45 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 1329 (2011-2012)
Constitutional Law - First Circuit Protects Right to Record Public Officials Discharging Duties in Public Space - Glik v. Cunniffe

handle is hein.journals/sufflr45 and id is 1349 raw text is: Constitutional Law-First Circuit Protects Right to Record Public Officials
Discharging Duties in Public Space-Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78 (1st Cir.
2011)
The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech and press-liberties
that include the right to disseminate certain information concerning
governmental activities, including police work.1 A police officer may defend
against a claim of violating a citizen's constitutionally protected right to gather
and disseminate information by invoking the doctrine of qualified immunity.2
Qualified immunity requires the government official to prove the constitutional
right allegedly infringed upon was not clearly established at the time of the
challenged conduct.3 In Glik v. Cunniffe,4 the Court of Appeals for the First
Circuit addressed the existence of a constitutional right to film officers
discharging their duty in public and assessed whether that right was clearly
established at the time Glik did so.5      The court held that the First Circuit case
law clearly establishes a First Amendment right to record public police activity,
and therefore the police officers could not invoke the qualified-immunity
doctrine.6
As he passed the Boston Common-the oldest public park in the country-
on October 1, 2007, Simon Glik witnessed three police officers arresting an
individual.7 After hearing one bystander say to the officers, You are hurting
him, stop, Glik began recording the arrest with his cell phone camera.8 After
the officers handcuffed the suspect, one of the officers turned to Glik and said,
I think you have taken enough pictures.9 Glik responded: I am recording
1. See U.S. CONST. amend. 1. The First Amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the
press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of
grievances. Id. The Supreme Court of the United States has interpreted the First Amendment as granting a
general right to gather and disseminate information and ideas concerning the public interest. See, e.g.,
Houchins v. KQED, Inc., 438 U.S. 1, 11 (1978) (discussing undoubted right to gather news from any lawful
means); First Nat'l Bank v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 783 (1978) (reasoning First Amendment prevents
government from limiting stock of information from which public may draw); Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S.
665, 681-82 (1972) (discussing right to lawfully gather news from anonymous source).
2. See Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 131 S. Ct. 2074, 2080 (2011) (Qualified immunity shields federal and state
officials from money damages unless a plaintiff pleads facts showing (1) that the official violated a statutory or
constitutional right, and (2) that the right was 'clearly established' at the time of the challenged conduct.).
3. See id. (discussing qualified-immunity doctrine).
4. 655 F.3d 78 (1st Cir. 2011).
5. Id. at 78-79 (reasoning Glik exercised clearly established First Amendment rights).
6. Id. (holding Glik arrested without probable cause).
7. ld. at79.
8. 655 F.3d at 79-80. Glik became concerned that the officers employed excessive force during the
arrest. Id. at 79.
9. Id. at 80.

What Is HeinOnline?

With comprehensive coverage of government documents and more than 2,400 journals from inception on hundreds of subjects such as political science, criminal justice, and human rights, HeinOnline is an affordable option for colleges and universities. Documents have the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?