Monday, July 7, 2014

VIDEO: Brighton, NY Police officer Richard Kosakowski on Citizens First Amendment Right to Record Law Enforcement; "It keeps everyone honest... I'm all for it."

Brighton, NY Police officer Richard Kosakowski
By Davy V.

It's not everyday that I run across a police officer who supports citizens' first amendment right to video record and photograph law enforcement officers.

Even more rare is finding a police officer who not only supports the right to record, but who will, without any hesitation whatsoever, openly express his support of the first amendment.

On camera.

Well, that's exactly what Brighton, NY Police officer Richard Kosakowski did, Sunday afternoon when I surprised him, and BPD officer Woodard, who were conducting a roadside radar detail on Brighton Henrietta Town Line Rd., in Brighton, NY, a suburb of Rochester, NY.

Or perhaps, I should say that officer Kosakowski surprised me.

"I'm a big fan of everything being recorded," Brighton Police officer Richard Kosakowski tells me.

"I think it goes both ways, you like to protect yourself, and we like to protect ourselves."


And right there, Brighton Police officer Richard Kosakowski hits on a great point.

A point I gave been making for years.

When it comes to video recording, I believe many law enforcement officers immediately look at a citizen exercising his or her first amendment right to record, as a somehow adversarial thing.

It's not.

In fact, a police officer who is doing his or her job professionally, who is not engaged in any abusive, and/or rogue behavior, should not only have nothing to fear about being video recorded, but they should actually welcome it.

You see, video not only protects the citizen, it also protects the police officer.

Like I tell officer Kosakowski in the video below, video documentation can actually exonerate a law enforcement officer from a false allegation of misconduct, including excessive force, etc.

And Brighton Police officer Richard Kosakowski gets it.

"I came from a police agency where we had cameras, and body microphones, so I'm all for it."

That police department officer Kosakowski was referring to is the Utica, NY Police Department.

Thank you officer Kosakowski.

Thank you for not only understanding citizens first amendment right to record, but most importantly, for respecting that right.

Click Play to watch video.

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