getting the department and county in big trouble:
The ACLU today filed a federal lawsuit against Allegheny County and University of Pittsburgh police, alleging that officers arrested a Pittsburgh man for using his cell phone to record an interaction between officers and one of his friends.
Elijah Matheny, of the Hill District, was arrested on April 29 and charged with violating Pennsylvania wiretapping laws. Police said he recorded an incident without officers' permission.
As I recall, there was a case a couple of years ago in which the Supreme Court ruled on this; they said flatly that a LE officer in public has no expectation of privacy while performing his duties, and that includes people can take pictures or video. That's settled, so this was a surprise to read:
The county is named in the suit because after the initial arrest, officers called the Allegheny County District Attorney's office to find out if charges should be pursued. The on-duty prosecutor gave the go-ahead.
Then the on-duty prosecutor was either uninformed or a fool.
Considering how many LE vehicles have cameras and voice recorders set up to tape every stop and so forth, kind of amazing how many officers get bent out of shape over someone without a badge taking pics; the only thing I can think of is that they know they don't have control of those recordings, so...