Publication:
CIVIL RIGHTS AUDITORS: DEFINING REASONABLE TIME, PLACE, AND MANNER RESTRICTIONS ON FIRST AMENDMENT ACTIVITIES

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Authors
Cummings, Gary
Subjects
civil liberties
Bill of Rights
police
legitimacy
trust
video
citizen journalism
police force
critical infrastructure
media
open carry
privacy
officer safety
public relations
social media warfare
accountability
activism
cameras
cell phones
speech
press
oppression
misconduct
recording police
sovereign citizen
militia
surveillance
technology
transparency
synopticism
violence
unrest
incivility
national security
destabilization
delegitimation
Advisors
Brannan, David W.
Halladay, Carolyn C.
Date of Issue
2019-12
Date
Dec-19
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Police increasingly encounter citizens who challenge constitutional boundaries between civil rights and police power. These so-called “civil rights auditors” and “copwatchers” record government officials with cell phones or body cameras, while baiting or challenging them to cross constitutional lines established by the First Amendment. An officer reacting incorrectly in these encounters can—through action or inaction—create conflict, loss of police legitimacy, or liability for the officers or their agencies. Preliminary examination of auditor activities and current legal and scholarly works leads to the thesis question: What are reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions to civil liberties with regard to recording police, government property, and the public? The author conducts a qualitative analysis of 59 auditor videos representing audits around the nation and identifies common tactics and targets among auditors, which provides scenarios for legal analysis and a policy review. This thesis reveals two things. First, auditors are not part of the legal, scholarly, and policy discussions and decision making; and second, through other areas of First Amendment case law, the Supreme Court has developed a framework for First Amendment challenges that directly applies to auditors. The author applies this framework to the 10 locations commonly targeted by auditors.
Type
Thesis
Description
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
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Copyright is reserved by the copyright owner.
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