You would think the matter would have been settled in the lower courts because common sense and common law tell us that police do not have an expectation of privacy while on duty.
But it took the Michigan Supreme Court to decide the case involving hip hop mogul Dr. Dre and Detroit City Councilman Gary Brown, who was a high-ranking police officer in 2000 when he was videotaped backstage during a performance that made it onto a DVD.
Brown was videotaped telling concert organizers that the power would be turned off if they showed a sexual explicit video during a performance at Joe Louis Arena.
The clip made it onto a DVD titled “Up in Smoke” highlighting the national tour that year. It was part of a series of behind-the-scenes clips.
Brown claimed his privacy had been violated. The Supreme Court ruled against him, overturning an appeals court ruling.
The decision is especially significant as police in several states have increasingly been using felony wiretapping charges to arrest citizens who videotape them while they are on duty.