A memo issued late last month by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey confirms: “officers have no authority to confiscate the recording devices.”
The message is meant to clear up confusion for officers following a series of arrests of citizens for photographing or filming police interactions. Ramsey goes on to say, as the Daily News notes in its report, officers should not intentionally damage or destroy a recording device or delete images.
But, officers can confiscate a device without a warrant if they think it contains evidence they may need.
The ACLU already has plans to file a suit on behalf of four Philadelphians arrested for filming police who say officers wrongly took or damaged their devices.