Protecting the Law Enforcement Officers Who Protect and Serve

Scartelli Olszewski P.C.

Smile, officer! You’re on camera. As we’ve seen on the news over the past year, this is increasingly the case for police officers as they go about their business of protecting and serving the public. These days, with almost everyone carrying video cameras in their pockets, it can seem as though almost every patrol, arrest, and traffic stop ends up posted to the Internet. Though the questions of where and when citizens have a right to photograph or video record police performing their duties remain open in some jurisdictions, numerous state and local courts have ruled in favor of photographers and videographers. The U.S. Department of Justice in 2013 referred to First Amendment protection of citizens recording police activity in public as “settled law.” Police officers should assume, while on duty in public spaces, that anything they do could potentially be viewed by millions of people. Unfortunately, as we’ve learned, amateur photos and video don’t necessarily tell the public the whole story about police officers’ interactions with the people who depend upon them. That lack of information doesn’t stop public opinion from jumping to unfavorable conclusions about the appropriateness of police decisions, even when those decisions are made rapidly and in accordance with established practices for ensuring the safety of officers and the public. Police officers who find themselves convicted in the court of public opinion on the strength of a few seconds of blurry video footage sometimes feel abandoned by erstwhile allies such as their colleagues, commanding officers, union representatives, or even friends and neighbors. If you are a law enforcement officer who has become wrapped up in a media-fueled photo or video controversy, you need a lawyer like Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr. on your side. Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr. is not merely a defense attorney. He spent years serving the public as district attorney of Luzerne County and then as a judge in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. He has 30 years of litigation experience on both sides of the bench. Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr. has spent his entire career inside the justice system, working with and understanding the challenges faced by law enforcement while expertly handling the pressure and scrutiny that increased media attention brings to high-profile cases. Now in private practice, Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr. is uniquely equipped to defend your career, your reputation, your assets, and your freedom. If a clip on YouTube is telling someone else’s side of the story, call the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre attorneys of Scartelli Olszewski and ask for Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr.