Howard Friedman speaks at the 2012 Bench and Bar Conference

On October 19, 2012, Howard Friedman was a panelist at the 2012 Bench and Bar Conference, hosted by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The topic of the panel was Emerging Trends in Civil Rights. Howard discussed Glik v. Cunniffe, a case our firm handled which resulted in a landmark decision from the First Circuit Court of Appeals in August 2011. The First Circuit’s decision upheld the right to videotape the police while they are on the job. The Glik decision provided the strongest and most complete discussion of the constitutional principles that protect the right to record public officials. Howard said, based on the reasoning of the decision, a court will eventually find that the state wiretap statute which prohibits secret recording of sound is unconstitutional when applied to secret recording of police officers or other public officials  performing their public functions in public.

The Glik decision is invaluable to the media, cop watch groups, and citizens who wish to monitor the public activities of police officers. We hope that as more and more officers realize they could be recorded, officers will feel more accountable for their actions and instances of police misconduct and police brutality will decrease.

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