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Thread: Texas Bill Would Make Recording Police Illegal

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    Re: Texas Bill Would Make Recording Police Illegal

    Quote Originally Posted by Excon View Post
    Which means the blanket statement is wrong.
    As I stated.
    True a select few would be permitted to video events.
    Why do the Police need this? Laws are in pace where an officer can direct bystanders away from an incident.
    This would prevent certain events where Police Officer(s) over the line-Legally or by departmental regulations from being held to account.
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    Re: Texas Bill Would Make Recording Police Illegal

    Quote Originally Posted by Excon View Post
    Which means the blanket statement is wrong.
    As I stated.
    Most of us have moved on from discussing the headline (a topic for the "Bias in the Media" forum) to the fatal flaws of the proposed legislation, or merits of it if you'd care to defend the bill.

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    Re: Texas Bill Would Make Recording Police Illegal

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Most of us have moved on from discussing the headline
    Then you shouldn't be quoting me this late in the game.
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    Re: Texas Bill Would Make Recording Police Illegal

    It is important that the bill has not yet been put to a vote, and is subject to amendment after the extensive public debate in the media, on message boards, and on social networks like Twitter.

    The full text of the Texas penal code affected by the proposed amendment:
    PENAL CODE CHAPTER 38. OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENTAL OPERATION

    The full proposed text of the amendment to the Penal code:
    http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs...pdf#navpanes=0

    Jason Villaba who introduced the bill in the Texas legislature defends it on Twitter:
    Texas Bill Makes it a Crime to Photograph Police From Within 25 Feet of Them

    It is a reasonable bill to keep people from crowding the police officer trying to get pictures whether those be the Paparazzi or just ordinary citizens eager for a 'personal scoop' or something like that. It also provides some protection for the person stopped for a traffic offense or whatever who almost certainly would not appreciate his/her photo plastered all over whatever. The issue of photographing from inside the car when stopped for questioning or ticketing by the police or otherwise those already there or those involved in the incident can be corrected by a simple correction of the language in the bill.

    To me, it would make sense for it to apply to everybody and not just those with cameras.

    Why not suggest that instead of the silly drum beat that the police want this law so they can abuse power?
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    Re: Texas Bill Would Make Recording Police Illegal

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    It is important that the bill has not yet been put to a vote, and is subject to amendment after the extensive public debate in the media, on message boards, and on social networks like Twitter.

    The full text of the Texas penal code affected by the proposed amendment:
    PENAL CODE CHAPTER 38. OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENTAL OPERATION

    The full proposed text of the amendment to the Penal code:
    http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs...pdf#navpanes=0

    Jason Villaba who introduced the bill in the Texas legislature defends it on Twitter:
    Texas Bill Makes it a Crime to Photograph Police From Within 25 Feet of Them

    It is a reasonable bill to keep people from crowding the police officer trying to get pictures whether those be the Paparazzi or just ordinary citizens eager for a 'personal scoop' or something like that. It also provides some protection for the person stopped for a traffic offense or whatever who almost certainly would not appreciate his/her photo plastered all over whatever. The issue of photographing from inside the car when stopped for questioning or ticketing by the police or otherwise those already there or those involved in the incident can be corrected by a simple correction of the language in the bill.

    To me, it would make sense for it to apply to everybody and not just those with cameras.

    Why not suggest that instead of the silly drum beat that the police want this law so they can abuse power?
    What does this bill do that existing laws cannot?
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    Re: Texas Bill Would Make Recording Police Illegal

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    What does this bill do that existing laws cannot?
    It gives the police officers a reasonable distance to move crowds back from whatever the police action is. Where it goes wrong is in specifically targeting photographers instead of everybody. Almost certainly it was motivated by people with cell phone or other cameras trying to get close in on the action, but again, that is an easy fix by simply amending the language in the law to include everybody and not just photographers. If you read those tweets, in my third link, the intent was not to prevent photography of police actions. I think Villaba just didn't think through the problem of having a camera running by somebody already at the scene and how the law as proposed could make a 'criminal' of that person.
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    Re: Texas Bill Would Make Recording Police Illegal

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    It gives the police officers a reasonable distance to move crowds back from whatever the police action is. Where it goes wrong is in specifically targeting photographers instead of everybody. Almost certainly it was motivated by people with cell phone or other cameras trying to get close in on the action, but again, that is an easy fix by simply amending the language in the law to include everybody and not just photographers. If you read those tweets, in my third link, the intent was not to prevent photography of police actions. I think Villaba just didn't think through the problem of having a camera running by somebody already at the scene and how the law as proposed could make a 'criminal' of that person.
    Regardless how it's defended, the fact that it targets photographers suggests to me that it has absolutely nothing to do with safety and/or ability to do their work, and everything to do with discouraging filming. Plus, there are already laws on the books that require people to not interfere, so this legislation is wholly unnecessary.
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    Re: Texas Bill Would Make Recording Police Illegal

    The bill has been dropped because, the bill's author said, the public opposition was so solid. "...opposition to the bill was swift, and came from 'far-left civil libertarians to our far-right people who believe that we were somehow limiting First Amendment rights,' Villalba said." Bill to limit filming of police activity is dropped | Dallas Morning News

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    Re: Texas Bill Would Make Recording Police Illegal

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    It is a reasonable bill to keep people from crowding the police officer trying to get pictures whether those be the Paparazzi or just ordinary citizens eager for a 'personal scoop' or something like that. It also provides some protection for the person stopped for a traffic offense or whatever who almost certainly would not appreciate his/her photo plastered all over whatever. The issue of photographing from inside the car when stopped for questioning or ticketing by the police or otherwise those already there or those involved in the incident can be corrected by a simple correction of the language in the bill.

    To me, it would make sense for it to apply to everybody and not just those with cameras.

    Why not suggest that instead of the silly drum beat that the police want this law so they can abuse power?
    All we can evaluate is what was proposed, and the proposal amended a law that already made it illegal to interfere with police, and added a provision that made it a presumed violation of that law just for photographing or recording the police within 25 or 100 feet. So the target is clearly those RECORDING the police. Not bystanders in general - ONLY those with cameras turned on.

    If there is some evidence the existing law doesn't adequately allow officers to do their job, then present that argument. No one has done so yet that I've seen.

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    Re: Texas Bill Would Make Recording Police Illegal

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    The bill has been dropped because, the bill's author said, the public opposition was so solid. "...opposition to the bill was swift, and came from 'far-left civil libertarians to our far-right people who believe that we were somehow limiting First Amendment rights,' Villalba said." Bill to limit filming of police activity is dropped | Dallas Morning News
    Well that's good news for people in Texas.

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