In order to protect themselves from lawsuits over police brutality, Maryland police officials are now using phony interpretations of the law and outright intimidation to prevent citizens from videotaping public arrests. Several Marylanders face felony charges for recording their arrests on camera, and others have been bullied into shutting their cameras off.
A man whose arrest was caught on video faces felony charges from Maryland State Police for recording it on camera. Video of another arrest at the Preakness quickly made its way online, despite an officer issuing this warning to the person who shot it, "Do me a favor and turn that off. It's illegal to videotape anybody's voice or anything else, against the law in the state of Maryland."
But can police stop you from recording their actions, like the recent beating at the University of Maryland College Park? The American Civil Liberties Union says no.
"For the government to be saying it has the power to prevent citizens from doing that is profoundly shocking, troubling, and particularly in the case of Maryland, simply flat-out wrong," said David Roach, ACLU.