Rights experts confront cops who threaten people recording them

The Rutherford Institute, which battles in the nation’s court’s for the religious, privacy and other constitutional rights of Americans, is warning police.

That would be not to retaliate against citizens who legally are recording police officers in the performance of their duties in public.

In a statement, the organization said there have been a number of police officers across the nation who apparently don’t understand – or recognize – the rights covered by the First Amendment.

In a letter to the San Francisco Police Commission, in response to a proposal to limit the rights of citizens, constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, chief of the institute, explained, “Citizens who exercise their First Amendment right to film police in public serve as watchdog reminders to police that as public servants, they are accountable to ‘we the people.’

“Moreover, Americans should be able to record their interactions with police without fear of arrest, assault or being subjected to harassment or intimidation tactics. The ability to record police interactions in public provides for greater accountability when it comes to police interactions with the citizenry and should be preserved as a necessary right of the people.”

The institute has had a number of encounters with such problems, it detailed in its report.

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“As more attention has been paid to the prevalence of police brutality, more Americans have begun filming the police in their daily interactions. Unfortunately, in those instances when police are averse to the notion of being recorded, it can result in retaliation, brutality and even false charges for those daring to exercise their First Amendment rights in such a way,” the institute explained.

For example, the report noted, “A police officer in Colorado stood in front of a YouTube journalist to intentionally block his camera view of a DUI traffic stop, shined a flashlight into his camera, drove his police cruiser at the journalist, and repeatedly blasted his air horn.”

Courts found later that the officer was liable for those actions, because the filming clearly was protected by the First Amendment.

A growing number of federal appeals courts have been aligned with similar rulings, even though the Supreme Court hasn’t yet issued that very opinion.

“In Irizarry v. Yehia, although the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that it had not yet specifically recognized a First Amendment right to film the police, it found that the right was nonetheless clearly established ‘beyond debate’ by every circuit which had considered the issue – pointing out and summarizing cases from the First, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal,” the institute reported.

It did explained that efforts to record police “must not interfere with police” duties.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Long the world’s most Christian nation, America today is being taken over by a new “official” national religion, one being imposed on the entire populace by every major societal institution, from government, media and big tech, to academia, entertainment and business.

This new state religion is Wokeism. “Going woke” conjures up visions of someone claiming to be acutely sensitive (“awake”) to “systemic social and political injustice.” And not just alleged bigotry against blacks, but toward every other “minority” as well, from LGBT folk – especially everything transgender and “nonbinary” – to “undocumented immigrants.” All of them, being VICTIMS, intrinsically more virtuous than the shameful oppressor class: primarily heterosexual white males.

This new “woke” consciousness has turned America upside-down – from the nationwide Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots in 2020, to tearing down of historic monuments, to demanding multi-million-dollar reparation payments for blacks, to appointing transgenders as top government officials, to rampant reverse discrimination in every area of life, to the U.S. military imposing mandatory “diversity training” and transgender pronoun use on all personnel, causing recruitment to disastrously plummet.

Yet there is hope. Being “saved” – which in Wokeism is called being “woke” – is largely a matter of worshipping victimhood by becoming an “ally” and “defender” of all the many victim classes, and a determined enemy of the straight white male oppressor class. Thus, “joining the righteous” as an ally – even if one is cursed to be a straight white male – opens the door mercifully for salvation, even to the most wretched.

That is the power of the religion of Wokeism. And it’s explored as never before in the February 2023 issue of WND’s critically acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine. If you’ve ever wondered, for example, exactly how the most radical elements in American society are successfully pressuring the biggest corporations into adopting the most outrageous and immoral policies imaginable, even when doing so permanently damages and devalues the company, the stunning answers are in this issue of Whistleblower, titled “WOKEISM: AMERICA’S OFFICIAL STATE RELIGION.”

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Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@wndnewscenter.org.