Now that we’re focusing on Arizona, remember Doug Hester who was threatened with arrest by a pair of security guards last April for filming the federal courthouse in Phoenix?
Well Hester filed a complaint and didn’t hear anything of it until last month, when he received a response.
In the response, Arizona U.S. Marshal David Gonzalez told Hester his allegations against the security guards were “unfounded” because Hester showed up to the courthouse with a camera “in order to provoke a response from security officers.”
That may be true but the fact that the security guards allowed themselves to be provoked doesn’t make it any less of a violation.
And it doesn’t give them the authority to lie to him about non-existent laws.
Here is an example of the exchange between Hester and the guards:
Guard 1: You’re are free to leave, go … but if I catch you videotaping the building again you will be arrested by the Phoenix Police Department.
Hester: On what charge, sir?
Guard 1: On charge of … we’ll talk to the Phoenix Police Department about it.
Guard 2: You’re not supposed to videotape any federal court building.
Hester: What law?
Guard 2: National Security Act.
Guard 1: Oklahoma City, that’s why.
Guard 2: It all comes down to Homeland Security and all that.
Guard 1: If you want to talk to our Homeland Security people, we can arrange that right now and we will detain you.