Court upholds arrest of Florida mom for phone recording of Boynton police

FORT LAUDERDALE — Before you fire up your smart phone to record potential misconduct by a Florida police officer in public know this: it could land you behind bars.

A recent divided Florida appeals court ruling in early May 2021 upheld the arrest of a woman who recorded officers outside a Palm Beach County movie theater.

The decision in a Boynton Beach case comes amid the nation’s racial justice awakening, after deadly police encounters with Black citizens were caught on camera. And it leaves open the question of whether a person recording George Floyd’s murder could have been arrested in Florida.

Officers had the authority to arrest a young mother named Tasha Ford who recorded them detaining her teenage son in 2009, based on a 2-1 opinion by judges at the 4th District Court of Appeal.