Breaking News
More () »

Denver appeals court upholds the right to record police

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case of a YouTube journalist and blogger who claimed that a suburban Denver officer blocked him from recording.

DENVER — A federal appeals court based in Denver has agreed with six of the nation’s other 12 appeals courts that the First Amendment guarantee of free speech gives people the right to film police as they do their work in public.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday in the case of a YouTube journalist and blogger who claimed that a Lakewood police officer blocked him from recording a 2019 traffic stop. Citing decisions from the other courts, the 10th Circuit said the right to record police was clearly established at the time and reinstated the lawsuit of the blogger, Abade Irizarry.

“It makes absolutely clear to the degree it wasn’t clear already that police officers have to respect your ability to film them unobtrusively from a public place when they’re engaged in their official duties," said Andrew Tutt, the Appellate and Supreme Court attorney at Arnold and Porter who represented Irizarry. 

A lower court had said the right wasn't clearly established at the time, preventing the officer from being sued. U.S. government lawyers intervened in the appeal to support the public’s right to record police.

The court oversees four western and two midwestern states — Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah — as well as parts of Yellowstone National Park that lie in Idaho and Montana.

“I think we are so glad that it brings us one step closer to one day seeing this right recognized in every part of the United States," said Tutt, who added that only about half of the country has a legal case that explicitly states citizens have this right. 

The ruling comes after Arizona’s Republican governor last week signed a law that went the opposite direction, making it illegal in Arizona to knowingly video police officers 8 feet (2.5 meters) or closer without an officer’s permission.

RELATED: 10th Circuit reinstates student's First Amendment lawsuit over anti-Semitic 'joke'

RELATED: Yes, law enforcement is still required to read you your Miranda rights

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Full Episodes of Next with Kyle Clark


Subscribe to our daily 9NEWSLETTER for top stories from 9NEWS curated daily just for you. Get content and information right now for can’t-miss stories, Next and Broncos content, weather and more delivered right to your inbox.   

iTunes: http://on9news.tv/itunes
Google Play: http://on9news.tv/1lWnC5n  


ROKU: add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KUSA. 

For both Apple TV and Fire TV, search for "9NEWS" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out