Proposed Texas Law Makes It a Crime to Photograph Police from within 25 Feet

Jason Villalba

The Texas Representative Jason Villalba filed House Bill 2918 last week in Texas House of Representatives that attempts to criminalize any photographs, video, audio recording or other documenting of a police officer within 25 feet the officer.

I’ll cut right to chase and tell you that this bill is unconstitutional under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. No questions asked. This is Constitutional Law 101. There is no way this bill could withstand a constitutional challenge in court.

The bill seeks to amend an existing Texas law that states in pertinent part: [Read more…]


FAA Tells Police How to Handle Illegal Drone Encounters

Max Aero Drones-4

While the drone market continues to expand, the legality of operating them continues to be more up in the air than ever before. Earlier this month, the FAA released a new directive to local law enforcement agencies on how to handle encounters with drone operators.

While I am a lawyer, I am not your lawyer and this is an editorial commentary on newsworthy issues rather than legal advice.  Unless you’re paying a lawyer, you aren’t really getting legal advice, and what you are getting on websites, blogs and forums is worth just what you paid for it. If you are busted by the FAA for violating its regulations, get an aviation lawyer who knows their way around the administrative process. Do not solicit legal advice online. That free advice will be the most expensive you ever take.  [Read more…]

Illinois Wiretapping Law Continues to Be Abused by Police

Just, wow.

I’m all for catching the bad guys out there, but this goes too far. As you can see in the above video, the guy who recorded police in public was charged with eavesdropping and faced up to 75 years in jail.  He won the initial case – the local judge dismissed it, citing that the Illinois law was unconstitutional (this should be a complete no-brainer here).

The Illinois legislature and attorney general are apparently idiots though, because the case is being appealed in an effort overturn the lower court’s dismissal.  [Read more…]

Detained for “Photography” by Maryland Transit Police

Train fanatic Christopher Fussell was shooting photos and video of Baltimore’s light rail train when he was stopped and detained by Maryland Transit Police.  The police insisted that it was illegal to take photos and video of the transit system telling him that he “need[s] to cease and desist with the photographing and continue on your way.” [Read more…]