In this day in age anyone with a smartphone can call themselves "auditors" Which usually means a person video recording, usually in public of an officer or an elected official to make sure laws and rights are being followed.

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You may have seen many people online doing these things and ultimately getting talked to by the person or persons being filmed. A lot of people say that one has to have permission to film publicly and when that comes to a police officer, individuals are often detained and threatened with arrest after capturing footage and exercising 1st amendment rights.

Is is legal to publicly video police and other officials while they are conducting their jobs?

YES.

According to legalmatch.com filming an officer is protected by the first amendment. However, there are certain situations that it would be unlawful to film. legalmatch.com has a few examples when filming is not permitted.

-Interference with an officer’s duties: Recording a police officer may be restricted if it interferes with their ability to perform their duties.

-Privacy concerns: Recording a police officer in certain situations, such as inside a private residence, may be restricted if it violates the privacy of others.

-Sensitive locations: Recording may be restricted in certain sensitive locations, such as courtrooms, schools, or hospitals, to protect the rights of others and maintain order.

-Harassment: Recording a police officer in a way that constitutes harassment or intimidation may be illegal

Harassment can mean a number of things, so check you local laws.

There are places to legally record, such as public streets, in parks, at protests, and long as you know and are following laws in according to the state of Montana. Also, just be respectful.

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