KRMF has co-counseled with the ACLU of Pennsylvania in yet another lawsuit concerning the Philadelphia Police Department’s failure to ensure that its officers are aware that private citizens have a constitutional right to observe and record police in the performance of their duties. In this, the fifth in a running series of cases, the Complaint alleges that Amanda Geraci was assaulted and restrained by a member of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Civil Affairs Unit while she was attempting to photograph the arrest of a political demonstrator. Geraci, a long-time legal observer who is well-versed in police practices related to political demonstrations, made no effort to interfere with the arrest or the actions of any police officers. Instead, she was merely attempting to record the arrest.
As with the other cases filed against the City on this topic, this incident occurred in a time period after the Police Department’s issuance of policies instructing officers that citizens do in fact have a right to record police. The case is yet another example of the Police Department’s failure to ensure that its officers act consistently with those policies.