Cops Caught Covering or Disabling Surveillance Cameras | Is that Legal?

Two days ago, I took the deposition of two police officers in a civil federal rights lawsuit (section 1983 case) involving an allegation that my client’s exterior home surveillance camera was disabled by the officers. They both pled the Fifth Amendment. Here’s a photo of the actual disabled camera:

This is from the “Creepy Cops Search Case,” which if you’ve been following my work, you’re well-aware-of. But what about situations where they don’t destroy anything, but just cover or move the camera?

I came across some recent unrelated footage of police officers covering, concealing, or otherwise redirecting, a home’s surveillance cameras. When this hit the interwebs, it of course immediately sparked discussion. Police officers defended the footage, claiming officer safety reasons to do this, with some claiming that they always do this as a matter of policy. Is this legal? Is this a Fourth Amendment violation? Is it a First Amendment violation? Is this a crime?

There are a few issues with this. Are we talking about doing this pursuant to the execution of a search warrant for the subject residence. And if so, does the search warrant specifically authorize the seizure of surveillance cameras themselves, rather than the footage?

4 thoughts on “Cops Caught Covering or Disabling Surveillance Cameras | Is that Legal?

  1. Overbearing c**ksucking cops, think they’re immune from coming on private property and doing some of the s**t they do. I’d make some still photos of the bastards and stick them up wherever I could.

  2. So if I go on to state or federal property and do this, is it legal for the same reason a cop did this on my property?And if a cop walks around my property, can I not do the same on their property?Is this done for officer safety or to cover officer stupidity and wrongdoing?

  3. I think you’re looking at this from the wrong angle, maybe I’m wrong, but whether or not it’s legal for them to touch the camera, I think it’s a first amendment violation! They are preventing these citizens from filming public employees that are carrying out their duties in public.

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