A Texas politician has introduced a bill that would make it a crime to point a camera at a police officer in public from within 25 feet, unless the person is a bonafide member of the media or a law enforcement officer.
And by bonafide member of the media, it means the photographer would need to work for a television or radio station with an FCC license or a newspaper that has been in existence for at least a year that publishes issues at least once-a-week.
In other words, Texas Representative Jason Villalba, the republican who introduced House Bill 2918 this week, which you can read here, has no shame in pissing all over the First Amendment, which does not restrict “Freedom of the Press” to the corporate media.
And that assertion has been confirmed by several high-profile appellate cases, including Glik vs. Boston.
But Villalba said his bill is simply meant to “protect officers,” he explained on Twitter.
However, the camera is the only thing that protects citizens from police abuse, especially when cops come within 25 feet.
Furthermore, the bill would make it illegal to point a camera at a cop from within 100 feet if the citizen happens to be carrying a gun.
Texas resident Brett Sanders, who is also a PINAC correspondent, stated the following on his blog:
Thanks in large part to the smart phone revolution, the majority of individuals are armed with some sort of recording device that can capture video images of police activity, for better or for worse. This technology, coupled with social media allows individuals to share information that traditional media couldn’t possibly capture live, and share with the entire world with just a few taps on their phone. Websites such as PhotographyIsNotaCrime.com and The Free Thought Project have captured the market on police accountability reporting, thanks in large part to average citizens filming police officers who are simply acting outside their authority, or in some cases, committing crimes against humanity.
So, at a time when police are becoming more militarized and more aggressive, it’s not surprising that corrupt politicians want to hide the immoral behavior of their hired guns. I mean, to quote one of the governments favorite lines, ‘if they have nothing to hide, they should have nothing to fear’, right? I personally do not believe this bill has a chance of advancing to becoming law, but the mere fact that this was trotted out is a look into the minds of these socioopaths who want to rule you and control you.
At a time when much of the corporate media is becoming further consolidated, turning the so-called Fourth Estate into a conglomerate of the government, the only entity left to ensure government transparency is the newly emerged Fifth Estate, which are not only sites like PINAC, but any member of the public who wields a camera and uses social media as a publishing platform.
And that’s exactly who Villalba is trying to eliminate.
Call Villalba’s Austin office at (512) 463-0576 or his Dallas office at (214) 363-8700.