just one part of a program to build a 'just democracy' into our society...
filming the police...
after decades of believing a police officer simply because they were speaking as 'police officers'...
we can easily believe, in hind-sight, that they have lied all along...
how many people have been abused by the court system as a result of lying police officers & how many years have been served in prison because of lying police officers???
executed on death row???
here is our chance make a correction in the "criminal justice" system, it has become everyone's duty to film the police when they are operating in the 'public'...
be careful when filming the police... you could easily become a victim of your subject material...
Everything You Need to Know About Your Rights When Filming Police
Video is proving decisive in holding police accountable for abuses nationwide.
By Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez / Democracy Now!
April 15, 2015
Over the past week, video of police killings of unarmed African Americans in South Carolina and Oklahoma has led to charges against the officers who fired the fatal shots. Meanwhile, 10 sheriff’s deputies have been suspended in California after a news helicopter filmed them kicking and punching a suspected horse thief as he lay face down in the desert after a chase.
As video proves decisive in holding police accountable for abuses nationwide, we are joined by Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst with the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. He authored Know Your Rights for the ACLU, and its companion article, "You Have Every Right to Photograph That Cop."
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Cries of "Black Lives Matter" continue to ring out across the country after new police killings of unarmed African Americans. A funeral was held in North Charleston, South Carolina, Saturday for Walter Scott, the black man who fled a traffic stop and was fatally shot in the back by police officer Michael Slager. Video of the incident taken by a bystander forced the police to retract their initial defense of Slager and see him charged with murder and fired from the force. This comes as Oklahoma prosecutors have charged a sheriff’s reserve deputy with second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed African-American man in Tulsa. Robert Bates, who is white, says he mistakenly used his handgun instead of his stun gun, killing the victim, Eric Harris. The incident was recorded by a police body camera.
On the heels of the police killings of Walter Scott and Eric Harris, activists have launched a nine-day march from New York City to Washington, D.C., to call for sweeping criminal justice reform. The 250-mile "March 2 Justice" seeks an end to racial profiling and militarized policing as well as the dismantling of, the "societal and institutional pillars of mass incarceration."
AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, videos also led to suspensions of 10 sheriff’s deputies in California. A news helicopter filmed the deputies kicking and punching Francis Pusok as he lay face down in the desert after a chase. The FBI is investigating whether his civil rights were violated.
I want to start with you, Jay. What about the rights? You know, Walter Scott’s brother, Anthony Scott, said he went back to the scene after Walter Scott was killed by police officer Michael Slager. And he was taking photographs, and the police confiscated his camera. The young man, Santana, who actually filmed this whole thing, is remarkable. But what are people’s rights? When do they get arrested? Do they have to give up their cameras?
JAY STANLEY: Yeah, the courts have been crystal clear on this matter: You have a right, under the First Amendment of the Constitution, to take photographs or video of anything in public when you’re in public. And there have been attempts in some states to pass laws curbing this right. They have been struck down by the courts, and the Supreme Court has refused to review those rulings striking down those kinds of laws. So there’s no ambiguity about the law.
The only problem is, is that a lot of police officers continue to think that they can go up to you and say, you know, "You need to turn that camera off, ma’am." That is not a lawful order. It’s not a constitutional order. But it’s one that continues to happen all too often. And they certainly don’t have the right to look at your camera or seize your phone without a warrant. And they never, ever, under any circumstances that we can imagine, have the right to destroy or erase your video or photographs.
David Brooks writes:
YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO PHOTOGRAPH THAT COP
> Know Your Rights: See more essential resources from the ACLU
> A Guide to Photographers' Rights> ---
Learn More: Filming and Photographing Police
Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, Speech, Privacy and Technology Project
Taking photographs and video of things that are plainly visible in public spaces is a constitutional right — and that includes the outside of federal buildings, as well as transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties.
However, there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs or video in public places, and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply. The ACLU, photographer's groups, and others have been complaining about such incidents for years — and consistently winning in court. Yet, a continuing stream of incidents of illegal harassment of photographers and videographers makes it clear that the problem is not going away. In the spring of 2011 alone, the list of incidents included these cases:
A Crucial Check on Power
The right of citizens to record the police is a critical check and balance. It creates an independent record of what took place in a particular incident, free from accusations of bias, lying or faulty memory. It is no accident that some of the most high-profile cases of police misconduct have involved video and audio records.
Of course, photography is not necessarily "objective" and it is always possible in a particular case that there can be circumstances at work outside a photographic record. Overall, however, the incidents above make it abundantly clear that respect for the right to photograph and record is not well-established within the law enforcement profession.
Many of those involved in these incidents appear to be activists who know their rights and are willing to stand up for them. But not everyone is able to stand up to police officers when harassed; we don't know how many other Americans comply with baseless orders to stop photographing or recording because they are uncertain of their rights or too afraid to stand up for them.
Photography as a Precursor to Terrorism
A big part of the problem here is "suspicious activity reporting" — the construction of a national system for the collection and distribution of information. Under this system (as we discuss on this page and in this report), law enforcement leaders at the federal, state and local level push officers on the ground to investigate and report a broad spectrum of legitimate, everyday activity as potentially "suspicious" — including photography. In fact, many such programs actually suggest that photography is a "precursor behavior" to terrorism, and direct the police to react accordingly. This notion has been dismissed as "nonsense" by security experts — but appears to be disturbingly robust.
A serious question for photographers and videographers who are harassed is whether they are being entered in government suspicious activity databases or watch lists, and whether and how such a listing might come back to haunt them. An investigation of Suspicious Activity Reports by NPR and the Center for Investigative Reporting, for example, found numerous individuals were reported to the FBI for taking photographs or video in the Mall of America.
A Problem From the Top
Another disturbing trend is police officers and prosecutors using wiretapping statutes in certain states (such as Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) to arrest and prosecute those who attempt to record police activities using videocameras that include audio. (Unlike photography and silent video, there is no general right to record audio; many state wiretap laws prohibit recording conversations if the parties have a reasonable expectation of privacy — which is never true for a police officer carrying out his or her duties in public.)
Word appears to have circulated within law enforcement circles somehow that using wiretapping statutes is a strategy for preventing public oversight, with some taking the concept to ridiculous extremes.
In contrast, it appears to be stubbornly difficult to spread word within those same circles of the fact that photography and videotaping in public places is a constitutional right. And earlier this year, following a lawsuit by the New York branch of the ACLU, DHS agreed to issued a directive to members of the Federal Protective Service making it clear that photographing federal buildings is permitted. Yet arrests by Federal Protective Service officers appear to be continuing. You would think that police chiefs and other supervisors could easily instruct and enforce an understanding of photographers' rights among their officers. Still, for some reason, all too often that is not happening. In New Orleans, for example, in response to its public records request, the local ACLU found the police department's policy which clearly instructs officers that people have the right to photograph. Yet officers there routinely violate the stated policy.
Know Your Rights
Everyone should be clear on what their rights are when engaging in photography in public spaces. The ACLU has prepared a "Know Your Rights" resource for photographers confronted by police. Learn more >>
Film The Police
Why Film The Police?
Documenting the actions of police employees can help protect you and others because it creates an objective record. You have the right to record anything in public – including, and some would say, especially – police employees.
Though police employees are people just like you and me, courts have ruled that police can lie to you, and that they may not be held accountable for their actions per unfair legal doctrines and practice like “sovereign immunity” and “acting under color of law”.
Recording your interaction preserves the truth for anyone to see. The camera is the new gun. It is the great equalizer. Film the police!
When Filming The Police
Have the proper mindset. Treat each police interaction as a hostage situation. By remaining calm, cool, and collected, it will help to defuse, rather than aggravate things, and thus increase the likelihood of a good result.
Know that anything can happen during police interactions. Consider possible scenarios and try to mentally prepare yourself in case you are confronted by a hostile police employee. Ultimately, how others perceive and react to your recording of the police interaction is contingent on the individuals involved. How often others in the region film the police also plays a factor – the more common is the practice, the more likely the police will react in a neutral or even positive manner.
If The Police Engage
If you are approached by a police employee when filming, chances are you’ll be asked, “Why are you filming?”
You can choose to remain silent – that’s your right.
Know that the police employee may tell you’re “interfering” with the scene, and demand that you move away. Whether you choose to back up or not, panning down with your camera to show your feet, and the distance to the ongoing stop, can help put things in perspective. When doing that you may want to verbalize an estimate of the distance between yourself and the police officer to emphasize that you are not in fact interfering.
If you don’t feel comfortable and you want to be elsewhere, simply walk away. If you’re questioned further – your identity or identification may be solicited – ask, “Am I being detained?” If the police employee replies “No”, then you’re free to go. If the police employee responds “Yes”, then ask “What is your specific and articulable reasonable suspicion?”
Or you can also reply with some or all of the following:
Pursuant to numerous settled legal cases at the local, national, and Supreme Court level, I am recording police activity today to preserve an objective record of the truth. I don’t seek to take away from your ability to enforce the law, but rather am here to make an objective and permanent record of the situation. This is both for your benefit and mine
The police employee may respond, “Of course I do. Can I see some ID?”, to which you can ask, “Sir, what crime am I suspected of?” The police employee may note, “None. I just want to know who I’m talking to.” You can answer with, “As you well know Sir, I don’t have to provide ID unless I am a suspect in a crime. Am I being detained or am I free to continue documenting the truth?”
Handling an interaction in this way – responding to questions with open-ended questions, is a powerful way to disarm the police employee (though keep in mind that police employees can and do lie so the response given may be misdirection). Ending with “Am I being detained or am I free to continue documenting the truth?” gives them a choice – they can choose to knowingly violate your rights (on video) or they can choose to not interfere with your right to record.
Under The Lens: How Policing Changes When Everyone's Filming
A quarter of U.S. police departments are already using body cameras or are starting to train officers on how to use them. After a spate of racially-charged police shootings across the country, that number is likely to grow.
This week, David Brooks, a columnist for our partner The New York Times devoted his column to the practice, with a focus on its faults.
“The cameras will undermine communal bonds. Putting a camera on someone is a sign that you don’t trust him, or he doesn’t trust you," he writes.
Brooks later notes: "During a trial, if a crime isn’t captured on the tape, it will be presumed to never have happened.”
But as Vox's Dara Lind notes, for police, there's also an upside to the ubiquitous camera: They can capture the often-ignored good work officers do every day—as Sergeant Joe Hudson realized, when his body camera captured him rescuing a baby from a burning home.
As we learned from the case of Walter Scott in South Carolina, police aren't the only ones armed with cameras—citizen bystanders often have their iPhones rolling.
Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, explores whether and how policing changes when everyone's filming, and discusses the cameras' potential impact on police-community relations.
Like a lot of people, I’ve come to believe that it would be a good idea to put body-mounted cameras on police officers. I now believe this for several reasons.
First, there have been too many cases in which police officers have abused their authority and then covered it up. Second, it seems probable that cops would be less likely to abuse their authority if they were being tracked. Third, human memory is an unreliable faculty. We might be able to reduce the number of wrongful convictions and acquittals if we have cameras recording more events.
David Brooks -- NY Times
I’ve come to this conclusion, but I haven’t come to it happily. And, as the debate over cop-cams has unfolded, I’ve been surprised by how many people don’t see the downside to this policy. Most people don’t even seem to recognize the damage these cameras will do both to police-civilian relations and to privacy. As the debate has unfolded, it’s become clear that more and more people have lost even the language of privacy, and an understanding of why privacy is important.
Let’s start with the basics.
Privacy is important to the development of full individuals because there has to be an interior zone within each person that other people don’t see. There has to be a zone where half-formed thoughts and delicate emotions can grow and evolve, without being exposed to the harsh glare of public judgment. There has to be a place where you can be free to develop ideas and convictions away from the pressure to conform. There has to be a spot where you are only yourself and can define yourself.
Privacy is important to families and friendships because there has to be a zone where you can be fully known. There has to be a private space where you can share your doubts and secrets and expose your weaknesses with the expectation that you will still be loved and forgiven and supported.
Privacy is important for communities because there has to be a space where people with common affiliations can develop bonds of affection and trust. There has to be a boundary between us and them. Within that boundary, you look out for each other; you rally to support each other; you cut each other some slack; you share fierce common loyalties.
All these concentric circles of privacy depend on some level of shrouding. They depend on some level of secrecy and awareness of the distinction between the inner privileged space and the outer exposed space. They depend on the understanding that what happens between us stays between us.
Cop-cams chip away at that. The cameras will undermine communal bonds. Putting a camera on someone is a sign that you don’t trust him, or he doesn’t trust you. When a police officer is wearing a camera, the contact between an officer and a civilian is less likely to be like intimate friendship and more likely to be oppositional and transactional. Putting a camera on an officer means she is less likely to cut you some slack, less likely to not write that ticket, or to bend the regulations a little as a sign of mutual care.
Putting a camera on the police officer means that authority resides less in the wisdom and integrity of the officer and more in the videotape. During a trial, if a crime isn’t captured on the tape, it will be presumed to never have happened.
Cop-cams will insult families. It’s worth pointing out that less than 20 percent of police calls involve felonies, and less than 1 percent of police-citizen contacts involve police use of force. Most of the time cops are mediating disputes, helping those in distress, dealing with the mentally ill or going into some home where someone is having a meltdown. When a police officer comes into your home wearing a camera, he’s trampling on the privacy that makes a home a home. He’s recording people on what could be the worst day of their lives, and inhibiting their ability to lean on the officer for care and support.
Cop-cams insult individual dignity because the embarrassing things recorded by them will inevitably get swapped around. The videos of the naked crime victim, the berserk drunk, the screaming maniac will inevitably get posted online — as they are already. With each leak, culture gets a little coarser. The rules designed to keep the videos out of public view will inevitably be eroded and bent.
So, yes, on balance, cop-cams are a good idea. But, as a journalist, I can tell you that when I put a notebook or a camera between me and my subjects, I am creating distance between me and them. Cop-cams strike a blow for truth, but they strike a blow against relationships. Society will be more open and transparent, but less humane and trusting.
we taxpayers pay millions to defend indefensible Police Abuse in court...
Your Right to Record: Protected by Law, Disrespected by Law Enforcement
by Tim Karr
While Feidin Santana and Ramsey Orta are hardly household names, these men played pivotal roles in one of the most important civil rights stories of our time.
They made news by using their cellphone cameras to record the police killings of two unarmed black men: Walter Scott and Eric Garner. And though they may not have realized it at the time, such recording is constitutionally protected.
But that may be little comfort to people who record tense encounters between police and the public. After filming the April 4 shooting of Walter Scott, Santana told NBC News “I felt that my life, with this information, might be in danger. I thought about erasing the video and just getting out of the community, you know Charleston, and living some place else.”
Orta, who documented police choking Eric Garner to death on Staten Island, was arrested on an unrelated gun charge the day after the coroner declared Garner’s death a homicide. He was only recently released on bail after a second arrest on a drug charge. After pleading not guilty during a February hearing, Orta told the judge that he was the victim of a “frame-up” as apparent retribution for sharing his Garner video with the media.
Getting the Law Right
The ubiquity of camera-ready smartphones has spawned legions of “citizen journalists” like Santana and Orta. They may not think of themselves as reporters, but they do make news simply by witnessing, recording and sharing newsworthy events. It’s an act that’s become so commonplace that few think twice about recording events as they unfold on the street.
Recording police officers as they go about their duties, however, is a thornier issue.
Less than a month before the video of the Charleston shooting went public, a Texas state legislator introduced a bill that would make it illegal for people to photograph or record within a 25-foot radius of police activity.
Texas Rep. Jason Villalba dropped his bill earlier this week, citing a backlash from “far-left civil libertarians” and “far-right people who believe that we were somehow limiting First Amendment rights.”
Villalba’s confusion about these rights puts him in the unfortunate company of other lawmakers and law enforcement.
In March 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the Illinois Eavesdropping Law, which had made the recording of police officers without their consent a felony, punishable by four to 15 years in prison. The law, which had led to a number of arrests across the state, had the support of state police and prosecutors.
Earlier this month, a video surfaced on social media of an incident involving Virginia teens pulled over by police for what initially seemed a routine traffic stop. The driver, Courtney Griffith, turned on her video camera as several Virginia Beach police officers pepper-sprayed and Tasered her 17-year-old friend, Brandon Wyne, while he sat in the back seat. Following her arrest, the police confiscated Griffith’s cellphone and deleted the video of the encounter, but she was able to recover the file and share it on social media.
In June 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that police cannot search a person’s cellphone without a warrant. Authorities are investigating the Virginia Beach incident but it appears that the police violated both Griffith’s First Amendment right to record and her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable government searches and seizures.
The ruling builds on earlier efforts from Obama’s Department of Justice. In 2012, the DoJ intervened in a case before the U.S. District Court of Maryland with an unequivocal statement of support for an individual’s “First Amendment right to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties.”
“Officers violate citizens’ Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights when they seize and destroy such recordings without warrant or due process,” added the Department’s civil rights attorneys.
The Law vs. Law Enforcement
While the courts and DoJ have been clear about our right to record, that message hasn’t always filtered through to the local level, says photojournalist Carlos Miller, who has spent the past eight years documenting many incidents of police harassment of photographers.
“Until we have stronger disciplinary action against police, officers are not going to shy away from making these sorts of arrests,” Miller said in a phone interview.
A bill being debated this week in the Colorado statehouse could help people in that state. It would fine police officers up to $15,000 for seizing or destroying a person’s camera or interfering with someone trying to film them.
Many police forces are considering plans to equip on-duty officers with body cameras, which would record their every encounter with the public. But Miller remains skeptical. “We cannot depend on the police to protect our rights,” he said. “Citizens will have to be the ones who will police the police — as we’ve seen in South Carolina.”
Miller predicts an increase in arrests over the summer as more people are out on the streets enjoying better weather. Consider the epidemic of police shootings in light of a recent Pew Research Center finding that mobile phone usage among U.S. adults has soared above 90 percent, and it’s likely that videos of police abuse will become even more common.
While the technology has changed, our constitutional rights haven’t. But how do we translate free speech and privacy protections at a time when anyone with a mobile phone has the potential to engage in an act of journalism? We need to ensure that these rights, in this new context, are understood and respected by everyone.
As more bystanders use cellphones to document the police, law enforcement must get behind the law and defend our right to record.
As the Campaign Director for Free Press and SavetheInternet.com, Karr oversees campaigns on public broadcasting and noncommercial media, fake news and propaganda, journalism in crisis, and the future of the Internet. Before joining Free Press, Tim served as executive director of MediaChannel.org and vice president of Globalvision New Media and the Globalvision News Network.
For Every 1,000 People Killed by Police, Only 1 Cop is Convicted of a Crime,
New Study Finds The odds are most certainly stacked against victims due to a lack of accountability across the board.
By Josie Wales / The Free Thought Project
April 16, 2015
A new study released by the Washington Post reveals that for every 1000 people killed at the hands of police, only one officer is convicted of a crime.
Since 2005, although there have been thousands of fatal shootings by police officers, only 54 have been charged. Of those charged, most were cleared or acquitted.
This analysis is, to date, the most comprehensive of its kind. According to the Post:
“The 54 criminal prosecutions were identified by Bowling Green State University criminologist Philip M. Stinson and The Washington Post. Cases were culled from news reports, grand jury announcements and news releases from prosecutors. For individual cases, reporters obtained and reviewed thousands of pages of court records, police reports, grand jury indictments, witness testimony and video recordings. Dozens of prosecutors and defense attorneys in the cases were interviewed, along with legal experts, officers who were prosecuted and surviving relatives of the shooting victims.”
It stands to reason that if there are thousands of fatalities due to police shootings, the number of police charged would be much higher than it is. According to the analysis, in order for prosecutors to press charges, there had to be exceptional factors at play. These include “a video recording of the incident, a victim shot in the back, incriminating testimony from other officers or allegations of a coverup.”
According to Bowling Green criminologist Philip M. Stinson, “To charge an officer in a fatal shooting, it takes something so egregious, so over the top that it cannot be explained in any rational way. It also has to be a case that prosecutors are willing to hang their reputation on.”
On the rare occasion an officer is charged with a crime, the punishment on average is much lower than would be expected, some spending only weeks behind bars. The prosecutors and defense lawyers interviewed in the study attribute this to the fact that “Jurors are very reluctant to punish police officers, tending to view them as guardians of order.”
The most alarming part about this study is that the number of people fatally shot by police could potentially be much higher because police departments are not required to keep the database of police shootings updated. This is terrifying, as it’s arguably one of the most important records a police department could keep.
The odds are most certainly stacked against the victims of police shootings due to a lack of accountability across the board. Police officers are afraid to speak out against coworkers in fear of crossing the “thin blue line.” They receive paid vacations for misconduct. Thuggish police unions protect the violent cops and courts are constantly ruling in favor of police officers after brutally murdering innocent people. The system is set up to either reward or ignore bad police behavior, and these killings will undoubtedly continue unless a drastic change in procedure is made.
No Victim, No Crime
A police employee may harass, issue ransoms to, and cage, you simply for not obeying. Even if you do nothing wrong, hostility from strangers who sees themselves as “authorities”, and who are treated by others as such, based simply on their attire, may result in physical force.
In such unfortunate and unnecessary situations, remember that the police employee is the aggressor, not you. It can be empowering to know that you did nothing deserving of such treatment, it can can be very empowering. Instead of apologizing, or taking a plea deal, or funding their outfit, you can choose to stand on your conscience and speak the truth.
Just as there is no way to codify every possible scenario of human interactions that are said to be “illegal,” so too is it impossible to unpack every potential conversation a police employee might have with you, the videographer. Trust your gut. You may want to watch videos posted by others to see how they handle situations to learn what most resonates with you. Many people and organizations that do a good job in interactions with police are included here.
If the situation gets really out of hand, and you’re in fear of death, you absolutely have the right to defend yourself. However, if the unjust action isn’t putting your life or that of another in jeopardy, continue to stay as calm as possible, and vocalize what’s happening. Your narration will communicate powerful information to later viewers (whether they are internet users or jury members) as to who was the actual aggressor.
For more, go here
Legislation related to Recording Video and Audio
Some people are under the misconception that it’s illegal to film the police in certain places. That is patently false. You have the right to video record anything in public in any geographical location.
Restrictions related to the recording of police employees (and others) are related to the capturing of audio. And police and prosecutors, in an effort to deter those they claim to serve and protect from documenting their actions, have been known to levy charges based on antiquated wiretapping legislation. So, do yourself a favor – don’t give the would-be censors any room to levy such accusations. If you’re in a two-party consent state or a place where the legislation isn’t too clear and you’re recording, inform the other parties present.
Some suggest that even if you’re in a one-party consent state that you inform the others present as it usually helps to change the dynamic of the situation for the better (as those being recorded both see your recording device and hear you vocalize that recording is happening, which can deter aggressive behavior).
one-party consent states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin,Wyoming
not clear, err on side of two-party consent states:
Hawaii (a one-party state but requires two-party consent if the recording device is installed in a private location), Illinois (recent legaland cases are conflicting on status), Montana (pretty much a one-party consent state – requires notification only)
two-party consent states:
California (calls made from a one-party state into California are subject to California’s more restrictive, two-party consent legislation), Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Washington
Material Source for the above:
Get a recording device and use it!
An audio recorder is good – they’re inexpensive and small, making them easy to always carry or to conceal. You may want to attach it to a lanyard and have it around your neck, or keep it in your breast pocket, so should you see some police activity, you can start recording.
A video camera is better – whether an expensive consumer-pro high-definition camera or the video function on a point-and-click camera, capturing audio and video is huge. A solid hand-held videocamera can be gotten for around $200. Many decent options cost less than $100. Or you could even use the video recording feature on an old point-and-click camera.
A streaming application is best – as it means the content you captured is stored offsite, away from the destruction of aggressors who want to censor their misdeeds. If you have a smartphone and you don’t yet have a free streaming application, download one:
For more on these streaming apps, and for other smartphone apps, go here: .
Just like a videocamera, the livestreaming app will capture both audio and video. But unlike a videocamera, the smartphone app will – so long as you’re able to get an Internet signal – push the content offsite. (If you are in a location with no Internet access, many apps – such as Bambuser – will save the streaming data to your phone, for upload once the device has signal.)
- Become familiar with the functionality of your recording device. During a police encounter you may be under more stress, or in a low-light situation, or you may want to record covertly, so, as basic as it sounds, practice with its operation. This will give you peace of mind and help to ensure that you’re actually recording when you want to be recording.
- Know the limits of your recording device. How long can you record for after a full-charge or new batteries? How much content can you fit on the internal memory or on your SD card? Note that the resolution size of the content captured will impact the length of recording possible.
- If your device records to an SD card, carry a spare. If you ever find yourself in a dicey situation, and want to safeguard the content you’ve captured, quickly eject the SD card with content and replace it with the extra SD card. The SD card with content can be hidden nearby for later retrieval, given to a friend who can
- Carry multiple recording devices in case one fails, or is snatched-up. For more on this, see: The Importance of Carrying Multiple Recording Devices
- It’s much safer to film the police when with one or more other people. Each additional recording device acts as an additional layer of safety, a link in a chain, as not all videographers or their devices can be snatched-up. For more on this, go here:
Essentially, deleting a file from your device merely removes it from the file directory, without which, the file won’t appear. When you run a software recovery program it will scrape all video content from the destination you indicate (the internal memory of the device or the SD card). The recovery program is not a laser – you can’t search for a specific file. Instead, it operates like a vacuum, sucking all content from the destination.
There are many software recovery programs, some are listed below. Note that some of the free versions recover only up to 1GB. If you try one and it doesn’t return the deleted content you hope to recover, don’t be deterred, just try another. Have patience for this process, as, depending on your drive size, it could be time-consuming.