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…]

 

Freelance Photographer for ProPublica & PBS Detained for Photographing BP Refineries

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Freelance photographer, Lance Rosenfield, was confronted and detained by BP security, police officers and a DHS agent in Texas City, Texas as he was working on an assignment for ProPublica/PBS concerning a deadly accident caused by BP’s safety violations in 2005.

According to the report from ProPublica, Rosenfield was told that he would be “taken in” if he did not allow the police to review his photos.  Based on the report, when he complied, the police also allowed private representatives of BP to view the images as well. [Read more…]