NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Colonel Richard McKeon has been the top cop at the state police for a very short time, but he’s already made a big change that could affect the public and future cases involving police.
It’s a change for the Massachusetts state police, newly sworn-in state police colonel Richard McKeon is inviting the public to videotape troopers while they are in a public setting. At his swearing-in ceremony Thursday, McKeon said police across the country are changing.
Colonel Mckeon said that that the state police cannot do their jobs without the trust of the public, he said his troopers have nothing to hide and he wants them to be held accountable.
“I think it’s a good think that he’s done but we don’t need his permission to do it. You and I and everyone have a constitutionally guaranteed right to be able to video record and audio record performing their function in a public place,” said Attorney William Newman of ACLU, Director of Western Massachusetts Legal Office.
However, Attorney Newman also told 22News that a person’s constitutional right to video tape only goes up to the point that they are not interfering with police work.
“I work as a paramedic in Springfield and I see people videotaping and you’re always told that there’s that possibility that you might be on camera. It certainly can get in the way more than anything else” said Riley Liptack of Northampton.
Attorney Newman also added that he’s worked on cases involving police, and many times cellphone video has been helpful.
When asked about body cameras, Colonel McKeon said it’s a huge expense, but it’s an option they will continue to explore.