Since the killing by police of Michael Brown in Ferguson nearly two years ago, protesters, witnesses, and victims of police brutality have increasingly taken to their phones to monitor and record police behavior, posting their videos on social media to shed light on the official narrative of events.
Several individuals who have documented and publicized police violence against people of color have since alleged police harassment and retaliation.
The First Amendment protects all individuals from being punished for recording or disseminating information related to government misconduct. Police must be trained on the First Amendment right to record, and that right must be guaranteed to all.
Please stand with PEN America, People Demanding Action, and the ACLU in calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate this troubling trend of police retaliation against citizen journalists and enforce its policies on First Amendment rights.
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