All About First Amendment Audits

A recent phenomenon, “First Amendment Audits” – in which citizen activists videotape in public spaces – has been sweeping the nation.

Most First Amendment Audits primarily target law enforcement agencies, town officials, public libraries, or other state and local agencies. With COVID restrictions loosening, we could see more instances of residents testing their rights to create video recordings in public places.

Lawyer Eric Shytle explains the legal and historical background of the First Amendment Audits phenomenon, as well as ways on how staff in public places can prepare for this practice.


This Zoom / Facebook Live was recorded on June 8, 2021. Q&A with Participants included at the end.

Eric Shytle

Eric Shytle has been General Counsel of the Municipal Association of South Carolina since March 2019. Before joining the Association, Eric was general counsel of the City of Sumter, South Carolina, for eight years and a public finance lawyer in private practice for 12 years. He has been recognized by the International Municipal Lawyers Association as a Local Government Fellow, and he received a national award for educational service to municipal lawyers. Eric received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and his master’s in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.