May 13, 2014

LAWYERS RIP MASSACHUSSETS FOR “WIRETAP” ARREST FOR RECORDING POLICE. But here’s my favorite bit:

But Fall River Police Sgt. James Machado of the Massachusetts Police Association said cops want the same protection the two-party consent law offers private citizens, noting they aren’t allowed to electronically record prisoners in their holding cells.

“We just simply want to be treated and looked at in the same way as individual citizens,” Machado said. “The problem is sometimes we’re not sure if they are a snapshot of what went on or the entire picture.”

See, the thing is that police officers on duty aren’t just “individual citizens.” They are shielded by qualified immunity, and by bureaucratic power, in ways private citizens aren’t, and unlike private citizens they’re exerting the coercive power of the state. And they’re drawing a taxpayer-funded paycheck to do it. To suggest that they should have the same privacy rights as ordinary citizens is so ridiculous that only a police-union official could do it with a straight face.

Meanwhile, the story of her arrest suggests that my due process right to record the police should apply.