ABC News is the latest national mainstream media news organization to address the growing epidemic of cops using wiretapping charges to arrest people videotaping them.
And as in the previous cases, Photography is Not a Crime gets a link, a mention and I even get a quote in.
Also on a more local level, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last week that the Allegheny County district attorney’s office settled a federal lawsuit by agreeing to redistribe a memo to police departments explaining that it is not against the law to videotape a cops on duty.
Unfortunately, memos don’t seem to make a difference because an Oregon police chief who received a similar memo from the city attorney vowed that these arrests would continue.
All this media coverage was probably what prompted U.S. Congressman Ed Towns last week to introduce a resolution to protect citizens against these arrests.
From what I’ve learned, a resolution is merely a ceremonial gesture that doesn’t carry much legislative weight.
But nothing happens overnight in Congress. The fact that a Congressman even made the effort to address the issue is a move in the right direction.
However, now it’s up to us to keep the momentum going by reaching out to the rest of Congress.
The first step is to create a national database of where these incidents have taken place.
The question is, should we just limit the map to where people have been charged with wiretapping charges for videotaping cops or should we include all photography harassment, including at the hands of security guards?
I prefer the latter, only because it will really demonstrate that this is a regular occurrence.
Let me know what you think and what we can do to get more Congressional attention.