A member of The Associated Press was arrested for reporting a public meeting, on public property, in Washington DC.
Did you see how many police officers were there? It only took 1 to say, you can't do this! Yet all of them enforced it.Because two arresting officers (probably only one and the other was a subordinate) who don't know their left foot from their right are "the government".
People screw up in all walks of life, not just when they are government employees, the difference is that if you are Goldman Sachs and you screw the world economy you walk away with billions in your own pocket while some sap LEO gets posted on YouTube and becomes the lightning rod of the anti-government rage. Get real folks.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
In theory what you are saying is true. However, in practice you don't go against your own in public over something like this. Anyone who's been part of any kind of group like cops, EMTs, fire fighters, military will tell you that.Did you see how many police officers were there? It only took 1 to say, you can't do this! Yet all of them enforced it.
The press use to be word of mouth, about the time the Constitution was "hand written".A lot of public meetings can be reported on without using a camera. The school board in my 1 square mile town will kick anybody recording the proceedings. I can't see what is so big about this. Many public meetings are public, just not for recording.
First amendment does not guarantee you the right to record it either. The second YouTube video clearly said that. As it reads:
No where does it state "right to record public events." It states freedom of the press. The press was there reporting, and refused to stop using a camera. Again, still don't see the big deal.
No. However, to me, if its a stated rule that cameras would not be allowed (who really wants every word they state in a public meeting recorded for all time?), the constitution doesn't protect that. It protects the right to report on what's going on. video "press" and audio "press" are just new delivery methods (without video for a lot), so I'm fine without being able to record a public meeting. The press in the above situation was allowed within the meeting room without issues until cameras were involved (unless I 100% misunderstand the situation). Freedom of the press wasn't infringed.The press use to be word of mouth, about the time the Constitution was "hand written".
Then came printed press.
Then came audio "press" (reporting over the radio)
And later video "press" (reporting over TV)
Today we even had digital "press" (reporting over the internet).
The press has always sought to provide news in the most effective way possible...
Should we really have to "update" the Constitution to include every technological aspect on which our news media adapt to reporting the news?!
The U.S. Constitution was written during the 1780s and adopted in 1787, during a time when recording, including audio-recording, was unheard of. The Framers intentionally left some of the language of the Constitution a bit vague (which includes the first ten amendments adopted at the time of ratification), to allow for the document to adapt over-time without the need for formal amendment. Over the years, the Supreme Court has worked to establish freedom of the press/speech to closely follow the Blackstone Theory, which prohibits prior restraint. It is for this reason of no prior restraint that the government could not, for example, forcibly stop Terry Jones from burning the Qur'an as a form of protest....No where does it state "right to record public events." It states freedom of the press. The press was there reporting, and refused to stop using a camera. Again, still don't see the big deal.
So I can't be in favor of limiting one and not the other? Or must I tow the party line on all issues? Sorry, I'd rather be shot with a camera than a gun.One day the 'freedom of the press' is at stake because 2 officers made a blunder, the next it's how guns should be illegal. Just pick one side of the argument and stick to it people.
Umm, as former cop, I just can't let this pass, Disorderly conduct is basically a throw away charge... I don't have the D.C. or federal statutes in front of me, but here in Connecticut the disorderly conduct statute is so broadly written that a creative cop can turn most any boorish public behavior into a Disorderly Conduct or Breach of Peace charge (the statutes are virtually identical... the distinction basically is if it's indoors it's disorderly, if it's outdoors it's breach).Usually I take the position that most people, even police officers, don't just arrest people to show wield their power and shove it down the throats of the common man. That's a myth which does happen but on rare occasions. Most of the time people act rationally. Typically there is a good explanation behind the motivations of people's actions. Unfortunately the press and people are prone to knee jerk reactions after hearing an offensive sounding part of a story and they run with it like the wind. It takes time to discover both sides.
After performing some research I found out the following: http://dcist.com/2011/06/when_two_journalists_were_arrested.php . Apparently some loophole in the law allowed the DC Taxi Commission Chair to bar private recordings of a public meeting, the motivation for doing so is that supposedly those recording the meetings were getting out of hand. These meetings are recorded by the commission for public review, although there is no requirement that a video or electronic transcript be made, only detailed minutes.
As a result of the Chair's mandate of no recording, this police officer was following the law and rules set down by the people who control him. He did his job and he was polite - and it's a tough job. Perhaps it would have been better if the officer told the guy that the DC Taxi Commission Chair barred his ability to record the meeting. Whether anyone should ever be barred for innocuously recording public meetings and creating a virtual cspan of transparency is a whole other story and you can read the article.
So who is the real problem here? It actually was not the police officer. Most of the time they have the most thankless job on the planet.
You're completely ignoring the politics for the sake of a technical argument. This isn't a disorderly conduct charge between a cop and some innocuous guy on a quiet street which can be brushed off. This is a cop doing his duty in a place where other powerful people reign. If you don't follow their orders and someone notices (and in this case they would), you can bet someone will hear about it and there will be repercussions.Umm, as former cop, I just can't let this pass, Disorderly conduct is basically a throw away charge... I don't have the D.C. or federal statutes in front of me, but here in Connecticut the disorderly conduct statute is so broadly written that a creative cop can turn most any boorish public behavior into a Disorderly Conduct or Breach of Peace charge (the statutes are virtually identical... the distinction basically is if it's indoors it's disorderly, if it's outdoors it's breach).
And as aside of sorts... the D.C. Open meetings law states in part that the act “shall be construed broadly to maximize public access to meetings (§ 2-574(a)). I'm not sure how apparently unwritten rule banning reporters from recording the proceedings squares with statutes call for a broad interpretation.