Recording evidence is beneficial to civil rights enforcement and to the ability of the public to call government to account for its officers' misconduct. Ultimately, video and audio recording does and should play a role in civil rights litigation and policymaking as important probative evidence to be used at the back end of litigating, determining, and remediating constitutional misconduct. The details of that role depend on rules that strike a proper evidentiary and procedural balance between video's benefits and its limitations. Having recognized that recording evidence will play some (and an increasingly prominent) role at the back end of police-public encounters, positive legal rules and law enforcement actions cannot limit the availability of recording evidence by restricting members of the public from using the resources and technology at their disposal to obtain and disseminate video at the front end of those encounters.
Howard M. Wasserman,
Orwell’s Vision: Video and the Future of Civil Rights Enforcement
, 68 Md. L. Rev. 600
Available at: https://ecollections.law.fiu.edu/faculty_publications/61
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