The Right Of The People Peaceably To Assemble

It’s in the First Amendment, bitches.

In a rebuke of a surveillance practice greatly expanded by the New York Police Department after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal judge ruled yesterday that the police must stop the routine videotaping of people at public gatherings unless there is an indication that unlawful activity may occur.

2 thoughts on “The Right Of The People Peaceably To Assemble

  1. Nora says:

    Judge Haight seems to be saying, as per the article’s summary, that the police, in order to be allowed to videotape, have to get permission in advance, which suggests to me at least something like a warrant requirement. I agree, there is a certain slipperiness in the language here (and lawyers don’t like slipperiness, especially when there’s something important at stake), and I for one would like to know what the standard for getting that advance permission is. Probable cause? Something less than probable cause but more than mere suspicion?
    But here was an instance where the judge originally gave the police very mild restrictions, and they wouldn’t even follow those, and I believe that’s what he’s rebuking them for at this point.

  2. dan mcenroe says:

    >>unless there is an indication that unlawful activity may occur.
    that’s still uncomfortably broad. who determines whether or not unlawful activity may occur?

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