What Police Need To Know About Social Media And The First Amendment

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 12:29pm
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Controversial social media activity by law enforcement officers have dominated headlines in recent months.

The Plain View Project revealed earlier this summer that hundreds of police officers around the country have posted offensive, bigoted and inflammatory things on social media — including nearly 100 officers here in Phoenix.

That report, for many, is raising questions about what First Amendment rights officers have when it comes to posting online.

Val Van Brocklin is an international law enforcement trainer as well a former state and federal prosecutor. She trains police officers on how to approach social media — without hurting their reputations or costing them their jobs.

In a recent op-ed, she wrote that she condemns the kind of bigotry we’ve seen some law enforcement expressing online. But she said there are also plenty of examples in which officers are just posting things that are reckless, things that make their jobs harder and degrade the public trust.

So The Show asked her why it's so important for officers to be conscious about what they post online.

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