IT IS 100% LEGAL TO RECORD THE POLICE, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
As a U.S. citizen, you have the ABSOLUTE right to record the police in the course of their public duties. The police don’t have a right to stop you, so long as you are not interfering with their official “lawful” duties. They also don’t have a right to confiscate your cellphone or camera, or delete its contents, just because you were recording them. And more recently, law enforcement officers cannot search your cellphone without a warrant.
Despite some state laws that make it illegal to record others without their consent, federal courts have held consistently that citizens have a First Amendment right to record the police as they perform their official duties in public. The Supreme Court also recently affirmed that the Fourth Amendment, protecting citizens from unlawful searches and seizures, meaning that police must obtain a signed search warrant if they want to take your cellphone. And the U.S. Department of Justice has also affirmed the court’s stances by reminding police departments that they are not supposed to harass citizens if they are recording them in public, but that is a whole different post my friends!
Sadly, these rights are not always respected by the police.