ACLU Sues Philly Police Over Video Arrests

You have the right to take pictures and video of Philadelphia police officers as they do their job—provided, of course, you don’t end up interfering with that job while you do so. Philadelphia police officers, however, don’t always recognize this right—and the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit as a result.

The complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union was drawn up on behalf of a college student who was charged with disorderly conduct for using his cellphone to record police during a large altercation. His cellphone was later confiscated and the video erased, the lawsuit said.

The complaint is the first of several that the Pennsylvania ACLU chapter plans to file alleging retaliatory behavior by officers, attorney Mary Catherine Roper said. It seeks monetary damages as well as confirmation of the public’s right to videotape police, she said.

“It is not and, under our Constitution, could not be a crime,” the lawsuit states.

Roper said to expect two more complaints against police in the near future. [AP]