An Oregon appeals court overturned the conviction of a man who had been arrested for secretly recording a Eugene police officer during a traffic stop.
While Oregon law states all parties must be notified before recording their voices, the cop had notified Shane Michael Neff that he was recording him with his own device.
The appeals court ruled that this notification was enough to allow Neff to record from his own device during the 2008 traffic stop.
This seems like common sense, but the trial judge whom Neff initially faced didn’t buy this argument, finding him guilty.
Fortunately, the appeals court set him straight.
Last year, an Oregon police chief from Beaverton vowed to continue arresting people for recording cops, even though the city had just dished out a $19,000 settlement for a case where a man was openly recording a cop and a city attorney had issued a memo that such arrests were unlawful.
Meanwhile, the Eugene Police Department, which was responsible for Neff’s arrest, recently decided that it would stop arresting citizens for recording them in public – even if it’s done secretly.
According to The Oregonian.
The Eugene Police Department — the agency that arrested the Cottage Grove man, Neff — has decided in light of the recent debate nationwide, officers won’t arrest anyone if their only perceived crime is secretly recording police.
“We trust that our officers are doing their jobs professionally,” said spokeswoman Jen McCulley. “And we understand there’s a public interest in how our officers do their jobs.” So this story is actually a double-victory.