Filling the Gap: The Need For Legislative Action To Protect The Right To Record Police In The Age Of Citizen Journalism

Fall 2023 by Madalyn J. Goolsby |

The streets of Louisiana were buzzing with excitement as Mardi Gras celebrations unfolded, but the atmosphere quickly turned chaotic when a brawl erupted. Among the parade-goers caught in the fray was Jacobi Cage, a twenty-year-old former high school athlete with no criminal record. Despite not being involved in the altercation, Cage found himself on the wrong side of the law when Sergeant Dowling, a police officer at the scene, accused him of hurling obscenities at a fellow officer. What followed was a nightmare that would haunt Cage for months to come. According to the police report, Sergeant Dowling attempted to remove Cage from the scene quietly, only for Cage to become physically violent and swing at the officer. As a result, Sergeant Dowling forced Cage to the ground and arrested him for battery of an officer and resisting arrest. With the weight of the criminal justice system bearing down on him, Cage protested his innocence to his friends and family. But it wasn’t until Cage scrolled through his Twitter feed that he discovered a piece of evidence that would change everything. A video titled “man just recording got assaulted and arrested for nothing” showed what had really happened that night.

The above is an excerpt from an article by Madalyn J. Goolsby published in the Fall 2023 edition of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review. A third-year law student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, upon graduation Madalyn will serve as a law clerk for the Hon. Lavenski R. Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit before joining Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull as a litigation associate. You may click the link below to read the full article.