Few things are more stressful than Florida police pulling a person over for suspicion of drunk driving. To protect their rights, citizens may use their smartphones to record police interactions.
The Washington Post offers tips for recording law enforcement safely and legally. In case suspicion of drinking and drinking turns into a case of “she said, he said,” recording the encounter could serve as a powerful defense.
Make it obvious
Rather than attempt to hide a phone while recording a police officer, it makes more sense to make it obvious. Citizens have the right to film the police, so they have no reason to conceal the act of exercising their rights. Trying to hide a smartphone camera could do more harm than good, opening the door to misinterpretation on the officer’s part.
Make it look professional
Recording a traffic stop may help a person’s case, but only if a legal professional easily understands the recording. It makes sense to tilt the camera horizontally and hold it still, to capture as much of the action as possible.
Protect the video
Law enforcement may ask for a copy of a traffic stop recording. Even though the police do not have the right to delete a recording, an officer may wipe the footage “accidentally.” Citizens accused of drunk driving could set their phones so videos automatically upload into cloud storage. Some streaming apps automatically broadcast recordings on social media and copy the footage.
A video recording may keep an unpleasant situation with the police from souring further. Citizens deserve to know how to look out for themselves.