What to Say When the Police Tell You to Stop Filming Them?

What are your rights?

Videos of confrontations between police and citizens shot by eyewitnesses with a smartphone are having a profound influence. Video of Eric Garner's arrest in New York City (July, 2014) and the shooting of Walter Scott in South Carolina (April 2015) are two examples. Also in April 2015, a Los Angeles Sheriff's deputy snatched a camera from a bystander.

What are your 1st Amendment rights as a citizen?

The Atlantic's Robinson Meyer quotes Delroy Burton, chairman of D.C's metropolitan police union. "What you don't have a right to do is interfere. Record from a distance, stay out of the scene, and the officer doesn't have the right to come over and take away your camera and confiscate it." Meyer also suggests different tactics if you are confronted by police.

Below are links to the ACLU's "Know Your Rights" guide for photographers, "5 Things to know before you film the police" by The TakeAway with John Hockenberry and the policy of the London Metropolitan Police.