First Circuit on First Amendment Right to Videotape Government Officials

In the recent decision Glik v. Cunniffe, No. 10-1764, the First Circuit upheld an individual’s First Amendment right to videotape police officers who were arresting a man on Boston Common.

In a case brought by the ACLU of Massachusetts, the District Court denied the defendant police officers’ motion to dismiss. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. "The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles [of protected First Amendment activity. Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting the free discussion of governmental affairs." 

Read the Court’s ruling here.

Read the ACLU’s blog post on the case here.