MPD Releases Public Recordings Policy
(Memphis) The Memphis Police Department released its public recordings policy Thursday.
On Wednesday, News Channel 3 reported that the Memphis United Coalition couldn’t obtain a copy of a policy.
A MPD spokesperson said in an email Wednesday a “policy has been approved, however, the drafting is incomplete at this time. We will send this to you upon completion.”
The policy states that MPD “recognizes that members of the general public have a First Amendment right to video record, photograph, and/or audio record MPD members while members are conducting official business or while acting in an official capacity in any public space, unless such recordings interfere with police activity.”
A person can record police activity “as long as the bystander has a legal right to be present where he or she is located.”
Included in the policy is the reminder that having a recording device doesn’t “entitle the bystander to cross a police line, to enter an area that is closed to the public, or to enter any area designated as a crime scene.”
The policy outlines what MPD officers “shall not” do if a person, who is legally allowed to be there, is recording.
For instance, officers can’t demand an ID, detain the person, demand the person stop recording, or demand an explanation of why the person is recording.