TX Bill Would Limit Photographing Cops, Discriminate Against Anyone Carrying a Gun

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With the progress of a bill moving through the Texas legislature that would legalize the open carry of handguns (at least for CCW license holders), Second Amendment rights in the Lone Star state seem to be on the cusp of marked improvement. But that’s apparently a signal to at least one state representative that it’s time to roll back First Amendment freedoms. “A bill restricting the rights of citizens to record the police was filed in Texas House of Representatives on Tuesday. The House Bill 2918 introduced by Texas Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) would make private citizens photographing or recording the police within 25 feet of them a class B misdemeanor.” Hold on, it gets worse . . .

Under Representative Villalba’s bill, if you’re a gun owner, you have to stay back 100 feet if you intend to fire up your iPhone camera. The only exceptions to the stand-off limits in the bill are reserved for the “professional” media defined as

a radio or television (station) that holds a license issued by the Federal Communications Commission, a newspaper that is qualified under section 2051.044 or a magazine that appears at a regular interval

So Rep. Villalba is OK with Brian Williams, Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair recording Officer Krupke making an arrest, but Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public will have to step to the back of the bus.

As the chron.com article points out, Rep. Villalba’s little exercise in governmental media accreditation with a soupçon of blatant discrimination against those who exercise their right to keep and bear arms runs afoul of at least one appeals court decision. The real question is whether any Texas law enforcement agencies are pushing for Villalba’s fascist proposal from behind the scenes. And if so, what are they trying to hide?

 

comments

  1. avatar Paul G says:

    I never realized the BoR was meant to be treated like a menu at a Chinese restaurant.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      Can I get a #2 with extra machine guns and a #5 with no income tax?

    2. avatar Custodian says:

      To quote Egg Shen, “it’s like your happy family dish, take what you want, and leave the rest”.

  2. avatar joel says:

    this is a joke right?

    If not, Robert please keep us up to speed if it looks like there is even a chance this might pass….

    1. Do I look like I’m laughing?

    2. avatar Publius says:

      It’s Texas and the bill was introduced by Republicans. It’ll almost certainly pass.

      1. avatar mrwiizrd says:

        The bill has no co-sponsors. Republican or not, this bill is DOA in addition to being blatantly unconstitutional.

        Villaba isn’t backing down though, hiding behind the guise of police safety, not that matters since its a non-starter.

        1. avatar Model 31 says:

          Cameras have always been a real danger.

        2. avatar Jeff in CO says:

          “Cameras have always been a real danger.”

          You are right on this one! There is no reason why ANYONE (other than government officials) need’s more than a 10MB capacity clip-card. We need to ban those “high-capacity” clip-cards that are so often found in cameras these days. There is nothing worse than when one of these cameras not only catches the “controversial moment,” but then captures the 5-minutes leading up to that moment.

      2. avatar Skyler says:

        This is Texas where the legislature sits every two years and they have a deadline of today to introduce bills. I heard on the radio today that something like 10,000 bills have been introduced this year.

        Don’t get too worried. This is likely not going anywhere, and even if it goes to a vote it’s not likely to pass, and if it passes it is unconstitutional.

        1. avatar dh34 says:

          6108 bills filed. 7988 if you count resolutions and non-binding stuff. Nearly 3000 of those filed this week alone. Most likely this will die in committee.

        2. avatar sagebrushracer says:

          don’t sit on your ass and assume that if its unconstitutional, it will never pass or be enforced. I know that living with unconstitutional laws sucks, being from CA and all…

          get vocal and fight or bend over and say yes please. there is no middle ground.

      3. avatar LKB says:

        methinks you’re not from around here . . . .

        Nothing in the Texas House makes it to the floor without the support of leadership, which is why the Texas Speaker of the House is generally regarded as having more power than the governor. I’ve seen nothing that even remotely suggests that this bill has such support.

        Moreover, unless legislation has the support of 3/5th’s of the state Senate (used to be 2/3d’s), it’ll never see the floor of the the upper chamber. Not gonna happen.

        And even if it passed both houses, the guv is no dummy and knows the constitution (he was formerally the attorney general of Texas, and was pretty good in that role), and I’d bet he’d veto it.

        It’s all part of the Texas system — the Leg only meets for a few months every other year, and it’s not easy to pass anything without broad support. Good but not perfect recipe for limited government.

        1. avatar Ryan Barrett says:

          The fact that he is able to present it to the congress at all is frightening because bills have to go through a process that filters out the nonsense, and obviously, this one has made it through that process. Also, if the people do not raise a fuss, unconstitutional laws can easily be made. You Texas folk had better get on the phone and email right now and put this clown in his place.

    3. avatar notalima says:

      Might as well have labeled the bill:

      “A bill to protect a police officer’s ability to abuse citizens.”

      Damn those cameras. Abusing peoples nature, civil and constitutional rights would be soooo much easier if it wasn’t for those darn cameras. Oh….

  3. avatar BigBoy says:

    Why do the police so like to operate in SECRET? Is this the USSR?

    1. avatar Frank Masotti says:

      The police don’t believe they should be held to the same laws as we do. Thus they do not want people pointing out when they do.

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      The article quotes him claiming that he wants them to stay back so they don’t interfere with the police activity. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t the bill state that everybody must stay back 25 feet? Maybe he’s worried about the EM field of the camera.

      Also, since he thinks gun carriers need to stay back 100 feet, does that mean guns have a stronger investigative interference field than a camera?

      One would think that if his true goal was to prevent people from interfering with an investigation, he’d propose a law that does just that. But that would be pointless, because Texas already has such a law.

      1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        He wouldn’t need to propose such a law, since we already have one and it’s already a Class B Misdemeanor (up to 180 imprisonment and/or up to $2,000 fine):

        Texas Penal Code, Title 8, Offenses against public administration, Chapter 38, Obstructing governmental operation, Section 38.15, Interference with public duties.
        “A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or otherwise interferes with: a peace officer while the peace officer is performing a duty or exercising authority imposed or granted by law.”

        This hack’s bill sounds like typical political grandstanding. “Look at me! I support the Second Amendment (and the First), but…………..cops need to go home safely, no matter how much they trample upon your innocuous exercise of your rights.”

        1. avatar Slicer87 says:

          This is Reps are not really better than the Dems, both wants to screw us over royal but in different ways. Two sides of the same bad penny.

  4. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Well this bill will be backed by the drive by media. They HATE the fact that average people can video things going on and post it on you tube.

    1. avatar BDub says:

      But the media gets half of their footage by buying it off locals who filmed at a scene, hehe.

  5. avatar Gatha58 says:

    100 feet is far enough away that nobody could get a clear picture or video. Is that the intent of this? If so, it seems to be a clear infringement of free speech and freedom of the press. Think this idiot needs to be voted out of office ASAP.

  6. avatar Mmmtacos says:

    I had to look up his district to see if I could blame my coworker for voting this kook. No go.

    Seriously, what is the impetus for this bill? It’s a disgusting proposal that blatantly disregards the first two amendments of the US constitution.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Maybe the impetus is that he just wants to remind people that the Democrats don’t have a monopoly on statist pricks with no respect for your rights.

  7. avatar S.CROCK says:

    Wow even terrible states like ca, ny, ct, etc only try to destroy one amendment… at a time. TX is really going out of their way to see how many amendments they can destroy in one bill.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Well, it’s sponsored by a Democrat. They’re not big on constitutional rights, regardless of the state.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Villalba claims to be a Republican.

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          Oops. Mea Culpa.

      2. avatar S.CROCK says:

        “Well, it’s sponsored by a politician. They’re not big on constitutional rights, regardless of the state.”

        Made a minor correction to that. Not always true but close enough.

  8. avatar foo dog says:

    Texas is in the Fifth CA. Boston is in the 1st CA, where Glik rules, but is only citeable, as precedent in the 5th. IANAL, so please correct me, Ralph or anyone else who knows the law, with link.

    Here is a good article on laymans explanation, for why to know your state laws, and local LEA application.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/a9063/yes-you-have-the-right-to-record-the-police-analysis-15558522/

    A good legal paper by Professor of Con Law in Tennessee, aka Instapundit, who is like minded with RF, I think:
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2043907

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Maybe Texas will be foolish enough to pass it, so similar case law can be established in that circuit, as well.

      1. avatar foo dog says:

        I’d much prefer a legislator with an R to sponsor a law making the right to record, crystal clear. But then I would have guessed TX would have already had open carry hangun, and passed constitutional carry, by now.

        Whats up with that, anyway? Democrats still bent about KKKory Dip$hit of OCD Texas?

        1. avatar Skyler says:

          Texas, despite its reputation, is still recovering from a century of democratic dominance. Except for about 8 years during reconstruction, Texas has had not had any republican governors. Bush was the third republican governor in since 1874, and he started as governor in 1995. We have a lot of catching up to do, but we’re getting there.

        2. avatar karlb says:

          And one more time, let’s remind the readers that Democrats were the conservatives, especially in the south.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Most definitely WRONG! The First Circuit Court of Appeal decision is binding on ALL federal district courts UNLESS there is a contrary court of appeals decision, and is citeable in ALL federal courts, from the district courts all the way up to the Supreme Court. (In fact, under the federal rules, all federal cases are citeable whether they’ve been published or not.) If there is a conflict in the authority, the trial court judge is free to select the decision which he believes is correct; however, he will probably side with any decision in his own circuit over that in another circuit.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        “The First Circuit Court of Appeal decision is binding on ALL federal district courts UNLESS there is a contrary court of appeals decision …”

        That doesn’t even make sense because some Circuit Court of Appeals has to make the first decision when previously there was no case/decision. Once that Circuit decides a case, it has to be binding upon other Circuits and they would never be able to create a split. And yet we have splits in the Circuits all the time.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          Read it again. A singular court of appeals decision is binding on all TRIAL courts (i.e., federal district courts) unless and until some other court of appeal comes along and says something different. when there are two Circuit Court of Appeals decisions on the same subject coming to contrary conclusions, the district court can follow either, but as a matter of comity, will usually follow any decision made in the circuit in which that district court sits. Courts of Appeals are bound (by comity) with decisions within their own circuit, and by all Supreme Court decisions, but not by the decisions of any other court of appeals. Are we clear yet?

      2. avatar foo dog says:

        Thanks, Mark N. I appreciate it, as I was just pulling that out of my A$$ based on my read of Peruta and the blather on conflicting circuits. Are you a lawyer by chance, or have a handy layperson link or reference I could go back to for light reading?

        Question, as a hypothetical here in CA, to see if I have it straight. I understand CA has a law on phone and other audio recordings requiring prior consent is positively affirmed, by both parties. Is that correct?

        I have read somewhere, probablh an ijternet forum, that some LEAs have applied that to video recording cops in public, by saying that since you cant record AUDIO without permission, that you are breaking the law on video as well, without permission.

        Does Glik give one the right to ignore that law?

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          In California, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in just about anything that happens in public, and no consent is required. the law was originally intended to apply to phone conversations, and it is a felony to record one without consent. The reset I would have to look up, but I do not recall there being any case or cause celebre about phone video recordings.

        2. avatar Mark N. says:

          This is the California eavesdropping statute:

          § 632. Eavesdropping on or recording confidential communicationsCurrentness(a) Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a telegraph, telephone, or other device, except a radio, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section or Section 631, 632.5, 632.6, 632.7, or 636, the person shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.(b) The term “person” includes an individual, business association, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other legal entity, and an individual acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of any government or subdivision thereof, whether federal, state, or local, but excludes an individual known by all parties to a confidential communication to be overhearing or recording the communication.(c) The term “confidential communication” includes any communication carried on in circumstances as may reasonably indicate that any party to the communication desires it to be confined to the parties thereto, but excludes a communication made in a public gathering or in any legislative, judicial, executive or administrative proceeding open to the public, or in any other circumstance in which the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.(d) Except as proof in an action or prosecution for violation of this section, no evidence obtained as a result of eavesdropping upon or recording a confidential communication in violation of this section shall be admissible in any judicial, administrative, legislative, or other proceeding.(e) This section does not apply (1) to any public utility engaged in the business of providing communications services and facilities, or to the officers, employees or agents thereof, where the acts otherwise prohibited by this section are for the purpose of construction, maintenance, conduct or operation of the services and facilities of the public utility, or (2) to the use of any instrument, equipment, facility, or service furnished and used pursuant to the tariffs of a public utility, or (3) to any telephonic communication system used for communication exclusively within a state, county, city and county, or city correctional facility.(f) This section does not apply to the use of hearing aids and similar devices, by persons afflicted with impaired hearing, for the purpose of overcoming the impairment to permit the hearing of sounds ordinarily audible to the human ear.

          Cal. Penal Code § 632 (West)

          By its terms, it applies only to confidential communications–and communications in public are generally not intended to be confidential.

        3. avatar Mark N. says:

          And this is the wiretapping statute (which is not violated by a video):

          (a) Any person who, by means of any machine, instrument, or contrivance, or in any other manner, intentionally taps, or makes any unauthorized connection, whether physically, electrically, acoustically, inductively, or otherwise, with any telegraph or telephone wire, line, cable, or instrument, including the wire, line, cable, or instrument of any internal telephonic communication system, or who willfully and without the consent of all parties to the communication, or in any unauthorized manner, reads, or attempts to read, or to learn the contents or meaning of any message, report, or communication while the same is in transit or passing over any wire, line, or cable, or is being sent from, or received at any place within this state; or who uses, or attempts to use, in any manner, or for any purpose, or to communicate in any way, any information so obtained, or who aids, agrees with, employs, or conspires with any person or persons to unlawfully do, or permit, or cause to be done any of the acts or things mentioned above in this section, is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by both a fine and imprisonment in the county jail or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. If the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section or Section 632, 632.5, 632.6, 632.7, or 636, he or she is punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

          Cal. Penal Code § 631 (West)

      3. avatar LKB says:

        Uh, no.
        Circuit authority is binding on district courts only in their circuit. District courts can and do refuse to follow decisions from other circuits — happens every day. This is basic stuff.
        (And yes, I am a lawyer who specialized in cases that are tried in federal court.)

  9. avatar Chris In Texas says:

    Is that a R beside his name? Haha.

    1. avatar foo dog says:

      Surprises me, to especially in Texas. I’ll leave it to TTAGs Texas residents to explore local politics there.

      Seems to me the Ferguson lesson-learned was pretty clear, as was that article on Muskogee PD, that was head of the ball, and saved a LOT of pain, time, and legal fees showing good cops actions.

      I read somewhere that LAPD or maybe LASD experimented with dashcams, but cops were disabling them…problems with gear, a different culture, dunno…

      Maybe A81 can weigh in with backstory, there,

      and another LEO can give a perspective on why Villabas bill makes sense to cops.

      1. avatar Jeff in CO says:

        As a former LEO, it doesn’t make sense, and I wouldn’t be too quick to assume “the cops” are actually behind this. It could be an upper admin or appointed chief backing it, and they are generally politicians. More and more LEO’s are requesting body cams, and I even know a few that have purchased their own since most departments in this area don’t have them.

        I was recorded many times in recent years, and I also always had an Olympus digital audio recorder running any time I was on a call. I kept the file for 3 months. It was nice when a bogus complaint came in, and I got to hand a recording of what actually happened to IA (interesting how the only person that was cursing was the person filing the complaint). A few times when I noticed a citizen had recorded an encounter where the suspect escalated the situation, I would have them send me the file to use as evidence.

        I worked as if always being recorded, because God does know whether I’m doing the right or wrong thing, and ultimately, I will have to answer to Him. (Character is how you conduct your life when nobody is looking.)

      2. avatar Accur81 says:

        Of the roughly 16,000 pages of manuals and law I have studied so far, we currently do not have body cam policy on our department. However, photographic and video materials are covered under our evidence policy as well as the evidence code. I’m not LAPD or LASO (I don’t state the department to eliminate a possible nexus). The LAPD, as far as I know, is trying to implement a body cam program.

        As far as our policy is concerned, intentionally interfering with recording equipment during an enforcement action makes an officer / sergeant / lieutenant, etc. subject to disciplinary action. The flipside is that our equipment malfunctions. The bluetooth-enable wireless mics have limited range and battery life. We run our gear hard, and it breaks or wears out. Data storage is also an issue. Our video is recorded on standard-definition CDs and placed on a minimum 1-year retention period with appropriate retention period extension for more severe crimes. Hi-def digital storage is not an option due to the fact that our office system has 199 GB of formatted capacity – which is ludicrously sad given that we have about 114 officer in our command. Officers who record video onto their personal laptops do so at their personal expense (albeit tax-deductible) and can have them subjected to the subpoena process. Screw that. Plus body cams are one additional piece of equipment to mess with, and we already have a lot.

        I could easily write an article on body cams, but do not currently have the time. Not sure if that helps.

        1. avatar foo dog says:

          Thanks, A81, as usual you are the level-headed and credible voice of on the ground reality. And I’d never presume to pry, as to your employer, although I’d like to believe they value you as an example of professionalism that you have consistently demonstrated here. Except for that (cough, cough) gumby shooting trick…..j/k.

  10. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Looks like someone needs to lose their job next election.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      If they have recall elections in Texas, the next election needs to be this year.

  11. avatar Hannibal says:

    Someone needs a civics lesson… since the 14th Amendment the states generally can’t ignore the constitution.

    1. avatar Custodian says:

      Well, don’to look now, but all of these states with licensing schemes in place, that infringe on the second amendment, have been thumbing their nose, for a long time now? at the Constitution since the passing of the 14th amendment.

      Then again, it’s only because the federal government does it too.

  12. avatar juliesa says:

    What a shitty bill. I’ll put it on my radar and work to make sure it doesn’t go anywhere.

  13. avatar Bob says:

    I’ll tell you what the cops are trying to hide, their propensity to abuse people at will, especially minorities and the homeless.

  14. avatar Mecha75 says:

    I am pretty sure that bill won’t pass constitutional muster. Considering that this Supreme Court has a habit of invalidating less restrictive laws pertaining to recording police.

  15. avatar Ralph says:

    What’s going on with Villalba? The guy had a solid, right wing record. He voted to prohibit the use of state funds to enforce national gun-control laws; to reduce the required hours for concealed handgun training courses; and to permit concealed carry on college campuses. All good.

    And then this?

    1. avatar benny says:

      Someone has him by the balls, apparently….

      1. avatar foo dog says:

        Hoping someone from his district can call a staffer and get an explanation.
        As a side note, that photo is ripe for photo-shopping…

    2. avatar int19h says:

      It just goes to show that “solid right wing” is not so solid after all. He sounds like a traditional Nixonite big-government conservative – “tough on crime”, “silent majority” etc.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        “Right-Wing” = “Law and Order Conservative” = “Copsucker who isn’t happy without a blue penis in his mouth” far too often.

    3. avatar Grindstone says:

      Modern right-wing Republicans support authoritarianism.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        That’s simply not true in many cases – such as Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, etc. Also consider that virtually every Democrat votes in lockstep with big government – net neutrality, Obamacare, open borders, additional gun control, more taxes, more welfare programs, epic debt, etc. The only viable parties are Republicans and Independents.

        1. avatar Grindstone says:

          Creating DHS, Patriot Act, War on Drugs, War on Terror, pushing for Christian supremacy, crony capitalism, ham-handed unjustifiable war, meddling in foreign affairs, etc.

        2. avatar Accur81 says:

          @Grindstone,

          Some of those are good points. That’s why I’m an Independent Constitutional Conservative – basically that’s small government, freedom with personal responsibility, tort reform, border security, etc. Pretty much the olde school values that made our country successful. Anyways, both major parties are clearly afraid of a full restoration of Constitutional constraints. There are currently precious few “small, limited government” politicians left. Let’s elect them.

        3. avatar Grindstone says:

          I hear you, Accur81. Personally, I’m a minarchist, which is why I want full transparency and accountability for all government agents and agencies.

      2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        Keep that talk up. These cornfields are going to need fertilizing soon. (The manure from the horses smells better, though.)

        1. avatar Grindstone says:

          Yes, keep supporting tyranny because you like the dictator’s ideas.

        2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Your ad hominem is boring. You know nothing of what I support.

        3. avatar Grindstone says:

          I’ve seen plenty. Either way, your “horsesh!t” call doesn’t hold water as the Republicans have proven themselves to be just as statist as the Democrats. Enjoy your groping at the airport? Thank your Republican congresscritter!

        4. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Are Establishment Republicans statist? Absolutely. Where I take issue is with you labeling them as “right-wing.” They are left-wing (state control), not right-wing (individual freedom/responsibility).

        5. avatar Grindstone says:

          Ah yes, No True Republican. Funny how the record just doesn’t support you on that.

        6. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          And you’re still conflating “Republican” and right-wing”.

      3. avatar foo dog says:

        Yeah, Grind, this kind of way overly broad and inaccurate statement has had me suspecting you as a plain progtard troll masquerading as a confused Dark Enlightenment Karl Popper enthusiast. I can grok Ayn Rand and hang with miniarchis, tho.

        1. avatar Grindstone says:

          Chip Bennet completely missed the mark calling my comment an Ad Hominem. This comment, though, is a great example of an Ad Hominem.

    4. avatar dh34 says:

      While he has in the past shown a strong voting record, he has expressed opinions significantly to the left of his R peers on occasion. All the same, its a little out of the norm even for him. His district is traditionally a pretty strong R area, but one of those places seeing an influx of the out-of-staters with non-Texan ideals.

      Fortunately, no one has co-sponsored the bill, nor has there a companion bill been filed in the Senate, that I noticed. Today was the last the day to file for this session. Nearly 3000 bills have been filed this week and haven’t had time to pay too much attention to those that aren’t work related.

      I don’t think this has much chance. Even if the middle-center R’s took it to the floor, the conservative wing and Dems would likely move to block it.

  16. avatar dan says:

    ALL of these type of politicians should be recalled from office….and shouted down when in the ‘peoples house during legislation hours, and after work…imho

  17. avatar Bob says:

    Cops hate nothing more than to be held accountable for their own actions.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      I enjoy accountability, and I’ve got the video available to prove it. I haven’t reviewed a video yet under court testimony that has done anything but help my case.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Based on cities that employ bodycams, use of force by police decreases by about 50% when cops are wired, and excessive force complaints drop TENFOLD.

        I’d say that bodycams help everybody. Especially the police. The cams should be considered critical equipment and cops should love them.

        1. avatar foo dog says:

          My guess is 50% are the d1ckheads who have something to prove by hassling cops, and realize their bully schtick wont cut it on film, and slink off,
          And of that second 50%, 4 out of 5 who are fear-defensive-reactve settle down when they see the cop is on record, too.

          That leaves the truly troubled, that are the wild card, making it easier on the cops who have to project calm but be ready for split second fight, to have that little confirm…in advance, and a proof the beatdown was righteous.

          Correlation is not causation, but less stress is good for every one.

          Whats that saying? A video recorder armed society is a polite society?

  18. avatar TX Gungal says:

    You can read more about the Bill at http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/03/13/texas-rep-villalba-files-bill-that-criminalizes-bloggers-citizens-filming-cops/

    Not a snow ball’s chance in hell this is going to pass, waste of time! Civil Liberty Union has already won a case that threw out a very similar law, You would think a guy who is an attorney would check case law before making a fool of himself.

  19. avatar Dave in WA says:

    The photo caption should say “Look at this unborn baby! Do it for the Children!”

  20. avatar blahpony says:

    So this is OK:

    LEO: Can I search your car?

    LAC (Law Abiding Citizen): No

    LEO: If you aren’t doing anything wrong, what are you worried about?

    But this isn’t:

    LAC: Can I record you arresting this person?

    LEO: No

    LAC: If you aren’t doing anything wrong, what are you worried about?

    1. avatar TheDabbo says:

      Yes, it’s ok! There’s this awesome thing called the 4th Amendment. If you’d like to search it, get a warrant or probable cause.

      To the second part, it’s not just ok, it’s essential. From Gilk v Cuncliffe, “[G]athering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting ‘the free discussion of government affairs.'”

  21. avatar Mark N. says:

    In my view, if it happens in public, if you can see it and hear it, you have every right to record it. It is not “wiretapping”–wiretapping is an old law that has been pressed into service by police to protect police from the adverse consequences of their misconduct. The guys who make these arrests know full well that if it is their word against a citizen, the cop is odds on favorite to be believe-by judges and juries alike. But the tape doesn’t lie. I have seen vid after vid of police going after people recording incidents who threatened no harm to the officer. A sheriff attempting (unsuccessfully) to delete a tgape; cops arresting an actual journalist who was recording a felony stop, first by making him back a hundred feet or more from the scene, then arresting him for “interfering” when he continued to record. There was the shooting in the middle of the night in Miami where the police started confiscating cell phones from witnesses to the shooting by a multitude of officers against a stopped vehicle. And so on and so forth. It has to stop. The police have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the performance of their PUBLIC duties IN PUBLIC.

    1. avatar juliesa says:

      Exactly, and in TX only one party has to know that a recording is happening.

  22. avatar ghost says:

    Socialists have infiltrated everywhere. Just a matter of time. One party government. It ain’t gonna be good.

  23. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    How the hell would they enforce this?

    You can only legally CC as of this moment. So unless they are going to conduct what would be an illegal search how exactly would they know I had a weapon and was filming within the 100 ft rule?

  24. avatar Grindstone says:

    If the cops have nothing to hide, they should have nothing to fear from photography, right?

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Yes, but some folks like to get overly close and obnoxious with their amateur video – 7-10 feet away is fine. Some think they have a god-given right to record 12″ from my face. They don’t.

      1. avatar Jeff in CO says:

        +1 to that! It’s also irritating when people record something with the intent to only show a quick snippet of the baton strike, not the 5 minutes of resisting and kicks preceding the one swift strike . . .

        Once again, video recording is great, just DON’T edit it and SHOW the WHOLE thing, not YOUR agenda!

      2. avatar Grindstone says:

        12″ is one thing, but 25′? Come on, you can’t be serious. Not to mention 100′ for legal carriers?

        Anyway, it should NEVER be illegal to film cops.

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          I was serious about 7-10 feet being a good general rule – maybe more like 10-15 feet. If I’m at a shooting scene, or otherwise protecting evidence, I’ll be happy to kick out both amateur photographers as well as the news media. At that point, anyone not actively participating in the investigation or collecting / protecting evidence is equally worthless. Of course the law is ridiculous, and the additional penalty for CCW / CHL holders (or whatever they are called in TX) is ridiculous. Incidentally, most of my car video, which I use for evidence, is shot at 10-30 feet. There’s a 10x digital zoom feature for longer distances.

        2. avatar Grindstone says:

          So you do know the difference between trampling a crime scene and recording an interrogation/arrest/detainment then.

      3. avatar John in Ohio says:

        What about body cams? I wear one all of the time in public and I assure you that it isn’t 7-10 feet from the interaction because they are interacting with me. Under laws such as this, I would be a criminal… double-plus criminal because I’m always armed.

        IMHO, seven to ten feet is ridiculous. The general rule now is if the videographer is actually interfering. Let’s keep it that way. If they are in your face while you are doing your job with another person then they are obviously interfering. But 7-10′ is not a solution. Call it that today and I assure you that the bad cops will expand it. When they claim that now and we aren’t interfering, the burden is on them to prove that we were actually interfering.

        1. avatar Jeff in CO says:

          I don’t think he is suggesting a “law” or “statute” that states 7-10 feet. I believe this is more of a “common sense” suggestion. There is nothing worse then being on a traffic stop and having an uninvolved 3rd party walk up to make sure “You’re not violating their constitutional rights and I’m recording you.” Stand back and do that. It creates an officer safety issue, because now you have my attention diverted from a potential threat.

          You are also putting yourself into a dangerous situation. I don’t know who’s actually in the vehicle that I’ve stopped, and “Mr. Cameraman” definitely doesn’t know. Accur81’s suggestion is “common courtesy” and just plain “common sense” that can’t be legislated.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          I misunderstood his post then. However, my post was also dealing with laws like the one proposed in Texas. Unless it has a body cam exception, those of us who wear them would have potential problems.

          One other problem is when officer unfriendly continues to close the distance claiming that the videographer must continue to move away. I’ve had that happen, seen it happen to others, and there is some of it on the videos out there.

          None of the people I’ve been out and about with, even the most aggressive ones, actually interfere or even get close to doing so. I have seen a lot of officers claim that though. It’s one of those excuses that can get over-used. I don’t for a minute think that Accur81 is one of those officers.

  25. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    This is insane…sounds like Illinois.

  26. avatar Timmy! says:

    I have said for some time that dallas is NOT a part of Texas. They want to be “New York Junior” but all they can pull off is “Chicago Lite.”

    1. avatar dh34 says:

      The problem with Dallas, that like Houston and even Austin, there is that the city center has gone full retard, while the surrounding communities are fairly conservative.

  27. avatar Anonymous says:

    No recording law enforcement! Are you recording law enforcement??? Show me your papers!

  28. avatar JamesInHouston says:

    As it is police don’t have to follow any laws they don’t want. They are buoyed up in court by taxpayer money and the unions. HPD regularly ignores laws and arrests people based on their own opinion. Good luck if you’re poor trying to sort out your rights in court. The judges aren’t going to help you either.

  29. avatar Don from CT says:

    This reinforces my (CORRECT) opinion that Republicans and most conservatives are no better than Democrats and liberals.

    None of them respect our rights. Dems have no respect for the 2nd. Republicans have no respect for the 1st, 4th, and 5th.

    Disgusting.

  30. avatar LarryinTX says:

    I’m afraid I am out of step on this one. Not that I think this is the correct approach, but look at where this society is going these days. If there’s a shoot-em-up, people would be racing there from miles around to stick their iphones in everybody’s face in an attempt to strike it rich. Common sense says get away from the shootout, these kids will completely ignore that and climb all over officers to get that money. Different groups should be getting together to come up with a plan to keep people out of the way and out of danger.

    It’s true that this proposal is pretty dumb, but if we’re not going to accept that, maybe we should pay our lawmakers more than $7500/year!

    1. avatar nope says:

      Maybe we should pay them nothing in salary, benefits or expenses and force them to pay entirely for their own (weird) hobby of legislating for “our own good”. That was one of the points behind the very low salary to begin with.

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