Is It Legal to Film Police in Idaho?
There is a case that U.S. government lawyers took to the appeals court this week overseeing Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah and the parts of Yellowstone National Park that lie in Idaho and Montana. This would recognize that the First Amendment guarantee of free speech gives people the right to film police as they do their work in public. This would also make it so that police are not allowed to interfere with a person or bystander filming, or the officers could be sued.
According to spokesman.com "Six of the nation’s 12 appeals courts have recognized that right but the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has not, and justices heard arguments in the case of a YouTube journalist and blogger who claimed that a suburban Denver officer blocked him from recording a 2019 traffic stop. The appeals court has rule over Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah and the parts of Yellowstone National Park that lie in Idaho and Montana."
In most of Idaho it is legal, other than the portion of Idaho that is part of Yellowstone National Park but police usually are not a fans of being filmed while they are trying to do their jobs, especially if people filming get in the way.
According to local attorneys Wielang & Herring, "Yes. The short answer is yes, as long as you’re in a public area and not interfering with what the officer is doing. The ACLU of Idaho provides some more specific guidelines. But … The catch is that even though the legal right to film police is “clearly established,” in practice you still might get arrested for it."
A website called CopBlock has a lot of information and tips on filming police saying "Documenting the actions of police employees can help protect you and others because it creates an objective record. You have the right to record anything in public – including, and some would say, especially – police employees. Though police employees are people just like you and me, courts have ruled that police can lie to you, and that they may not be held accountable for their actions per unfair legal doctrines and practice like “sovereign immunity” and “acting under color of law”."