The New York Civil Liberties Union has defended countless photographers over the years who have been wrongly arrested for taking picture in public.
But now they are demanding that the New York City Police Department keep its cameras off Occupy Wall Street protesters.
The NYCLU sent a letter to NYPD Commander Raymond Kelly last month stating that while police have the right to record in public, 24-hour surveillance on the protesters is abusing this right.
In addition, we have some serious concerns about certain aspects of the policing of the protest. As an initial matter, we are deeply concerned about the nearly blanket videotaping of Occupy Wall Street events. At Zuccotti Park, there are at least two special cameras trained on the park and apparently recording activity at all times. In addition, many members of TARU are at the park and other locations and are conspicuously and routinely videotaping protest activity.
Unfortunately, we can’t have it both ways. They can record us as much as we can record them as long as there is not an expecation of privacy issue.
And as much as the Occupy Wall Street protesters would like to make Zuccotti Park their private home, it is still very much a public space.