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NYPD, Other Cop Shops to Officers: Back Off Photographers

The NYPD has issued an internal memo that firmly reminds New York City police officers that the public is legally allowed to record officers and police activity. “Intentional interference such as blocking or obstructing cameras or ordering the person to cease constitutes censorship and also violates the First Amendment,” the memo states. Similar directives were issued in 2012 in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Police in cities nationwide increasingly are being caught violating those rights – confiscating cell phone cameras, destroying memory cards and going so far as assaulting and arresting citizens and journalists who are legally recording them or taking their photographs.