Hemet, CA asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Securities Law for California

Q: In California, Are police officers allowed to tamper with or vandalize security cameras on private/residential property?

Police officers came to the home of my mother-in-law because her son was in violation of his probation. They [Police officers] entered our home and noticed our security camera and immediately disconnected it. When I asked why he did that, he said, "because we're supposed to. It's illegal to record police officers during an investigstion". After they [police] left, I went to review our outdoor security cameras and noticed that the screens were all blacked out. I went outside and saw that the wires from the cameras were all cut. I was able to review the dvr recording and saw that the police officers did infact disconnect my security cameras by cutting the wires. Was any of this tampering legal?

1 Lawyer Answer
Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Jess Ranch, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You don't mention whether the police were given permission to enter the premises under the circumstances you described. Causing property damage during such a call at private property is not proper or legal, in my opinion. Disabling the recording system is one thing, but damaging the system by cutting wires goes beyond what is reasonable. But then the question is, what can you do about it? The answer is, not much except make a claim for the damages they caused.

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