Look around at any big event and you'll see lots of people holding up their phones, recording the festivities.
The Republican National Convention is no different for delegates inside the Forum, as well as protesters outside. When it comes to video, the Tampa Police Department plans to roll with it.
"We've trained our officers, especially the ones who will be on the front lines, the day-to-day operations of the RNC," says Laura McElroy, Public Information Officer with TPD. "This is a political event and these demonstrations are a very important part of the political process and it's our job to create a safe environment for that, not to restrict it."
But you can find examples all over the internet of law enforcement arresting people for simply taking video of police doing their job.
"I don't think I'd like to be videotaped doing my job, and they simply don't like it," says Andrea Mogensen, a criminal defense attorney in Sarasota. "They're used to having authority and they have a tendency to exercise it wrongly."
Mogensen represents Steve Horrigan, a motorist who was wrongfully arrested earlier this year by North Port Police. Horrigan videotaped a traffic stop and when he wouldn't turn off the camera, he was arrested and charged with the interception of wire or oral communication, and obstructing and resisting police.
All charges were later dropped by the State Attorney's Office, which is what happens in most cases around the country.
"Each citizen has a right to videotape anything that's in plain view in public, including federal buildings, law enforcement. If it's in a public place, you have a right to record those people and events," Mogensen said.
According to state law, the only illegal act is to secretly record audio.
"People have been taping law enforcement for decades, but what's changed things is for one, we all have a video recorder in our pocket; and two, now we have Youtube, so when they capture something that seems inappropriate or is inappropriate, and it can go absolutely viral," Mogenson said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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