ACLU Warns Police to Turn Body Cams Off During Inauguration Protests but Encourages Activists to Video Cops

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: Protesters join together for a rally and march 'to prevent the Trump/Pence regime from coming to power,' on January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. The protesters are speaking out about what they see as their fears with the incoming Trump administration. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty …
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As the nation prepares for the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, activists and anarchists flooding Washington D.C. are preparing to do all in their power to destroy the historic day. But even as they encourage anarchists to video police, the ACLU has issued warnings to police to be sure to turn body cameras off during the protests.

As police begin making plans to insure the security and safety of those attending the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, the ACLU is warning officers to make sure their body cameras are turned off during the inevitable protests and attempts at disruption, according to

“Those cameras shouldn’t be on. The police shouldn’t be allowed to surveil First Amendment activity. Our concern around the availability of body cameras, what is done with that data, who looks at that data, what that data is used for?” said the American Civil Liberties Union’s Monica Hopkins-Maxwell earlier this week.

On the other hand, while the ACLU seems to want police to turn off their body cameras, Hopkins-Maxwell is urging protesters and anarchists to make sure they record everything and everyone around them.

Indeed the ACLU even created a new smart phone app to help people take video of police on the streets.

“The more people who are watching, the less incidents collision between the police and protestors,” Hopkins-Maxwell insisted.

In her comments, the ACLU’s Hopkins-Maxwell was alluding to a D.C. statue that gives vague guidance for officers on when to turn off their body cameras during protests. The statute chiefly maintains that video of protests may not be used to identify protesters who are not engaged in unlawful conduct.

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