Media Law - Recording the Police in Michigan: Protecting Yourself from Arrest in a Post-Occupy World

Thursday, March 8, 2012

In recent months, we have all read stories about police officers arresting people, reporters and non-reporters alike, for taking footage of officers at work during traffic stops or while conducting interviews or arrests in public places. In many of these cases, the police have relied upon their state's wiretapping laws to justify the arrests on the theory that it is unlawful to record the spoken words of anyone&mdashincluding a police officer&mdashwithout permission, such that video recordings of the police with sound are illegal unless they give express permission. Some clients have contacted us about whether the police can arrest reporters for such conduct in Michigan. Because I am also a criminal defense attorney, I have taken a special interest in this issue.

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