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Questions for LEO and our THT legal experts

Old 11-01-2011, 01:34 PM
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Default Questions for LEO and our THT legal experts

i have two questions for any LEO's and legal experts or anybody on THT.

1) Last Thursday I was on my way to the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show and stopped at one of the turnpike plaza's for gas. While I was pumping the gas a young lady pulls up to the pump behind me in a black car. I remember her because she had a nice looking dog in the car. I finish with the gas and as I go to pull out I notice 2 patrol cars sitting off the roadway. The cars are white with green "Border Patrol and Immigration" lettering. i pull on out and head south. A few miles down the road the black car passes me. i am doing 75 and she was probably doing 85. A few minutes later the 2 patrol cars pass. Up the road I see the 2 patrol cars with their lights on pulled over. They had stopped the black car. Seemed strange to me that Border and Immigration would be patrolling the turnpike for speeding. What do you guys think was up? BTW - the young lady was not smoking hot or anything.

2) Can a citizen record a traffic stop like the police do? I was stopped years ago and I know it was just to harrass me. All the other stops have been fine. But given today's world am I in my rights to turn on the camera phone and set it in the console to record?
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:54 PM
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You can record any govt employee in the course of their daily activities as long as they are out in the public or where they can be viewed from public areas or your private property. You cannot record a conversation where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, e.g. if you and I step away from a crowd of people to talk we have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Diff states have diff laws regarding audio recordings. Some states are getting really weird about recording police activities. People have had to go to court over it, and they prevailed against the charges.

I am a big advocate of recording Coast Guard boardings ... those times when the USCG feels compelled to come aboard a lawfully operated vessel and count the PFDs onboard. They are govt employees in public and you have every right to record their search of your vessel as long as your don't interfere with their work, regardless of any claim they make to the contrary.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Eyeball View Post
You can record any govt employee in the course of their daily activities as long as they are out in the public or where they can be viewed from public areas or your private property. You cannot record a conversation where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, e.g. if you and I step away from a crowd of people to talk we have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Diff states have diff laws regarding audio recordings. Some states are getting really weird about recording police activities. People have had to go to court over it, and they prevailed against the charges.

I am a big advocate of recording Coast Guard boardings ... those times when the USCG feels compelled to come aboard a lawfully operated vessel and count the PFDs onboard. They are govt employees in public and you have every right to record their search of your vessel as long as your don't interfere with their work, regardless of any claim they make to the contrary.

In Illinois you can record video of any officer so as long that video DOES NOT take audio if it is recording audio it falls under the illegal wire tapping law which is a 75 year prison sentence.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Ace52 View Post
In Illinois you can record video of any officer so as long that video DOES NOT take audio if it is recording audio it falls under the illegal wire tapping law which is a 75 year prison sentence.
It's 15 years, but I expect the law will eventually be tossed.

http://www.switched.com/2011/01/24/r...ars-in-prison/
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ace52 View Post

In Illinois you can record video of any officer so as long that video DOES NOT take audio if it is recording audio it falls under the illegal wire tapping law which is a 75 year prison sentence.

The U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that affirmed, stronger than ever, the rights of individuals to openly record the actions of police officers.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:15 PM
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That takes care of Mass. , but Illinois and Oregon are in different circuits.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Crabpot Man View Post

That takes care of Mass. , but Illinois and Oregon are in different circuits.
Not sure about Oregon but I believe the ACLU in Illinois filed for an injunction shortly after the ruling due to the abuse of the wire tapping laws by law enforcement in Illinois.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:26 PM
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in Fla as far as I know they all can write tickets now,I know the FDOT and FLW can.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:28 PM
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More likely than not, the INS and/or Border Patrol does not stop people for speeding. They are enforcing federal laws, not state. Speeding is state.
More likely than not, they may have "profiled" her or received a tip. Could be an illegal, or transporting drugs (thats federal law).
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Ace52 View Post
In Illinois you can record video of any officer so as long that video DOES NOT take audio if it is recording audio it falls under the illegal wire tapping law which is a 75 year prison sentence.
Are the police permitted to record the stop with audio? If so then something is wrong.

On the CBP stop. Its possible they just ran the tag (they are probably running a lot of tags) and got a hit of some kind. Maybe a stolen car, registered owner with a felony warrant, ect. They may have made the stop and were waiting for local PD to take over.

Could also be they were waiting on that car from a tip. I have lived in the Miami/Ft Lauderdale area my entire life and I may have seen a CBP vehicle on the roads maybe twice.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ScarabChris View Post
Are the police permitted to record the stop with audio? If so then something is wrong.

On the CBP stop. Its possible they just ran the tag (they are probably running a lot of tags) and got a hit of some kind. Maybe a stolen car, registered owner with a felony warrant, ect. They may have made the stop and were waiting for local PD to take over.

Could also be they were waiting on that car from a tip. I have lived in the Miami/Ft Lauderdale area my entire life and I may have seen a CBP vehicle on the roads maybe twice.
Yes they are exempt from this law, just think of all the bitching that would happen if they were not allowed to record video/audio.....
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Crabpot Man View Post
It's 15 years, but I expect the law will eventually be tossed.

http://www.switched.com/2011/01/24/r...ars-in-prison/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5AMN...layer_embedded

Check again

Notice the news caster says AUDIO not video....
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Eyeball View Post
You can record any govt employee in the course of their daily activities as long as they are out in the public or where they can be viewed from public areas or your private property.
Definately not true. We spent some time in D.C. this summer as part of a 3 week vacation on our way to Bar Harbor Maine. While waiting to tour of he Bureau of Engraving and Printing I was sitting on a bench across the street and there was a gate with an entrance for deliveries to the BEP and I noticed that every 10 to 15 minutes different types of delivery vehicles would stop and be searched by the guy with the well trained dog as well as the truck he was driving. After about 2 of these deliveries and search routines my wife said why don't you film the next delivery.

All I can say is WRONG!!!! The guy dressed in blue ordering the dog under in and around the vehicle - within seconds - turned 180 degrees and pointed to me across the street to stop taping the event. Needless to say I stopped no questions no bickering, contesting or whatever. It was as if someone else was watching me and alerted him through his earpiece to what I was doing and that was the end of my filming for that portion of the day to say the least.

This was outside on public property in daylight. For all I know my mugshot is in some file distributed throughout the entire NSA,CIA and or FBI database.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by magua View Post

All I can say is WRONG!!!!

Yeah, they get "hard ass" training on our dime. Think about it -- the decision not to record was yours, not theirs. If you were doing something wrong they would have confiscated your equipment and hauled you in for questioning.

I stand by what I said.

Fwiw, I viewed the video on YouTube from the guy that was filming security at the airport in L.A., was told he could not record the x-ray and bag checks, etc. He insisted, he was right, he was arrest and charged, and found not guilty. He has balls bigger than me -- I would have backed down where he didn't. You can lawfully video record any part of the screening process at an airport -- just try it.

So keep in mind the govt will harass you into giving up your right to take pix/vid. It happened to me -- was taking pix inside the subway in post-9/11 NYC, was told by subway police it was forbidden. It wasn't, I knew that, I knew I could lawfully take any pix I wanted to in the NYC subway system. But I put my camera away, it's just easier ... the same as you did.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Eyeball View Post
Yeah, they get "hard ass" training on our dime. Think about it -- the decision not to record was yours, not theirs. If you were doing something wrong they would have confiscated your equipment and hauled you in for questioning.

I stand by what I said.

Fwiw, I viewed the video on YouTube from the guy that was filming security at the airport in L.A., was told he could not record the x-ray and bag checks, etc. He insisted, he was right, he was arrest and charged, and found not guilty. He has balls bigger than me -- I would have backed down where he didn't. You can lawfully video record any part of the screening process at an airport -- just try it.

So keep in mind the govt will harass you into giving up your right to take pix/vid. It happened to me -- was taking pix inside the subway in post-9/11 NYC, was told by subway police it was forbidden. It wasn't, I knew that, I knew I could lawfully take any pix I wanted to in the NYC subway system. But I put my camera away, it's just easier ... the same as you did.
You are probably right however even if I was'nt on vacation I would not want to have to go through the process unless the filming event was necessary.
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:58 AM
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I have seen CBP several times on 95 at the Fla Ga border and on 95 in Palm Beach county plenty of times
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