Texas House Bill 2019 was introduced by Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) last week and would seek to make it illegal to record the activities of police officers within 100 feet of the activity, unless you are a member of an FCC recognized organization. Allegedly, this is to prevent obstruction of justice, but that’s complete “bullshit”, as they would say in Texas. The point is to prevent the public from see the police doing things they aren’t supposed to be doing. The “news” agencies are pliable, and more interested in access than truth in situations involving the guard dogs of the new aristocracy. It’s people with cell phones and YouTube accounts that are holding police feet to the fire.
And the politicians don’t like it.
The bill runs counter to a 2011 ruling in which the First Circuit Court of Appeals found unanimously that the people have the right to record police activities. As these public officials usually conduct their operations in the public sphere — where the government loves to tell us we have no expectation of privacy when complaints about ubiquitous surveillance come up — this certainly seems reasonable.