Texas Representative Proposes Bill to Make Filming the Police Illegal for Everyone Bu

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jkcerda, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. jkcerda Suspended

    jkcerda

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    #1
    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/texas-representative-seeks-filming-police-illegal/

    hope this republican clown gets voted off & never seen again.
     
  2. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #2
    Technology has been an asset in holding cops accountable.

    Imagine what we wouldn't know about a lot of shootings or conduct in general if not for cameras.
     
  3. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #3
    Apparently this guy doesn't recall that our government runs on a system of checks and balances. In this case, this is not only checks and balances, but has 1st Amendment implications..

    As they said on Lizard Lick Towing, "this will go over as well as a pregnant pole vaulter."

    BL.
     
  4. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I don't know the details of the law, and am just working off the quoted information.

    However, if all the law is doing is keeping people 25 feet away from a police action, then I really don't have a problem with it. Some people are stupid enough that in an effort to get the shot they would interfere and potentially cause a dangerous situation. Staying 25 feet away seems like a reasonable thing to ask.
     
  5. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #5
    This is why we have a Constitution, and independent Judiciary.


    What puzzles me, is who or what this guy thinks he is appealing to with this (doomed to die in the courts) legislation?

    In the process of building an orderly and law-abiding society, the opinions of law enforcement personnel and agencies ought to be considered very carefully. But a legislature that rolls over and does everything the cops tell them to do is failing at the most basic level in its duties to represent the people that elected it.
     
  6. jkcerda thread starter Suspended

    jkcerda

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    #6
    a bet is a bet,......................

    expanding on what the republican proposed.

     
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Okay. And I'd rather have those people stand 25 feet back as well.

    You know who this law would really hurt? The makers of all those Cops shows.

    Let's see them held to the same standard.
     
  8. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #8
    Because 25 feet stops what? Bullets? No. Zoom lenses? No. This is just weird. Police can already tape off a crime scene.
     
  9. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #9
    An arrest in progress is a volatile and potentially dangerous situation. It doesn't benefit anyone to have people getting nearer the scene than 25 feet. And during an arrest, there isn't sufficient time or opportunity to tape off the scene.
     
  10. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #10
    While I appreciate the carveout for media, the law doesn't give photographers for wire services or online news sites the ability to get within 25 feet, so it again creates confusion that officers will solve by denying anyone they don't know.

    Local photogs make sure to know the guys in the cop shop, but there's always some new guy.

    True, but cops already play lame games with cordoning-off scenes and sending media staging a half-dozen blocks away.

    This codifies a bad tendency for officers to push away cameras. Even if its only 25 feet, which is enough to send people across the street or around the corner.
     
  11. citizenzen, Mar 13, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015

    citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #11
    It may be abused. But I can't account for that.

    All I'm responding to is the letter of the law.

    A 25 foot buffer doesn't strike me as unreasonable, and I can genuinely see the reasoning behind asking for it.
     
  12. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #12
    I don't have an issue with a 25 ft barrier, unless it's the person being questioned who is filming as they should be able to record the incident for their own protection and record.
     
  13. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #13
  14. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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    #14
    I don't have a problem with the legislation. It's meant to protect officers. If you want to record just stand back and do it.

    Here's the bill: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/pdf/HB02918I.pdf

    I'm fine with anyone disliking the bill after reading and thinking about it. Just don't swallow the OP's opinion piece as factual reporting.
     
  15. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #15
    I read it. There is no need for this bill. I don't support it.
     
  16. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #16
    I do have some common ground with small "l" libertarianism.

    With this bill, and with any bill, there should be some specific reason for it-- what problem is it attempting to solve? And then, will the specific provisions in the bill specifically help with the problem? What other problems will the bill create? Because, every bill creates some new problems.
     
  17. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #17
    Mostly it strikes me as a move to support the police by shielding them from scrutiny while doing their jobs, you know because nothing good comes from recording police activity. ;)
     
  18. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #18
    I'm sure it is meant to "protect officers." The problem comes down to the details.

    Lets start with the basics: The 25 foot requirement.

    This probably makes sense if you are talking about some amateur photojournalist coming across a police officer trying to do his job.

    But where it falls apart is if someone is trying to document his own interaction with the police: a cop pulls me over. I have a camera mounted inside my own car. That obviously falls within the "25 foot" radius - so if I record the cop verbally abusing me, slapping my head, and threatening to rape my wife - all of a sudden I'm the bad guy, guilty of a class B misdemeanor?

    Its another example of bad law. We don't need any more bad laws, we've got enough already. If a random citizen with a video camera or smartphone is interfering with the cops trying to do their duty, we've already got laws that deal with that.

    This stupid law simply criminalizes any good faith attempt to document police/citizen interaction.

    Its bad law.
     
  19. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #19
    This law attempts to convert "step back sir" and/or "you can't film me" to "you're under attest and I'll take that camera".
     
  20. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #20
    If it's a bad law, then it will be challenged in court, just like numerous bad laws before it.

    At one point in this debate I was going to refer to the buffer zones at abortion clinics and make some comparison to that, until I was reminded during my research that the abortion clinic buffer zone had been struck down by the SCOTUS in a unanimous decision this past year based on it being a violation of free speech.

    So it would seem there is some precedent for giving citiizens the right to get up close and personal in the exercising of their constitutional rights. Filming with a camera or phone might well fall under that same protection.
     
  21. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #21
    Agreed. An arrest is a potentially dangerous and volatile situation, but honestly recently is seems that the police are a potential source of the violence and danger. That is why it is essential that everything the police do is transparent.

    The 25 feet is about whether or not video and audio from a mobile phone is clear enough to be used to document police abuse. Mark my words: this has nothing to do with protecting and serving the public, and the required distance will increase as cameras and microphones on mobile phones improve.
     
  22. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #22
    I see one positive that hasn't been mentioned yet. Even before this law was introduced there have been plenty of instances where police have objected to being filmed. This law actually reinforces the peoples' the right to film police.

    And considering the amount of people filming police actions these days, the 25 foot limit—or police trying to push it beyond that—will eventually be challenged in court and potentially overturned.

    What won't be overturned is the peoples' right to film these actions. So this whole law and process is (IMO) going to help settle the question that people have the right, and that police have to get used to being scrutinized (and hopefully held accountable when they transgress).
     
  23. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #23
    If you are against abortions than you might love the idea of protestors in guilty women's faces. While I'm pro-choice, I think having protestors across the street is a good thing. From that location they can still makes their feelings known minus the intimidation factor. I disagree with SCOTUS's interpretation of free speech for this instance. However there is no parallel for citizens filming policeman doing their jobs correctly or abusively.
     
  24. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Why would you say there is "no" parallel? Both are "buffer zones". Both are relatively the same distance (25 and 30 feet). Both involve humans entering a space that the other humans would rather maintain.

    But no. There's no similarity between them at all.

    I swear, PRSI is the land where comparison is impossible, because nobody ever wants to admit that two items share anything in common.
     
  25. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #25
    How do you enforce a "25 foot limit"? Tape measures?
     

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