May 6, 2019 — The Society of Environmental Journalists joined with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 37 other journalism groups in filing an amicus brief supporting plaintiff Levi Frasier in Frasier v. Evans, a case before the 10th Circuit.
Frasier brought the suit alleging First and Fourth Amendment claims against five Denver police officers after the officers detained, questioned and threatened him with arrest after he filmed them on his tablet arresting and beating someone on a public street. Frasier initially denied filming the arrest to the officers, but eventually admitted he had filmed it. Based on the statements of the officer who questioned him, Frasier believed he would be arrested if he did not admit to recording and produce his tablet. The officers let Frasier go after they looked through the tablet (without Frasier's permission) and were not able to find a recording of the arrest. Frasier later shared the recording with a local TV station, who reported on the arrest and the video.
The amicus brief filed by the journalism groups supports Frasier's argument that the First Amendment right to record police in public was clearly established during the time of the incident at issue, in August 2014, in addition to the right being clearly established now.