The Right to Photograph & Record in Public
Training for Law Enforcement, Fire/Rescue, Emergency Management, and Public Information Officers
Ever since 9/11, there has been a heightened awareness of anyone taking pictures or recording events in public. This issue has only been exacerbated by the widespread proliferation of cellphone cameras and the ability of everyone to post photos and recordings on the Internet where they may be viewed and shared, in many cases going “viral” with thousands of views.
Many in law enforcement have the erroneous belief they can order people to stop taking pictures or recording in public. Interference and in some cases arrests stemming from those actions have led to a number of court cases resulting in six-figure settlements, new policies and procedures and sometimes serious disciplinary actions against the officers involved.
As the general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), representing 7,000 visual journalists throughout the country, Mickey H. Osterreicher, Esq. deals with these issues on a daily basis. As a uniformed reserve deputy with the Erie County Sheriff’s Department since 1976 and a former photojournalist in print and broadcast for almost 40 years he brings a unique perspective to this growing problem. (Click here for Mickey H. Osterreicher's professional biography).
The "Right to Photograph & Record in Public" program will address First and Fourth Amendment rights, search and seizure, exigent circumstances, federal civil rights lawsuits against police agencies as well as an analysis and update on the most recent cases and court rulings dealing with these issues.
Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, will discuss the “coextensive” right of both the press and the public to photograph and record as well as provide practical advice regarding the best ways to handle these situations.
The benefit for law enforcement is to avoid costly federal civil rights lawsuits that have cost municipalities money they can ill afford to pay. Time permitting, we will also discuss the impact of social media and the use of drones in newsgathering.
The program format is a 4-hour presentation and discussion.