On Your Side: Recording exchanges with police officers - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

On Your Side: Recording exchanges with police officers

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

After a recent exhange with a Birmingham police officer, a FOX6 News viewer wanted to know if it is legal to record interactions with police.

The incident started at a gas station in Birmingham. Our Fox6 viewer, Adriene, started recording the exchange on her cellphone. In a portion of the video, you can hear an officer say:

Officer: "You are not gonna just pop up a camera on everybody and record conversations thats not how it's done."

Adriene: "I have a right to though."

Officer: "No ma'am you started recording none of us knew that is a violation of the law."

Adriene says she was parked in her car when an officer approached her. She got a ticket for an expired tag. She started recording on her cell phone because she felt like the officer was mistreating her. She planned to file a complaint with Internal Affairs.

Ronda asked Lt. Sean Edwards with the Birmingham Police Department about this video.

"According to federal law, citizens do have the right to record law enforcement actions while they are performing their duty. Whether videoing or not, the citizen should still comply with officers commands," he said.

"I encourage people to videotape any incident that you may see. Recently the Supreme Court stated that officers can not go through your cellphone. They can't force you to give them the code so they can delete things on your phone," Birmingham attorney Eric Guster said.

Adriene tells Ronda she is afraid right now about retaliation since speaking out about this. She has temporarily left the city of Birmingham until things cool off.

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