Over recent years, cell phones have quickly transformed from simple communication devices to complex interactive machines. One of the most popular features has always been the camera. A simple megapixel count could sway a consumer one way or another when it comes to choosing the right cell phone. This is very important as these cameras are now being used as an eyewitness tool. The idea of someone using their camera to record the police was a decision made after a long period of unjust police activity.
By simply pressing record on your cellphone, an everyday person can be transformed into an eyewitness. With features like Instagram Live and Facebook Live, you are now able to broadcast live from wherever you are. Built in to these features, viewers have the freedom to view, comment, and share whatever is being broadcast. These eyewitness accounts have been used in many cases worldwide as a key piece of evidence but is it legal in Michigan?
Is it Legal to Film Michigan Police?
The short answer is yes. As long as you are on public property filming the police in public, it is perfectly legal. The discrepancy comes in when you wander onto private property to film police activity. When this happens, they have the right to request that you stop recording and may take legal action if you refuse their orders.
Here are 4 facts that you need to know about filming the police:
- You can photograph anything in plain sight on public property
- You can film anything in plain in plain sight on public property if the video subjects have no reasonable expectation of privacy. Working police officers have no expectation of privacy
- Police cannot view your photos or videos without a warrant
- Police cannot delete or tamper with your photos or videos
If you or someone you know has ever been in a situation where you believe that you have been treated unjustly by law enforcement officials, seek the counsel of an experienced civil rights attorney. Our police brutality attorneys have served Michigan residents for 20 years and will fight hard to see that your rights are protected. We’ve helped well over 2,000 clients reach verdicts and settlements and would love the opportunity to help you. Call 800-961-8477 for a free consultation.