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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for "the other side" of the question of recording an encounter with police, such as a traffic stop. I am pleased to say that this is purely hypothetical. My view is that there is no reason why a person should be prevented from recording (audio or video) a police encounter. I limit this opinion to recording by the subject of the encounter, not a bystander. There are numerous advantages to being able to record, it seems. Are there disadvantages? Are there ways that this could endanger an officer, create an undue burden to their work, etc? And, for that matter, is it permissible to record an encounter in Utah? Thanks.
 

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Utah is a "One Party" state, meaning that only one party involved in the conversation has to be aware that the conversation is being recorded. As long as you are a part of the conversation, you can record it. I carry a small digital voice recorder with me at all times, especially when I am OCing, to record encounters with LEO or private citizens who might wish to harass me.
 

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This is a good question, hopefully one of our LEOs can help you out - or someone versed in the law. I, myself, would like to know the answer.

ScottyT said:
Utah is a "One Party" state, meaning that only one party involved in the conversation has to be aware that the conversation is being recorded. As long as you are a part of the conversation, you can record it. I carry a small digital voice recorder with me at all times, especially when I am OCing, to record encounters with LEO or private citizens who might wish to harass me.
Do you have references to laws that support what you're saying? Not that I doubt you, but I would like to know that I can in fact do this (especially with a LEO) during a traffic stop.

Thanks!
 

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GeneticsDave said:
This is a good question, hopefully one of our LEOs can help you out - or someone versed in the law. I, myself, would like to know the answer.

ScottyT said:
Utah is a "One Party" state, meaning that only one party involved in the conversation has to be aware that the conversation is being recorded. As long as you are a part of the conversation, you can record it. I carry a small digital voice recorder with me at all times, especially when I am OCing, to record encounters with LEO or private citizens who might wish to harass me.
Do you have references to laws that support what you're saying? Not that I doubt you, but I would like to know that I can in fact do this (especially with a LEO) during a traffic stop.

Thanks!
77-23a-4 (7b)

There is no requirement to tell the officer that you're recording the conversation. As a matter of fact, he's probably recording the conversation as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
GeneticsDave said:
There is no requirement to tell the officer that you're recording the conversation. As a matter of fact, he's probably recording the conversation as well.
That's a concern. While I believe that most cops are honest, it's always possible to get the one that might decide to lose the recording if it works against them. I hate to think of that possibility, but it's there nonetheless. However, I would be interested to know would happen if an officer demanded that a person stop recording. The law seems to say they can't, but should a person continue anyway, rather than give up evidence? The easy answer is just to make sure the officer doesn't know, I suppose.
 

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treesloth said:
While I believe that most cops are honest, it's always possible to get the one that might decide to lose the recording if it works against them. I hate to think of that possibility, but it's there nonetheless. However, I would be interested to know would happen if an officer demanded that a person stop recording. The law seems to say they can't, but should a person continue anyway, rather than give up evidence? The easy answer is just to make sure the officer doesn't know, I suppose.
I think the answer is to carry a recorder that's also an MP3 player, and just don't tell them you're recording. If they don't arrest you, they'll never have any idea. If they do arrest you and take your stuff, they'll probably just think the device is an MP3 player (keep some tunes on it).
 

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treesloth said:
tmg said:
There is no requirement to tell the officer that you're recording the conversation. As a matter of fact, he's probably recording the conversation as well.
That's a concern. While I believe that most cops are honest, it's always possible to get the one that might decide to lose the recording if it works against them. I hate to think of that possibility, but it's there nonetheless. However, I would be interested to know would happen if an officer demanded that a person stop recording. The law seems to say they can't, but should a person continue anyway, rather than give up evidence? The easy answer is just to make sure the officer doesn't know, I suppose.
I'm not sure why this is a 'Concern'? Is it new information to you that most LEO's record their conversations during traffic stops?
Also, I would be very surprised if an an LEO in Utah would tell you to stop recording; unless of course your attempt to record 'interferes' with the stop/investigation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
tmg said:
I'm not sure why this is a 'Concern'? Is it new information to you that most LEO's record their conversations during traffic stops?
Also, I would be very surprised if an an LEO in Utah would tell you to stop recording; unless of course your attempt to record 'interferes' with the stop/investigation.
Nope, it's not new information. The problem, as I see it, is that if the police have the only recording of the event, one has to rely on them to retain and present that evidence fairly and without alteration. In general, I trust the police to behave fairly and honestly, a perception reinforced by personal interaction with a number of officers. Fortunately, said interaction was from the good side of the law. However, a general perception does not a hard and fast rule make, and I would hate to encounter the one officer that's willing to lose inconvenient evidence, etc.

Like I said, though, this is truly a hypothetical question.
 

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Thanks for all the info guys. I wasn't ever too clear on laws regarding recording a conversation. From all those "This call may be recorded for quality assurance" statements on the phone I thought I might have to say something stupid like "This conversation may be recorded to verify actual conversation."

Nice to know, now I just need to dig up my digital recorder and load up some fresh batteries (argh, another thing to carry) - do you think BlackHawk makes a carbon fiber holster for digital recorders? :lolbang:
 

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GeneticsDave said:
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Nice to know, now I just need to dig up my digital recorder and load up some fresh batteries (argh, another thing to carry)
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Just put it in your bat-belt. You have one, right? :lol2:
It seems that with the gun, cell phone, leatherman, yada yada yada, I might as well put it all in a bat-belt.
 

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Jeff Johnson said:
GeneticsDave said:
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Nice to know, now I just need to dig up my digital recorder and load up some fresh batteries (argh, another thing to carry)
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Just put it in your bat-belt. You have one, right? :lol2:
It seems that with the gun, cell phone, leatherman, yada yada yada, I might as well put it all in a bat-belt.
Anymore it is hard to sit down.
Items on the belt: Gun, Spare Mag, Leatherman/mini-maglite combo, PDA style cellphone, Pager (work required), Voice recorder (try a mikes mag holder), Pepper spray, gloves.
Items in pocket: Cellphone charger/computer link, chapstick, lighter, Jump drive, Knife, Huge wad of keys, Pen/notebook, spare batteries (2AA), Wallet, Meds, spare change.
Other items: Sunglasses, Bluetooth headset, BUG (back up gun, ankle).

Sadly all this stuff gets used daily (with exceptions of guns/mags, pepper spray, and spare batteries) :swat:
 

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xmirage2kx said:
Jeff Johnson said:
GeneticsDave said:
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Nice to know, now I just need to dig up my digital recorder and load up some fresh batteries (argh, another thing to carry)
...
Just put it in your bat-belt. You have one, right? :lol2:
It seems that with the gun, cell phone, leatherman, yada yada yada, I might as well put it all in a bat-belt.
Anymore it is hard to sit down.
Items on the belt: Gun, Spare Mag, Leatherman/mini-maglite combo, PDA style cellphone, Pager (work required), Voice recorder (try a mikes mag holder), Pepper spray, gloves.
Items in pocket: Cellphone charger/computer link, chapstick, lighter, Jump drive, Knife, Huge wad of keys, Pen/notebook, spare batteries (2AA), Wallet, Meds, spare change.
Other items: Sunglasses, Bluetooth headset, BUG (back up gun, ankle).

Sadly all this stuff gets used daily (with exceptions of guns/mags, pepper spray, and spare batteries) :swat:
And I thought I carried a lot of stuff :shock:
 

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xmirage2kx said:
Jeff Johnson said:
GeneticsDave said:
...
Nice to know, now I just need to dig up my digital recorder and load up some fresh batteries (argh, another thing to carry)
...
Just put it in your bat-belt. You have one, right? :lol2:
It seems that with the gun, cell phone, leatherman, yada yada yada, I might as well put it all in a bat-belt.
Anymore it is hard to sit down.
Items on the belt: Gun, Spare Mag, Leatherman/mini-maglite combo, PDA style cellphone, Pager (work required), Voice recorder (try a mikes mag holder), Pepper spray, gloves.
Items in pocket: Cellphone charger/computer link, chapstick, lighter, Jump drive, Knife, Huge wad of keys, Pen/notebook, spare batteries (2AA), Wallet, Meds, spare change.
Other items: Sunglasses, Bluetooth headset, BUG (back up gun, ankle).

Sadly all this stuff gets used daily (with exceptions of guns/mags, pepper spray, and spare batteries) :swat:
Wow, that's C*R*A*Z*Y!!!! I hate having stuff in my pockets, I just don't know how you do it!
Seriously, you should just carry a backpack with you! :lolbang:
 

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GeneticsDave said:
Well xmirage2kx, you had better stay away from open water, there's NO way you will float! :lolbang:
LOL.... I am sure if I dug deep enough I would find an inflatable life vest in one of my pockets.

Oh, Upon digging I also found a pair of earplugs and a 1/2 pack of tissues (stupid springtime)
 

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xmirage2kx said:
GeneticsDave said:
Well xmirage2kx, you had better stay away from open water, there's NO way you will float! :lolbang:
LOL.... I am sure if I dug deep enough I would find an inflatable life vest in one of my pockets.

Oh, Upon digging I also found a pair of earplugs and a 1/2 pack of tissues (stupid springtime)
My gads, man, what sort of pockets are these you have???? "Magical Bags of Holding"??? :lolbang:
 

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GeneticsDave said:
Well xmirage2kx, you had better stay away from open water, there's NO way you will float! :lolbang:
Hey, xmirage, maybe you should add one of those inflatable life preservers. They have some pretty compact ones, and it wouldn't add much to your present load.
 
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