Local groups want right to record police policy - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Local groups want right to record police policy

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By Dana Griffin

dgriffin@abc6.com

@DanaRGriffin

PROVIDENCE, RI- In light of the chaos in Ferguson, Missouri over the shooting death of Mike Brown, Local civil rights groups are urging police to adopt policies supporting the right to record police activity.

Rhode Island ACLU executive director, Steven Brown said, "In light of all the things that have been going on in Ferguson, particularly attempts by police to prevent journalists and other people from recording what has been going on, we thought it was important to send a reminder to police departments across Rhode Island that individuals do have a very clear first–amendment right to video record police when they're out in public."

Providence Public Safety Commissioner, Steven Paré said, “We don't need to adopt a regulation or policy. It's in the constitution and we abide by that."

Officers I spoke with are ok with being recorded as long as it's not antagonistic nor impedes an investigation.

"We don't operate in secrecy and a lot of what we do is for the public so why not know. And there are instances where what we do is not public, but there's reasons for that," said North Kingstown Police chief, Thomas Mulligan.

So far no Rhode Island police departments have agreed to adopt a new policy concerning public taping.

"There are a number of other police departments across the country that have been adopting policies like this because they recognize it's useful to have something in writing to guide officers and dealing with this issue. So, we hope the time is right for police officers in Rhode Island to do the same thing," said Brown.

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