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BPD and BFD are Misusing HIPAA as an Excuse to Violate our Right to Watch

On 1-20-18 Andrea witnessed an incident where BPD detained a man and handcuffed him on Shattuck Ave. When he complained of nausea, Berkeley Fire Department was called.

BFD Captain Sullivan threatened to have BPD “escort” Andrea from the scene to prevent her from watching and recording. He cited Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations as a reason.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects your health information from covered entities, such as health plans, healthcare providers and healthcare clearing houses, and their business associates. It does NOT apply to unaffiliated passersby. We have a 1st Amendment right to watch. BPD and now BFD are misusing HIPAA as an excuse for violating their own General Orders and our rights.

We have the right to record public officials in a public place. BPD must stop violating our right to watch. Read the Glik decision:

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