First Amendment auditor SeanPaul Reyes, in conjunction with LatinoJustice PRLDEF, has filed a federal lawsuit against the NYPD over the right to record in police station.
The NYPD Patrol Guide states that while recording the police is generally allowed, "Members of the public are not allowed to photograph and/or record police activity within Department facilities," and officers are authorized to ask the person to stop filming and to arrest them if they don't. A department spokesperson told Gothamist that recording inside a police station "undermines the privacy of people who interact with the criminal justice system and compromises the integrity of ongoing investigations."
Case says the NYPD is correct—up to a point. He tells Reason that while parts of the police station are certainly off limits, "publicly accessible lobbies" are a different story. "The NYPD says it needs this policy to protect the identity of those waiting in line in a precinct's public lobby," Case noted in the Monday press conference. "But precincts have plenty of private space. Sensitive witnesses do not come in through the front door and wait for a detective before a crowd of strangers."
"Our contention is [the NYPD's] rule, and the way this rule was written, and the way this rule is implemented, since it's an absolute ban, is not narrowly tailored and, therefore, will violate the First Amendment."
In addition to court costs and attorney fees, Reyes seeks an injunction against the NYPD preventing officers from arresting anyone for simply filming in publicly accessible areas.