Dallas Representative Eric Johnson Introduces Bill To Strip Texans Of Right To Film Cops

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Dallas Democrat Eric Johnson Introduces Unconstitional Bill To Strip Citizens Of Right To Film Cops

AUSTIN TX – After Jason Villalba’s anti-police accountability bill died last month, civil libertarians across Texas breathed a collective sigh of relief. However, it appears that another ‘anti-cop watch’ bill has flown under the radar and its language could prove to be even more unconstitutional than Villaba’s monstrosity.

Representative Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) is responsible for filing the anti-free speech, and unconstitutional bill in the House, HB 1035. The proposal would give police the authority to give media and citizen journalists an arbitrary location to film from and if you don’t comply with their orders, you can get your property seized, kidnapped and thrown in a cold cage for the night. Filming is speech. The First Amendment equally protects our right to assemble in a public forum, to receive and gather information, to redress our grievances. Filming the police is definitely under the ‘receive and gather information’, it says so very clearly. With the right to appear in a public forum and gather information taken away, our right to speak would be absolutely meaningless.

This Tyrannical Bill “relates to criminal offenses involving the filming, recording, photographing, documenting, or observing of a police officer.” This Bill is obviously targeted at our human and First Amendment right to record (gather) information on the police. The Cops or any other Authoritarian law enforcer who don’t care to be filmed will pull this HB 1035 card to justify their violation of our rights to move us to areas where individuals cannot capture the needed footage for accountability. With most people who intentionally film the police or any other incident involving law enforcement, they usually know their constitutional rights, still these ‘order followers’ will not hesitate to arrest people that refuse to obey these arbitrary orders to move. In 1987’s Supreme Court case ‘City of Houston v. Hill, 482 U.S. 451′. The Supreme Court struck down a municipal ordinance because it “effectively granted police the discretion to make arrests selectively on the basis of the content of the speech,” which the SCOTUS found to be “particularly repugnant.”

The Court’s explanation was that our freedom to “verbally oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state.”