One of the writers for Reason Magazine that I like to follow is Radley Balko. His focus is mostly on, well, Cops acting like d-bags and other assorted lunacy when it comes to law enforcement.
Although his “best known” stuff concerns problems that the drug war has brought about, he’s lately been penning a bit on the issue of recording the cops that go wild, or even the cops that aren’t quite going wild – ’til they see you’re recording them.
I recommend reading Radley’s pieces for yourself to fully appreciate what’s going on, as I couldn’t do the discussion justice without effectively plagiarizing his work. However, the brouhaha is essentially that cops threaten, or actually do, arrest people for recording. Even worse, as evidenced in the third link, you had the assistant district attorney not only giving absolutely incorrect advice to the cop, but then the district attorney actually tried charging (before dropping the charges, of course) the guy making a recording.
To hell with absolute prosecutorial immunity – those bastards should be disbarred for being completely incompetent (at a minimum). Seriously, you would think a state supreme court ruling stating that recording police encounters doesn’t violate the law should be serious enough that it would warrant prosecutors knowing about it even before they take the job.
I haven’t heard about any cases arising in Michigan where police officers have arrested individuals for recording their interactions, but I figure it’d be nice for more people to realize that this kind of stuff goes on – not just that people are getting arrested for recording encounters with law enforcement, but getting arrested even when the law clearly states that it’s legal to do so. Michigan does have an exemption to it’s surveillance laws which allows that law enforcement may be recorded.
Maybe a litmus test issue for Judges, Sheriffs, and Prosecutors in the future?
By the way, here’s a Brigham Young University Law Review piece concerning the removal of absolute prosecutorial immunity.