We asked Nydia Tisdale to say a few words about her recent legal situation, and here’s what she said.Continue reading
Update 2016-10-19: And we asked Nydia to speak directly through YouTube.
Here’s Nydia Tisdale with her picture on the front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Gretchen and I dropped in on Nydia Sunday afternoon in Roswell, GA. Needless to say, we support Nydia. She usually doesn’t even provide commentary with her video reports, yet when videoing public meetings she’s repeatedly faced obstruction from people who don’t seem to know the First Amendment, nor even the Four Amendment, much less Georgia’s Open Meetings Law.
Yet another reason to end the failed War on Drugs: by far most U.S. wiretaps are for that one reason. Sure, a wiretap helped catch a Mexican drug lord. But without the War on Drugs, there would be no drug lords, just like alcohol bootleggers vanished after Prohibition ended.
Brian Anderson wrote for Motherboard 15 July 2014, Almost 90 Percent of All US Wiretaps Listen for Suspected Drug Deals,
Earlier this year, Continue reading
This should have been obvious already from the Open Government Act of 2007, among other laws, but now a court has reaffirmed it.
Dan Levine wrote for Reuters 17 January 2014, Blogger gets same speech protections as traditional press: U.S. court,
A blogger is entitled to the same free speech protections as a traditional journalist and cannot be liable for defamation unless she acted negligently, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.
Crystal Cox lost a defamation trial in 2011 over a blog post she wrote accusing a bankruptcy trustee and Obsidian Finance Group of tax fraud. A lower court judge had found that Obsidian did not have to prove that Cox acted negligently because Cox failed to submit evidence of her status as a journalist.
But in the ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Cox deserved a new trial, regardless of the fact that she is not a traditional reporter.
“As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable,” 9th Circuit Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel.
Here’s the actual ruling: Obsidian Finance Group, LLC; Kevin D. Padrick v. Crystal Cox, United States Cour tof Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 17 January 2014, Continue reading
It all started with someone handing out DVDs in a Federal Reserve museum, continued with people being arrested on a public sidewalk for doing nothing, and ended with a judge reaffirming that yes, you can video police.
John [?] wrote for Next News Network a 19 October 2013, Federal Reserve Bank Settles Counterclaim with Journalist,
In May of 2011 in Missouri, Bruce Baumann was peacefully passing out DVDs with his local media chapter, WeAreChange Colorado, outside the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. However, when Baumann and fellow activist Ronald Lewis attempted to enter the Federal Reserve’s money museum, they faced resistance from the private bank’s security, which led to both of their arrest. Although this resulted in ongoing litigation for nearly 30 months following the incident, Baumann was confident that he would not only be successful in defeating the charges, but he would also be victorious in trampling the Federal Reserve Bank with a counterclaim.
Unbeknownst to Lewis, his name was previously recorded on a list Continue reading
The Supreme Court has declined to review a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that struck down an Illinois law prohibiting audio recordings without permission, echoing last year’s First Court decision that you can record police on the job. Let’s remember it’s not just police:
“Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting‘the free discussion of governmental affairs.’”
That means all elected or appointed or employed government officials, from County Commissioners and City Councils down through sheriff and police departments to the Animal Shelter. Police are employees, not elected or appointed, so these rulings would appear to apply to other governmental employees.
Radley Balko wrote for Huffpo 27 November 2012, Supreme Court Inaction Boosts Right To Record Police Officers,
Here’s the video.
Protesting Gov. Nathan Deal at Valdosta State University (VSU), 16 September 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.
The students had been standing on the sidewalk in front of the Continue reading
Local Realtor Doug Gilford has gained notoriety as the blogger and videographer who filmed the unlawful removal of Desert Freedom Press Publisher Jennifer Jones, from a June 28th town council meeting. The video has been viewed almost two hundred thousand times on Gilford’s YouTube channel.Well, I suppose there are several morals here, such as never set your camera down, never go into a public office alone, etc.
Yesterday afternoon, around 3:30 Gilford was at the counter in Town Hall, filing an open records request for town hall feed surveillance tape when Assistant Town Manager Al Johnson confronted Gilford. Apparently feeling threatened, Gilford set his camera on the counter but didn’t hit record, when suddenly Johnson snatched it from across the counter. When Gilford called for police assistance, he ended up being arrested instead of Johnson.
But that’s not what seems familiar. Oh, here it is: Continue reading
The First Amendment issue here is, as the parties frameContinue reading
it, fairly narrow: is there a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public? Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, answer that question unambiguously in the affirmative.
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.
It is firmly established that the First Amendment’s aegis extends further than the text’s proscription on laws
The actual resolution is a model of such things: simple and easy to read, yet complete enough to cover the territory, and leaving no doubts as to the board’s position. Congratulations to LCBOE on that resolution!
Playlist, called meeting, Lowndes County Board of Education (LCBOE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 30 August 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman and John S. Quarterman
for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.
Let me also take a moment to thank some LCBOE staff. Continue reading