As much as I hate to say it. The police by their own attitudes have become the enemy. If a law enforcement officer has a problem with being video taped, they need to find a different job. The human brain sucks at memory under stress. A video camera is unbiased and unforgiving to those in the wrong, which is why they hate it. If you don’t want to be video taped, don’t be a public servant.
Any officer that has a problem with me video taping them while acting in an official capacity is a criminal acting under the protection of the state. Period. Lawdog had the comment regarding evidence collection. I have no problem providing my name, address, phone number, and even identification as a material witness. While they do have a right to obtain the evidence, especially with regard to investigating possible police misconduct, they have a nasty habit of just deleting files off the phone. I will deal with the courts and a subpoena and provide you an unaltered copy of the data. You will not be allowed to delete the original which is what happens oh so often.
This is why I left auto uploads enabled on my new phone. Immediately after taking a picture or video it starts uploading it online. I can immediately lock my phone at the push of a button. I can also have my wife remotely wipe my phone so they cannot gain access to the online services where it was uploaded. I do not have to surrender my phone because there may be other material available on that phone which becomes a 4th and 5th amendment issue. You wanting a video file doesn’t allow you to search through all my email which is now available on my phone. Surrendering my phone to you implies possession and if there’s some picture on there that can be construed as illegal it can be used against me. I don’t record illegal acts, but I can tell you video and pictures of explosives being seen by a cop who doesn’t know who I am is going to land me in a world of shit. I will email them a copy of the video, on scene, immediately, unaltered. See that’s the thing about technology. They don’t need the device itself, it’s not tapes anymore, it’s a fucking file!
Generic witnesses do not have a horse in the race and it does not benefit them to alter or destroy evidence. The cops however have a horse in the race. They have qualified immunity to protect them and they don’t want evidence to show that they did something wrong. They want anything and everything to stack in their favor to keep them from becoming Accountabilibuddyable.