South Florida Corruption

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Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are


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Know Your Rights

Published on October 23, 2014


Flex Your Rights Exec. Director Steve Silverman's segment from a Cato Institute panel discussion on police body cameras and recording misconduct. (C-SPAN Air Date: Oct 23, 2014.)

Steve Silverman in his remarks gave his five rules for recording the police.

RULE #1: Know the Law (You always have the right to OPENLY record police in public)

RULE #2: Know your Technology (Use Bambuser live-streaming video recording app.)

RULE #3: Respond to Shit Cops Say

RULE #4: Don't Point your Camera Like a Gun

RULE #5: Prepare to Be Arrested (i.e. the Bill of Rights is not for wimps.)

An edited video of the full-length panel and Q&A is available at

An unedited video and transcript is available at


Know-Your-Rights DVDs:

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Flex Your Rights (Flex) is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit launched in 2002. As a civil liberties organization, they are laser-focused on improving the constitutional literacy of all Americans. To accomplish this, they create and distribute the most compelling, trustworthy, and practical know-your-rights media content in the universe


Transparency & education through these smartphone apps.

It’s been said that the camera is the new gun. Well, a smartphone without a streaming app is akin to a firearm without ammo.

Download a streaming app today to protect yourself and others.

Bambuser  (recommended)
Broadcast low-latency live video and audio
to the web using 3G or Wi-Fi! View incoming
chat messages, broadcast in public or in
private, geotag your broadcasts and share
to many social networks.
Cost: free

Call Recorder
Record your phone calls. Keep in mind that
if you’re in a location that’s
not considered a
one-party consent state
you’ll want to inform
the caller of the recording.
Cost: free

Cell 411 (recommended)
With near-real-time alerts, support for
gravitas images, fast GPS updates and
instant access to issue alerts, Cell 411
is ideal for anyone in need.
Cost: free

Cop Block (recommended)
Access the latest Cop Block articles and
podcasts at the click of a button. Easy
interface makes sharing content easy.
Cost: free

For the most part, police powers have
been federally defined; but there are
legal and procedural quirks that vary
from state to state, and Fast Case is an
excellent resource for both state and
federal case law. Fast Case goes way
beyond the scope of a traffic stop or
warrantless search—it lays out precedent
for landmark decisions in almost every
imaginable category—but that’s where
the searchable database become helpful.
Cost: 24-hr trial, then subscription fees


Fi-Vo Film
Use Fi-Vo Film to instantly and securely
record police misconduct any time you
witness it. As you record, your video
instantly saves to your phone and
uploads to your free
Dropbox account.
: $1.99

GotYa! takes a silent snapshot through the
front facing camera of the criminal who is
attempting to use your device, whenever
the screen lock is entered incorrectly.
After taking the picture, it acquires the
location of your device and forms a Google
maps link, and then send it with the time
stamped picture to your email or Facebook!
Cost: $

I’m Getting Arrested
Alert your lawyer, loved ones, etc. … that
you are being arrested with a click. I’m
Getting Arrested enables anyone, with
one click, to broadcast a custom
message to SMS numbers in the event
they are arrested.
Cost: free

Instant Incognito
Capture audio to your Windows Phone in normal or incognito (stealth) mode.
: free
Windows Phone
: via

Watch live events from

Right on your mobile device.
Cost: free

Oh Crap App
Oh Crap App is a revolutionary new smart phone application which educates users of their legal rights based upon the state they are located (GPS based); assists them in invoking their rights; documents and preserves evidence of their interaction with law enforcement; and also connects the user with a qualified attorney in their geographic area when needed.

After you’ve memorized the Bill of Rights, it’s time to move up to Supreme Court precedent, where the nitty-gritty of police powers are found. Most of you have probably seen
this video of a legal student defending his Second Amendment rights in Portland, ME; you’ll notice that his ammunition is Supreme Court precedent, not just the text of the Bill of Rights. PocketJustice offers searchable transcripts of over 100 Supreme Court cases, as well as some audio of the oral arguments (good for brushing up in the car or on the metro). Most of the landmark police-powers cases are covered here, but it’s not so dense as to be overwhelming. If you want to go deeper, you can download the Pro version, which has transcripts for over 600 cases, and 300+ additional hours of Supreme Court audio. For people who want a basic understanding of their rights without a law degree, this is a great tool.
Cost: free through Oct., $4.99 for Pro

Police Scanner 5-0
Police Scanner 5-0 brings you more than 2,500 police, fire, rescue and other radio feeds over 3G or Wi-Fi. You can search for channels in the U.S. and other countries by country, state or province and county. Find channels close to your location based on GPS or 3G/WiFi triangulation. This app can be very useful when out
Cost: free version with short ads or $1.99 w/o ads
Download: iOS

Police Tape
Citizens can hold police accountable in the palms of their hands with “Police Tape,” a smartphone application from the ACLU of New Jersey that allows people to securely and discreetly record and store interactions with police, as well as provide legal information about citizens’ rights when interacting with the police. Related video:
How Does it Work?
Cost: free

Secret Camera Recorder
Secret Video Recorder is the ONLY hidden camera app in the market that does background recording so you can use your phone as normal and NO ONE can tell you are recording video.
: $5.99

Act like you’re on the phone while secretly and automatically snapping pictures or recording video.
Cost: $0.99

An easy way to hold the NYPD accountable for its actions. It has three primary functions: Record: This allows the user to film an incident with audio by simply pushing a trigger on the phone’s frame. Shaking the phone stops the filming. Listen: This function alerts the user when people in their vicinity are being stopped by the police. Report: This prompts the survey, allowing users to report a police interaction they saw or experienced, even if they didn’t film it.
: free

Go live and watch live video on your phone or tablet – anytime, anywhere! Broadcast live to any number of viewers using the camera of your device.
Cost: free

You can upload, manage and watch your videos right from your mobile phone or tablet, with great tools to share publicly or privately.
Cost: free

Wickr (recommended)
Top-Secret Messenger. Select a time for your messages and media to expire. We are the only company to have publicly said no to an FBI backdoor. Encyrption Makes the World Better.
Cost: free



· [suggested cameras, dash cams, related gear, etc.]

· [tips on interacting with police employees]



Streaming Video Apps

The Following is republished courtesy of the Digital Media Law Project (DMLP)

Recording Police Officers and Public Officials


As discussed in other areas of this Guide, a patchwork of state laws applies to recording the communications of others, including wiretapping and eavesdropping laws. These laws may impose liability for recording audio of a conversation without the consent of one or more parties, or for making secret audio recordings.

However, First Amendment considerations arise when you are openly recording the activities of police officers (or other public officials) carrying out their duties in public places. A number of U.S. Courts of Appeals have held that, in such circumstances, the First Amendment protects the right to record audio and video regardless of whether the police/officials consent. This constitutional right would override any state or federal laws that would otherwise prohibit such recording.

Currently, the following U.S. Courts of Appeals have recognized the First Amendment right to record the police and/or other public officials:

·        First Circuit (with jurisdiction over  Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island): see Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78, 85 (1st Cir. 2011) ("[A] citizen's right to film government officials, including law enforcement officers, in the discharge of their duties in a public space is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment."); Iacobucci v. Boulter, 193 F.3d 14 (1st Cir. 1999) (police lacked authority to prohibit citizen from recording commissioners in town hall "because [the citizen's] activities were peaceful, not performed in derogation of any law, and done in the exercise of his First Amendment rights[.]").

·        Seventh Circuit (with jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin): see ACLU v. Alvarez, 679 F.3d 583, 595 (7th Cir. 2012) ("The act of making an audio or audiovisual recording is necessarily included within the First Amendment's guarantee of speech and press rights as a corollary of the right to disseminate the resulting recording.").

·        Ninth Circuit (with jurisdiction over Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, the Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, and Washington): see Fordyce v. City of Seattle, 55 F.3d 436, 438 (9th Cir. 1995) (assuming a First Amendment right to record the police); see also Adkins v. Limtiaco,  _ Fed. App'x _, No. 11-17543, 2013 WL 4046720 (9th Cir. Aug. 12, 2013) (recognizing First Amendment right to photograph police, citing Fordyce).

·        Eleventh Circuit (with jurisdiction over Alabama, Florida and Georgia): see Smith v. City of Cumming, 212 F.3d 1332, 1333 (11th Cir. 2000) ("The First Amendment protects the right to gather information about what public officials do on public property, and specifically, a right to record matters of public interest.").

The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey likewise recognized the existence of such a right in Ramos v. Flowers, Docket No. A-4910-10T3 (N.J. App. Div. Sept. 21, 2012), relying heavily on the First Circuit's reasoning in the Glik case.

If you are recording in New Jersey  or in one of the states or territories within the First, Seventh, Ninth or Eleventh Circuits, the First Amendment right to record should protect you against prosecution for recording the police or other public officials as they carry out their duties in public places.

Even if you are not within these jurisdictions, these decisions may be persuasive to other courts. Although two other U.S. Courts of Appeals have declined to hold that a First Amendment right to record was "clearly established" as of particular dates in the past, see Kelly v. Borough of Carlisle, 622 F.3d 248, 261-62 (3rd Cir. 2010); Szymecki v. Houck, 353 Fed. App'x 852, 852 (4th Cir. 2009) (per curiam), none so far have rejected the existence of such a right.  Furthermore, the United States Department of Justice has openly stated its position that the First Amendment protects all U.S. citizens who record the activities of the police in public, and has intervened in at least one civil rights lawsuit against police officers to support that First Amendment right. See Sharp v. Baltimore City Police Dep't, No. 1:11-cv-02888-BEL (D. Md. Statement of Interest filed January 10, 2012).

NOTE: The First Amendment right to record does NOT give you the right to interfere in the performance of officials' duties, or violate generally applicable laws. You may still face criminal prosecution or civil liability if, while recording, you: interfere with an arrest; trespass into secure government areas or private property; fail to respond to legitimate measures by law enforcement to control riots or disturbances; or otherwise interfere with official activity or violate private rights.


Florida Recording Law

Note: This page covers information specific to Florida. For general information concerning the use of recording devices see the Recording Phone Calls, Conversations, Meetings and Hearings section of this guide.



Florida Wiretapping Law


Florida's wiretapping law is a "two-party consent" law. Florida makes it a crime to intercept or record a "wire, oral, or electronic communication" in Florida, unless all parties to the communication consent. See Fla. Stat. ch. 934.03. Florida law makes an exception for in-person communications when the parties do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the conversation, such as when they are engaged in conversation in a public place where they might reasonably be overheard. If you are operating in Florida, you may record these kinds of in-person conversations without breaking the law. However, you should always get the consent of all parties before recording any telephone conversation and any in-person that common sense tells you is private.

In addition to subjecting you to criminal prosecution, violating the Florida wiretapping law can expose you to a civil lawsuit for damages by an injured party.

Consult The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press's Can We Tape?: Florida for more information on Florida wiretapping law.



Florida Law on Recording Court Hearings and Public Meetings


Court Hearings

Florida state courts generally allow the use of recording devices in the courtroom, both at the trial and appellate level. The presiding judge may prohibit recording devices from the courtroom only upon a showing that the presence of such devices will adversely affect the fairness or integrity of the proceedings.

Federal courts in Florida generally prohibit the use of recording devices and cameras in the courtroom, both at the trial and the appellate level.

For information on your right of access to court proceedings, please consult the Access to Government Information section of the guide.


Public Meetings

If you attend a public meeting (i.e., a meeting of a governmental body required to be open to the public by law) in Florida, generally you are permitted to use sound or video recording devices, so long as your recording does not disrupt the meeting.

For information on your right of access to public meetings, please consult the Access to Government Information section of this guide and The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press's Open Government Guide: Florida.


Information in this guide is based on general principles of law and is intended for information purposes only; we make no claim as to the comprehensiveness or accuracy of the information. It is not offered for the purpose of providing individualized legal advice. Use of this guide does not create an attorney-client or any other relationship between the user and


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