Audrey Spalding
On Friday, August 20, the Show-Me Institute, along with Liberty on Tour and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), will host an informal panel discussion about recording the police. Recently, individuals in Maryland, Illinois, and Massachusetts have been arrested for filming either their or others' arrests. In Maryland, police raided a motorcyclist's home after he had posted video footage of a traffic stop on YouTube. Anthony Graber, the motorcyclist, faces up to 16 years if convicted of violating Maryland's wiretap laws. The Illinois legislature has explicitly made it illegal to record an on-duty police officer without his or her permission. A man arrested for filming an arrest in Boston has recently filed suit against the city.

These arrests raise interesting questions of privacy expectations, free speech, differing state laws, and, as Reason Senior Editor Radley Balko has noted, your right to petition the government. This panel discussion is our attempt to explore the issues of liberty at stake, as well as provide the opportunity for anyone who is interested to meet the panelists and to ask questions.

The discussion will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 20, at the Show-Me Institute's office at 4512 W. Pine Blvd in the Central West End of Saint Louis. Please RSVP either by email to, by phone to (314) 454-0647, or by commenting on this blog entry.

The event is free and snacks will be provided. However, because Liberty on Tour is traveling across the country, we suggest a $5 to $10 donation to help pay for the group's travel costs.

Our star-studded panel includes:

If you have the time, please drop by, and don't hesitate to bring questions! The panelists will speak briefly about their perspectives on recording the police, and then we will open up the discussion for questions from the general public. After about an hour of discussion, we will move the group to Sasha's on Shaw for dinner and drinks.

If you can't make it, you can send questions you'd like asked to, tweet them to @showmeinstitute, or post questions on the event's Facebook wall. Finally, we will film the discussion and post it online for those who cannot attend.

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Audrey Spalding