If a Cop Tells You to Stop Recording Them, OBEY!Submitted by Doug Eberhardt on Mon, 04/22/2013 - 09:01
Of course the title got you here. That's what a good journalist does. But this article is not about giving in to an officer who is trying to bully you into submission, infringing on your rights to record freely. It is about fooling them into thinking you are complying while recording them with an alternative method.
All those who want to record events, whether police officers, Congressmen, or anyone else, needs to do is buy one of those camera pens as a backup to their cell phone video cameras.
How many videos have we seen where this could come in handy?
My recommendation when beginning to record someone, especially a police officer, is to start with the statement, "I want you to know you are being video and audio recorded." When they tell you to shut it off, ask simply, is it against the law to record you? They may say it is or not, (in NH it is against the law to audio record) and you can choose your fight there, but don't fight them on such a meaningless issue. You are still recording them and you told them so (with your video pen).
Let them think they got you to shut off your camera and cooperate, but ask pointed questions like any good journalist would. Think in advance what questions you would like answered. Think in advance what answers they will give and what your next question will be.
One example; Tell them the words, "off the record" to get them to open up about a subject, revealing their true sentiment. "Off the record, you do know it's not against the law to record police officers's right?" Catch them in a lie. Police officers do it to those they interrogate all the time with their questioning tactics. You have already told them you are recording them. It is not against the law to record them (check with your state laws). It is not against the law to fool them into thinking they are NOT being recorded when they assume they aren't when you already told them they ARE being recorded. Be not afraid.
My local Sharper Image store sells the video pen for $99. http://bit.ly/YFyPrn or Google; "Video Camera Pen" and look at the reviews of others. Some record in HD and have 32GB of space.
NOTE: Don't get one with a blinking light that is observable from close range by the one you are recording. Doing a little more research, there was a $149 video pen with an extra charge for more GB of space. Watched the videos on this video pen and it looked good (for the serious DP video journalist because of the price): http://www.securitysystems.com/BestSpyPen.htm (I am not an affiliate for this company, but hey, if you have a website and you can make money from it, be my guest as I think it would be a good money maker. Would be good for DP, would it not?)
This article can be copied, shared and altered freely without attribution.