Image result for Federal Court Rules Citizens Have No Right to Film Politicians & Police in PublicContradicting the rulings of six other federal courts, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals annihilated free speech rights in upholding a district court decision stating citizens do not have the right to film public officials — politicians, police, and others — in public.

In affirming the decision of the lower court to dismiss, the Eighth Circuit effectively ended free speech activist Matthew Akins’ challenge to the Columbia, Missouri, Police Department, which he accuses of unlawfully stopping and arresting him on multiple occasions — though nearly all charges were later dropped — as he filmed their encounters with the public, in public.

Akins says the spate of arrests and harassment from law enforcement is brazen retaliation for the nature of his activist work — filming officers on the job.

As a journalist and founder of Citizens for Justice in 2011, a group committed to monitoring police for accountability purposes, Akins frequently stopped to record officers’ interactions with the general public — a tactic employed by a plethora of civilian impartial observation groups to stem an epidemic of police violence and veritable impunity in courts, so common to law enforcement officers who misbehave.

Judge Nanette Laughrey penned in the stunning decision Columbia Police officers indeed had probable cause to arrest Akins each time, and — again, contrary to previous rulings from six circuit courts —that “he has no constitutional right to videotape any public proceeding he wishes to.”

Attorney Stephen Wyse already filed an appeal on Wednesday for the court to rehear the case — originally filed against Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight, two former Boone County assistant prosecuting attorneys, and several members of the Columbia Police Department — as he contended unequivocally, prior,

“You can’t target journalists because you don’t like their reporting.”

ABC affiliate KMIZ reports,

“Wyse took issue with Laughrey’s decision to stay on the case, despite his request she recuse herself. Laughrey’s husband, Chris Kelly, was the head of a city task force on infrastructure, which could have skewed her decisions in a case against the city, Wyse claimed. While federal law does call for a judge’s recusal, the appeals court said nothing in Akins’ case rose to the level of bias or prejudice against his case.”

While the topic of filming the police — of particular interest to law enforcement accountability activists, First Amendment advocates, and others concerned for decaying free speech rights — appeared in federal court before, Laughrey’s ruling goes against precedence established by the First, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, which decided the Constitution guarantees the right to film public officials in public settings, as long as recording does not interfere.

In fact, Judge Thomas Ambro wrote the decision for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in a similar casecomprised of separate instances in which Philadelphia law enforcement actively thwarted the efforts of two citizens, Amanda Geraci and Richard Fields, to film arrests. Both sued for violations of their civil rights, and — like many other litigants — won.

“The First Amendment protects the public’s right of access to information about their officials’ public activities,” Ambro clarified, adding that access “is particularly important because it leads to citizen discourse” on public and private issues — an exalted exercise of that preeminent protection. The government, ruled the judge, is prohibited constitutionally from “limiting the stock of information from which members of the public may draw.”

American law enforcement, on the whole, has not responded hat graciously to civilians whipping out cell phones and video cameras to record encounters in public — though filming police can indeed provide additional pictorial and audio evidence in the event of contention or disputation.

“Bystander videos provide different perspectives than police and dashboard cameras, portraying circumstances and surroundings that police videos often do not capture,” Ambro continued“Civilian video also fills the gaps created when police choose not to record video or withhold their footage from the public.”

Laughrey, however, broke ranks in a manner which could portend a precarious existence of certain First Amendment rights — rights which had previously been assumed by the public and averred in peer courts. States comprising the Eighth Circuit are Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota.

“The First Amendment is a core American value,” Wyse asserted in a press statement following the decision’s astonishing departure from precedent. “The right to free speech and a free press are central to our liberty and our ability to hold our government accountable. This holding of the 8th Circuit undermines the basic rights of Missourians and the citizens of the six other 8th Circuit states and undermines the First Amendment rights for all Americans.”

Reports indicate Akins — barring an unlikely rehearing in the Eighth Circuit Court — may indeed appeal his case to the Supreme Court. Because multiple federal judges have upheld the right to film police and public officials as a constitutionally-protected activity on multiple occasions, the ramifications of Laughrey’s ruling may not be as far-reaching and detrimental as appears now — but the ultimate litmus test seems inevitably poised for SCOTUS.

In the meantime, irascible law enforcement officers keen to prevent civilians from filming their activities would do well to remember two crucial points: recording public officials keeps them responsible and accountable for their actions — but can also protect them in situations of disputing claims. After all, raw video recordings — not police, officials, or citizens — have no need of mendacity and duplicity.

“We ask much of our police,” Ambro wrote in the July decision. “They can be our shelter from the storm. Yet officers are public officials carrying out public functions, and the First Amendment requires them to bear bystanders recording their actions. This is vital to promote the access that fosters free discussion of governmental actions, especially when that discussion benefits not only citizens but the officers themselves.”

Laughrey, unfortunately, did not agree — and now the public has yet another constitutionally-protected right left dangling by a fraying thread.

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I can say my family fought for the north out of Kentucky and Illinois two were graduates of the VA. Military Institute. There were more issues than slavery that were fought for that blacks benefited from, it's sad that only slavery seems to be the only subjects blacks are willing to consider. I would have fought against slavery and I will fight today for the Republic not socialist freebees programs.


Pulling down statutes... burning books, and destroying patriotic art found in public institutions is what Communist do in the final stages of  a revolution..

Next comes the purging of the counter revolutionaries... the patriots who challenge the PC and economic slavery that will follow will be rounded up by the millions.  Bill Ayers, and others of his ilk, have stated publicly that upwards of 25 Million Americans will need to die in the purge to rid America of the capitalist counter revolution.

We have allowed such men to remain free... and to teach our children, in our Universities.  America is indeed in serious trouble.  History repeats itself over and over... Stalin and Lenin were much worse than Hitler... together with Mao these communist murdered over 100 million people in the name of communism. 

What is worse ... is that there is often no way to reason with these miscreants as they have been given over to reprobate minds.

Ron that is so true, and we have to keep in touch until things go back the way our founding fathers intended.  But what happen to all the other members on here that we never hear from?

Since the only people on the membership list who receive these articles are the people within my friends list on TPCC, nobody else gets an email telling them.  Unless they scroll through the discussions to see what anybody has posted...   Steve has never appointed anyone to replace Dee and nobody else has the capability of doing the email blasts like she, and ocassionally he did.

You are right Marilyn ,and maybe we need several people to do the email blast like they did?

You're not getting it.  Steve has to allow someone access to the system for anybody to do that.  We can't just DO IT ourselves, or I'd already be doing it.  Why hasn't Steve ever appointed anyone to take over since Dee left?  Why isn't there an asst dir?  Or give a moderator the capability....?  The hang-up is Steve...he's just letting it wither away, and not giving anyone the capability of getting the ball rolling again.

What is wrong with Steve anyway, I put several articles on here but they never showed up. I agree with you Marilyn, if Steve doesn't want us to do this then why doesn't he just tell us ?

You'd have to ask Steve what's wrong with him.  I saw one of your recent articles, it's on here:

Now Iran wants to get into the North Korean deal

Steve is probably very busy... all the more reason to find an Administrator.  Steve would have to trust any Administrator to run the site within Ning's guidelines and in such a manner not to invite law suites.  He probably needs a contract with whomever he engages...  

I nominate you for the job... Marilyn.  You certainly have the aptitude and desire... and with a little training the knowledge to do the job.  Maybe Steve will read this and consider contacting you directly.  God Bless America and this site.

Ron I will also vote for Marilyn too, if we can get Steve to choose her. Can we get a election to vote for the administrators, or is that Steves decision only?  Also I will contact Steve and suggest Marilyn for the position, if it will do any good.  Thank for the Idea. I am  tired of the liberal media,and their corrupt gangs attacking President Trump everyday.

Ron I just got done asking Steve about that position.

WOW.  Thanks guys.   I'm speechless.......................................for a change

Webster's 1828 Dictionary


PUB'LIC, adjective [Latin publicus, from the root of populus, people; that is, people-like.]

1. Pertaining to a nation, state or community; extending to a whole people; as a public law, which binds the people of a nation or state, as opposed to a private statute or resolve, which respects an individual or a corporation only. Thus we say, public welfare, public good, public calamity, public service, public property.

2. Common to many; current or circulated among people of all classes; general; as public report; public scandal.

3. Open; notorious; exposed to all persons without restriction.

Joseph her husband being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. Matthew 1:1.

4. Regarding the community; directed to the interest of a nation, state or community; as public spirit; public mindedness; opposed to private or selfish.

5. Open for general entertainment; as a public house.

6. Open to common use; as a public road.

7. In general, public expresses something common to mankind at large, to a nation, state, city or town, and is opposed to private, which denotes what belongs to an individual, to a family, to a company or corporation.

Public law, is often synonymous with the law of nations.

PUB'LIC, noun The general body of mankind or of a nation, state or community; the people, indefinitely.

The public is more disposed to censure than to praise.

In this passage, public is followed by a verb in the singular number; but being a noun of multitude, it is more generally followed by a plural verb; the public are.

In public in open view; before the people at large; not in private or secrecy.

In private grieve, but with a careless scorn,

In public seem to triumph, not to mourn.



OPEN, a o'pn.

3. Unsealed;

7. Not stopped; as an open bottle.

8. Not fenced or obstructed; as an open road.

13. Plain; apparent; evident; public; not secret or concealed; as an open declaration; open avowal; open shame; open defiance. The nations contend to open war or in open arms.


hmmph, maybe someone does not know his words.....

which brings up a new word——judgetard




Joe Biden Forces Little Girl to Touch His Crotch


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