In a watershed ruling recognizing a presumptive free speech right to televise court proceedings, the Supreme Court justice assigned to the trial of four police officers accused of murdering Amadou Diallo declared unconstitutional New York’s 48-year-old ban on audio-visual coverage of trials.

In Albany, Justice Joseph C. Teresi held that Section 52 of the New York Civil Rights Law, which has banned cameras and recording devices from the state’s trial courtrooms since 1952, violates the free speech clauses of both the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, �8 of the New York State Constitution.