The Daily Paul has been archived. Please see the continuation of the Daily Paul at Popular

Thank you for a great ride, and for 8 years of support!
32 votes

If a Cop Tells You to Stop Recording Them, OBEY!

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. 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): (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.

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

dash cams

Just a side note to contribute...

Remember how much really good video we saw of the recent Russian meteor explosion? Several of those recordings came from dash cams. It turns out that lots of Russians drive around with dash cams running all the time - they use them to protect themselves from car-jacking.

So those things are out there somewhere... would be interesting to see how well they are suited to this purpose.

I'm voting for Peace.

dash cams

Thanks fling1, the company I cited in the article also had a dash cam that records up to 20 hours at a time I think, for around $250.

Could come in handy when a cop tells you that you were weaving and try and give you the breathalyzer test because of it. If one rolled down their window enough to hear what they say, they can't stick their contraption in your face to detect alcohol. You can stick your license and registration through the crack. Ask, if you have done anything wrong (weaving is not against the law) and refuse to get out of the car. My understanding is they have to have probable cause. You can point to the evidence of the video camera to show you were not weaving.

I would of course do this sober, lol. Just to protect your rights. But if not sober, well, a bit of information can go a long way to keep them from getting you to do what they want you to do and allowing them to convict you on a failed test like the post of the person who blew 0.00 and was still arrested for DUI.


Author of Buy Gold and Silver Safely
Next book: Illusions of Wealth - due out soon
Also writing book We the Serfs!

Two layers of black electrical tape will cover the led light

quite well.

You'll no longer be able to look at it to confirm that recording is actually happening, so practice, practice, practice with your camera before using it in real life or, guess what? You'll screw up. Encounters with cops are nerve-wracking enough without having to try to remember if it is one tap or two that powers up the camera and starts recording.

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

i recommend reading..

The book, "spy the lie" written by a man who says he is former CIA. It's pretty good. He gives lots of examples from when he was in still and he really breaks it down well. It's long but very helpful.

Homeland security statement: patriotism is now considered terrorism.
I love shared it with everyone I know. If anything they realize its not just a red and blue idiot running for reelection.

Sometimes the point of recording is not to catch them....

.... but to prevent them from going too far in the first place.
So if they assume they are no longer being recorded; this might not be good......depending on your intentions.

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." -- James Madison

That's why you start out by

That's why you start out by recording them, and personally I would not give up as easily as is described, even if I had a backup, because of exactly what you mentioned. Knowing you're on camera prohibits certain actions. But still, having the backup, is a very, very good idea since a whole lot of cops are under the impression that recording people in a public place is illegal.

I think one should not record cops.

I think it would be better to stream the encounter live to the internet.

If the website can be programmed to automatically record the upload all by itself, then so much the better.


Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

I have a recorder

In my car at all times.

Great Video: Secrets Police Don't Want You To Know

Learn how to set them up on video at their own game. This a very educational and inspirational video.

Published on Apr 12, 2013
Eddie is an Air Force veteran that began realizing that the government was lying to the people at virtually every turn. He earnestly begin his research into government rules and statutes in the mid 90's after he witnessed his mother breakdown into tears of hopeless frustration over a property tax bill that threatened to take away her property and home.

Angry at the malicious and callous demeanor of those that supposedly worked for the greater good of the People Eddie began to carefully research and document the relationships between the various statutes and the legislative enactments that created them, especially the "ad valorem" property tax, and eventually the federal income tax. He has since spent the past eleven years researching the various Texas Codes such as the Transportation Code. Much to the dismay of many municipalities, police officers, and prosecutors he has thrown a very large monkey wrench into the gears of their money machine, using their own laws! With Randy Kelton's passed down knowledge about due process and criminal actions Eddie's research has become even more dangerous to them.

Vigorous study and research revealed the truth, most government employees know even less about the language and application of the law than the general public! Angered by the cavalier attitudes of public servants acting as if their ignorance was of no consequence, Eddie sought out other like minded people to exchange ideas and find a remedy, which led him to Rule of Law Radio.

Eddie has now dedicated himself to "fighting the good fight" against the total willful ignorance that consumes our public servants at every level of government, an ignorance in which too many people share by way of an apathetic attitude about our rights and liberties. The biggest problem with being apathetic is that it is a word comprised mostly of the word "pathetic".

"A vote for the lesser of two evils is a vote to keep things the same", Buckminster Fuller..
A choice for liberty is always a choice for liberty.

Great discussion!

I learned a little, reading here. I live in Illinois, in the county where the guy recorded the cops (audio) from the back seat! It went to court, but I think he beat the charges. Or, it is still in the court system. I will have to look it up.

The conversation about the available technology is good. It got me thinking about how to be more subversive, should I find myself in such a situation. I have had no problems in this town. I have never, ever, been arrested for anything. But, I plan on moving back to my wife's home town, soon.

There, I almost got arrest for mumbling under my breath (something about the dent I put in the storage building with the U-Haul truck!) while walking away from a police officer. He got real nasty. I turned it around with a "calm" apology! Words can keep you out of fights and arrests if you play it calm and smart! I have become very good at it! Remember, when you are unarmed, it is not very smart to make an armed person, i.e. the policeman, mad!

Thank you mlang52

It is great that others chime in with their constructive comments. We all learn from that and grow. When you have the media slant things their way with their editing of Dr. Paul, we too can edit our own video for our own benefits.

You can see samples of this on one of my youtube channels that supported Ron Paul during the last elections, calling out the media and their bias:

I think once you have the weapon of video, you can use it to your advantage in many ways. It takes time to learn all you can do, but the time is well worth it when you have 1000's of videographers documenting abuses of Liberty.

Your advice of turning the situation with the officer into a calm apology is showing respect and shows how you can still converse and not be antagonistic. Antagonism gets us nowhere. Hence the idea of having the plan B pen video. Give them what they want, but still ask the pertinent questions after telling them they are being recorded.

I am from Illinois too. You'll like my stories in the post below in reply to Sovereign. Not sure where Sovereign is coming from in their replies. Just trying to shed light on the subject and appreciate your comment.

Author of Buy Gold and Silver Safely
Next book: Illusions of Wealth - due out soon
Also writing book We the Serfs!

Obey the laws of the Jungle

If somone armed, ganged up or bigger and stronger than you is in your proximinity and is percieved to be hostile or threatening its smart to use a tactic of enlightened disengagement.


If one is engaged in the jungle

that's one thing, if they just happened upon a situation. If one plans on the potential of some confrontation, they can use their camera phone first, video pen second, and have a 3rd videographer from a distance record the event, with a simple microphone in your pocket recording what was said back to the one recording (but you still must state you are recording). These microphones go 100 feet (at least the one I have).

Jungle be damned when you have a plan.

I am simply coming up with ideas to make the issue of recording a non-event, and still record at the same time, to expose the real truth of "the other side" if they choose to be the other side.

Author of Buy Gold and Silver Safely
Next book: Illusions of Wealth - due out soon
Also writing book We the Serfs!

Be damed my arsh it always

comes down to the laws of the jungle. If your so smart, arm chair photographer, tell me how many times have you ever been in a dangerous situation?

Next time your in a dangerous situation thats the time to show me what you will do with your plan.

Talk is cheap. As is your coment.


Sovereign Human

I am an idea man. I give ideas and don't claim intelligence. I am a human, not a droid.

But since you asked...

My first "dangerous" situation was selling mace in black and Hispanic neighborhoods in Chicago. When I was chased out of a neighborhood, spraying mace behind me, I decided not to go back to that neighborhood. Could have been nice to document with some sort of video.

My next dangerous situation came after a Chicago Bears game. We had a few drinks at the game, came back to my parents place (I was in college) and noticed a disturbance down the street with police and a bunch of people. Naturally we went down to check it out. It was at the Polish Embassy during the Lech Welesa days.

I went to hit on a cute reporter while my friend mixed with the crowd. I didn't get anywhere with her, and worked my way back up to my friend. Before I could say what's up to him, I was thrown over a police barricade and thrown in a paddy wagon with two non-English speaking Polish guys and the paddy wagon took off. After a few hours in jail, I was let go and joined my Parents at Oktoberfest for a beer at our Church (side comment, but shows you my focus was having fun, not abusing cops). Showed up to court and the cop told the judge I jumped on his back. I was shocked. My first experience with police lying. Before the court time I heard the officer speaking to the two Polish guys who were arrested in Polish. I guess they got their stories straight. Got an attorney and got out of it. A camera would have helped.

My last time was just a few weeks ago. I was enjoying my Chicago Blackhawks play the Anaheim Ducks in Orange County. The stadium was full of Hawks fans. We were winning and of course boisterous to the crowd around us, again, mostly Hawks fans. There were a few Ducks fans in front of us who didn't like us. But we weren't abusive towards them at all. But they called security. Security came down and asked that my friend and I come with them. I said no thanks. After going back and forth on this for several minutes, he said come with me now or we will call the police. I said go ahead and call them. Next thing there was 7 police and security asking me and my friend to leave. The entire time I repeated the same question to them; "have we done anything wrong?" They wouldn't answer. Not once did they answer that question. But because it was now a scene, they had to show who was boss. They cleared out the row in front of us. Knocked the food out of my hand when I tried to take a bite. Knocked the beer out of my hand when I went to take a drink (minding my own business and trying to watch the game of course). The first security guy (not police officer) was the one doing this as I take it he thought I was showing him up. He then proceeded to put plastic cuffs on one hand and I finally relented (he didn't put the cuffs on the other hand). I was escorted up to the top away from spectators. There were 6 security/officers with me and one with my friend. I took control of the situation by immediately asking the question, again, "Have we done anything wrong?" No answer. I then followed up with, "Are we free to go?" and they said yes. We left. I figured we had warn out our welcome and there was no point of discussing things further. A video of the incident would have helped...if needed. Luckily, I have read much on this subject here on DP, and elsewhere and knew how to handle myself and the intimidation. Without a recording of it, things could have got worse.

You attack me for saying "talk is cheap" without knowing me and all I was trying to do was help people know what options they have available to them. Now you know a bit more of where I come from.

If you don't like my reasoning in trying to help others learn, then go ahead and continue your attacks. I'll leave it to others to judge.

Author of Buy Gold and Silver Safely
Next book: Illusions of Wealth - due out soon
Also writing book We the Serfs!

You see after your first idiotic post insulting me

I put a wake up call on your arsh and you woke up and talked like a human. Good job keep it up. You prove my point.


This is approximately the worst comment I've ever read on DP.

I guess you know the movement is getting mainstream when you start seeing stuff like this.

Good sign? Bad sign? Maybe it's a mixed bag.

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.

Also author of Stick it to the Man!

Your coment is absoultly the most stupid in history

And takes the top on DP. Do you even read your own stupidity?


Is there a central source I

Is there a central source I could visit that breaks down what recording practices are and are not legal in each state?


you'll have to click next page to get to your state.

Laws for video recording in every state

Found this Reason article that seems to answer the question as to the laws in every sate for video recording.

7 Rules for Recording Police


Rule #1: Know the Law (Wherever You Are)

Conceived at a time when pocket-sized recording devices were available only to James Bond types, most eavesdropping laws were originally intended to protect people against snoops, spies, and peeping Toms. Now with this technology in the hands of average citizens, police and prosecutors are abusing these outdated laws to punish citizens merely attempting to document on-duty police.

The law in 38 states plainly allows citizens to record police, as long as you don’t physically interfere with their work. Police might still unfairly harass you, detain you, or confiscate your camera. They might even arrest you for some catchall misdemeanor such as obstruction of justice or disorderly conduct. But you will not be charged for illegally recording police.

Twelve states—California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington—require the consent of all parties for you to record a conversation.

However, all but 2 of these states—Massachusetts and Illinois—have an “expectation of privacy provision” to their all-party laws that courts have ruled does not apply to on-duty police (or anyone in public). In other words, it’s technically legal in those 48 states to openly record on-duty police.

Rule #2 applies to my idea of informing them you are recording from the beginning.

Author of Buy Gold and Silver Safely
Next book: Illusions of Wealth - due out soon
Also writing book We the Serfs!

People need to start

People need to start modifying their cameras so that there are no buttons or anything on them. Something that would require a lock to get into to remove the battery would be cool. Then the cops couldn't just take them and stop recording.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

another thought

would be to have the type of camera that allows deletion of the video/pictures from cops, but embeds it on the hard drive for retrieval later.

Beyond that, I found some more info in these articles (consider source):

How to Recover that Photo, Picture or File You Deleted Accidentally

How to recover deleted files from your Camera & SD Card

How to Retrieve Deleted Files on an iPhone

Author of Buy Gold and Silver Safely
Next book: Illusions of Wealth - due out soon
Also writing book We the Serfs!

Yeah, it's pretty easy to get

Yeah, it's pretty easy to get back files. But it's also pretty easy to make sure they can never be recovered. All it takes is writing over the space the files were. I think stuff like the NSA being able to recover zeroed-out drives is pretty mythical.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

It seems you would still have

It seems you would still have to point the pen if you were trying to capture more than just sound and some random image of the sky or the ground...
Has anyone reviewed any of these sunglass camera products?
If you could get one to blue tooth to your phone and upload you would be able to point and shoot and broadcast without seeming to.

“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian.” ― Henry Ford.

That's a good point

to consider fyi2day. I would imagine a wide angle lens would be needed to capture the entire view you desire. The camera I mentioned in the article had a "Wide angle 3.6mm CMOS Lens SONY CLEARVID CMOS CHIP."

I found this video clip and it looks like it could capture quite a bit.

Author of Buy Gold and Silver Safely
Next book: Illusions of Wealth - due out soon
Also writing book We the Serfs!

Don't say you are videoing the officer....say you are videoing

the stop or the investigation for the safety of everyone involved. The State should be pleased that you are following their lead of recording everything everywhere "for our safety".

for that aspect

it can work. The result would probably be the same with them telling you to shut it off. The point was to just say you are videotaping and audio recording so you have it on tape that you are, if needed later for any defense of what occurs next. If they think they are not being recorded, then they may open up more their true colors, "if" you ask the right questions.

Author of Buy Gold and Silver Safely
Next book: Illusions of Wealth - due out soon
Also writing book We the Serfs!

Also consider an

application like Qik. It instantly uploads your video live to your youtube account and/or to the friends' phones of your choice. If your phone gets confiscated or destroyed, it's too late. Your video has already gone live and is stored.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

Thanks Betty

good to get the discussion as to what else might help.

Author of Buy Gold and Silver Safely
Next book: Illusions of Wealth - due out soon
Also writing book We the Serfs!