Federal judge: It’s no longer unconstitutional to secretly record audio of public officials

Hampden County

A federal judge has ruled it is no longer unconstitutional to secretly record audio of public officials.  

The judge on Monday nullified a Massachusetts law that banned secret audio recordings of police or government officials. 

Previously, you could be arrested if you were caught recording police or any other government official without their consent, and the recording could not be used as evidence in court. 

“There’s really checks and balances,” Northampton Attorney, James Winston said. “So police and other officials are allowed to do their jobs, but they might be recorded by people during their scope of their employment.”

The Chief U.S. District Federal Judge ruled that secret audio recordings of officials performing their duties in public is protected by the First Amendment. 

The court said the Boston Police Department previously instructed officers to make arrests under the law.

The judge made the ruling on two cases. One involving residents who frequently record police and another by a conservative activist group. 

An injunction will be issued against Boston Police and the Suffolk District Attorney. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Only on WWLP.com | Digital First

More Digital First

State Police Overtime Scandal

More State Police Overtime Investigation

Trending Stories

Donate Today