-appeal-of-District-Court-ruling#from_embed

"JEFFERSON CITY — In a free speech ruling that contradicts six other federal circuit courts, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a district court ruling that says Americans do not have a first amendment right to videotape the police, or any public official, in public.

The court of appeals filed the opinion July 25.


The case stemmed from a lawsuit brought by Matthew Akins of Columbia, who has had numerous run-ins with police as he attempted to videotape them pulling cars over and making arrests. Akins was typically standing on public property such as a street or sidewalk while videotaping the encounters. Akins was videotaping the encounters on behalf of a group called Citizens for Justice, which he founded in 2010.

According to his lawyer, Stephen Wyse of Columbia, Akins was threatened numerous times for his actions, his employer was hassled, and he was ordered to stop videotaping by police on several occasions. He had charges filed against him, many of which were later dropped, according to the Eighth Circuit ruling.

Akins sued Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight and several Columbia police officers, citing violations of his First, Second, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights."
 

SawMaster

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#3
I can see this one making it to the Supreme Court.
Possibly, but that is usually a very expensive and uncertain endeavor as they don't have to accept cases recommended to them. I don't like that we have no way to force their hand. Glad I'm not under the jurisdiction of that 8th circuit Court :rolleyes:

Phil
 

DT MI

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#4
Possibly, but that is usually a very expensive and uncertain endeavor as they don't have to accept cases recommended to them. I don't like that we have no way to force their hand. Glad I'm not under the jurisdiction of that 8th circuit Court :rolleyes:

Phil
I understand the logistical issues involved in that endeavor. However, I suspect (hope?) that if an appeal were to be made to the SC it probably would be heard given it involves constitutional issues with conflicting rulings in the lower courts.

A bit ironic that this came up now since I had just mentioned this exact scenario in another thread just yesterday: https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/pics-that-make-you-smile.5817/page-385#post-355063
 

SawMaster

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#5
I understand the logistical issues involved in that endeavor. However, I suspect (hope?) that if an appeal were to be made to the SC it probably would be heard given it involves constitutional issues with conflicting rulings in the lower courts.

A bit ironic that this came up now since I had just mentioned this exact scenario in another thread just yesterday: https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/pics-that-make-you-smile.5817/page-385#post-355063
I'm with you in hoping, but we've seen their fear to take on Second Amendment cases in depth so I doubt that Constitutional importance or conflicting rulings means anything to them :( While I'm pretty firm in believing in States Rights and decentralized powers, this is one are where reform is needed because the current system does not work well. One should never become an 'instant criminal' for simply crossing State lines :mad:

Phil
 

dash riposki

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#6
About Matthew Akins.......

"Akins started Citizens for Justice, an organization that documents police activity mainly through video recordings, in April 2011, nearly a year after Columbia police officer Eric Hughes searched him at a sobriety checkpoint in May 2010 and found a Bersa .380 pistol in his waistband and marijuana in his pocket. Hughes seized the gun and arrested Akins on suspicion of unlawful concealment of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance."

It seems he likes to run around with various weapons in his car, while engaging in activity that will likely bring him in contact with police.

https://www.columbiamissourian.com/...cle_50d6301a-2bf8-11e6-bf32-03e82c8242bf.html
 

country_hick

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#8
How can this be, if it contradicts six other federal circuit courts? (not good)

http://krcgtv.com/news/local/eighth...ve-a-right-to-film-public-officials-in-public

https://www.scribd.com/document/355935027/Akins-appeal-of-District-Court-ruling#from_embed

"JEFFERSON CITY — In a free speech ruling that contradicts six other federal circuit courts, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a district court ruling that says Americans do not have a first amendment right to videotape the police, or any public official, in public."
The explanation of how this can happen is simple.

Each circuit court operates independently of all other circuits. Decisions of other circuits are suggestive not controlling. While Courts will often mirror each others decisions that approach is not required. If you expect to find honor in the Courts forget it. To many judges actively ignore the Constitution laws, rules of court, etc. ,and do as they bloody well please.

The next step will be a US Supreme Court decision. It may not be this case but expect it to happen. Now that a split exists within the circuits the Supreme Court will want to take the case to ensure the same laws apply in all 50 states. Without a split they would likely ignore this issue.
 

Viking

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#9
I saw this on CNN, they "say "its OK to record police in public.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/27/politics/first-amendment-explainer-trnd/index.html

A First Amendment issue -- usually.
You are fully within your rights to record the police doing their job in public. And if you get arrested while doing so, your constitutional rights are being violated.
This is, unless you were doing something unlawful at the time of your arrest.
In a heated situation with police, that can also become a gray area. Physical assault or threats could obviously get you arrested, but what about if you were just yelling at the police while recording, say, to get them to stop an act or to pay attention?
"That's tough," Nott says. "If you were disturbing the peace, you can get arrested for that, or for other things. But the bottom line is it's not a crime to record police activities in a public space."
 
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