Los Angeles Paramedics Encroached on My Rights; Violated Their Own Policy

On March 12, 2015, in a letter address to “All Officers, Emergency Operations”, Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Deputy, M.D. Rueda, notified LAFD staff members that people have the right to record/photograph them as well as patients receiving medical treatment.
That memo went ignored a few months later by two members of Station 29 (including one captain) who took it upon themselves to encroach on my First Amendment rights, harass me and falsely tell me that I was violating HIPAA law because I exercised my constitutional right to take pictures on a public street.
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects the privacy of medical records in most circumstances, but has been routinely abused by paramedics ordering citizens to stop recording in public when treating citizens in full view of the public eye.
Rueda’s advisory stated:
In a public setting, anyone is legally allowed to photograph and/or record our members at work.
And continued:

There are no laws to speak of that prevent the public from filming LAFD activities, including EMS responses, so long as the person recording the event is on their own or public property…

Rueda also addressed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) — which was embarrassingly misspelled HIPPA in his directive — and confirmed that the law doesn’t apply to people taking pictures on a public street.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), which we honor and are bound, has no provision to preclude filming by the public.
So based on the Rueda’s March 12 email, you would think that members of the Los Angeles Fire Department would be well aware of a person’s right to take pictures in public space and respect that right.
But none of that mattered on June 13 when I was photographing a friend whom I’ve known for more than five years who had had also given me permission


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