The difficult job of policing has become even more difficult as a result of an ACLU lawsuit filed against the police that bans all live streaming of protesters and rioters immediately.
A lawsuit was filed against the Portland Police Department and Multnomah Country Circuit Judge Stephen Bushong seemed to agree when he ordered ‘temporary’ block of officers “collecting or maintaining audio or video of protesters” committed in public spaces enacting their First Amendment rights.
However, police are expected to be able to use their body cameras “where the video or audio relates to an investigation of criminal activities and there exist reasonable grounds to suspect the subjects of the videos are involved in criminal conduct.”
During active protest hours, when the scene can change from a peaceful, law-abiding gathering to chaotic, violent, criminal unrest at the tick of a clock, how judges will rule remains unproven, which affords the police not confidence to perform their job with impunity.
For proof how fine that time line is and what the protesters intend to achieve see the illuminating video by documentary filmmaker and journalist Ami Horowitz.
Shortly after the protests and riots started, the Portland Police Department began live-streaming the events from the point of view of the police officer.
The start of the issue with this is that the recordings of what was happening would begin and end at unpredictable times.
Another issue with this is that the rioters and protesters did not like being video recorded during their criminal acts and filed a lawsuit through the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
In their belief, the recording of criminal acts in a public setting is somehow a violation of someone’s rights.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit against the Portland Police on Wednesday and requested that all live streaming of the protesters and rioters be stopped immediately.
Multnomah County Circuit Judge Stephen Bushong seemed to agree with their stance and ordered a ‘temporary’ block of all officers from “collecting or maintaining audio or video of protesters” that are committed in pubic spaces while they are enacting their First Amendment rights.
Their lawsuit contends that the Police Departments actions of “filming and broadcasting protesters violates an Oregon law prohibiting law enforcement from collecting or maintaining information about the political, religious or social views, associations, or activities of people who are not suspect of criminal activity.”
The complaint from the ACLU says:
“The videos regularly depict individual protesters who are demonstrating peacefully and engaging in no criminal activity at all. Nevertheless, the videos have focused and will continue to focus on specific protesters, apparently for the purpose of identifying them.”
It would not take a rocket scientist to determine that if anyone needs to be identified, it would be the people that are committing crime and violence against the officers and the city of Portland, but, perhaps, that is too logical for an area that is this liberal.
The temporary injunction that was ordered banning the livestreaming will run from now until at least August 9th of this year. Until then:
“The Portland Police Bureau [is] temporarily enjoined from collecting or maintaining audio or video of protesters demonstrating in public spaces…except where the video or audio relates to an investigation of criminal activities and there exist reasonable grounds to suspect the subjects of the videos are involved in criminal conduct.”
While there are peaceful protests that occur in Portland, whatever is set up as peaceful end when it becomes nighttime. Officers and/or video surveillance which would be capturing people who are committing crimes should still be able to be recorded and criminal cases pursued.
Although the language of the ruling sounds as if that is still allowed, the simple truth is, it is not. No officer will be allowed to video or audio record any incident while in Portland, in doing so, he or she may inadvertently record a peaceful protester and thus be in violation of the judges order.