Is law enforcement in your video shot?

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Nov 23, 2005
295
76
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San Antonio, TX
chaseday.com
In Texas: "as defined in the bill, only a radio or television that holds a license issued by the Federal Communications Commission, a newspaper that is qualified under section 2051.044 or a magazine that appears at a regular interval would be allowed to record police." Many chasers make additional money shooting news and especially weather news. This legislation if enacted would impact not only news stringers, but all chasers. The first thing that comes to mind is damage and rescue scenes, but often police vehicle are present while chasers watch a tornado in progress. Another big issue would be if the video is aired and charges filed after the fact. http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/po...g-rights-of-citizens-to-videotape-6130903.php
 
Jun 14, 2009
328
155
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Altoona, Iowa
toddrector.com
I think you would have a good argument that you were not there to record the police; you were recording a rare atmospheric event and the police were incidental to the shot. Otherwise we might as well never shoot pics at public events because police are always present somewhere.
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
7,227
777
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Lansing, MI
skywatch.org
Granted this isn't going to pass - but note it says you have to be within 25 feet of the officer when filming to be in violation. If he's in the middle of a house searching for someone, and you are within 25 feet just to record video, you are too close...
 
Nov 23, 2005
295
76
11
San Antonio, TX
chaseday.com
Granted this isn't going to pass - but note it says you have to be within 25 feet of the officer when filming to be in violation. If he's in the middle of a house searching for someone, and you are within 25 feet just to record video, you are too close...
It's not uncommon for me to have police vehicles parked nearby during a chase especially when a tornado is in progress. The worst situation is if they are across the road. About 10+ years ago a law was passed allowing anyone going past flooding barricades to be arrested. Near San Antonio they were arresting news reporters that got out of their vehicle and walked to the flooding. This was far beyond the intent of the law that was passed to stop vehicles from driving past barricades. So it this passes I would try to keep all police out of my shot. As for it not passing, don't bet on it Texas has been going crazy with goofy legislation recently.
 

Shane Adams

It's not uncommon for me to have police vehicles parked nearby during a chase especially when a tornado is in progress. The worst situation is if they are across the road. About 10+ years ago a law was passed allowing anyone going past flooding barricades to be arrested. Near San Antonio they were arresting news reporters that got out of their vehicle and walked to the flooding. This was far beyond the intent of the law that was passed to stop vehicles from driving past barricades. So it this passes I would try to keep all police out of my shot. As for it not passing, don't bet on it Texas has been going crazy with goofy legislation recently.
Definitely agree on Texas being stone cold crazy, but this seems like a difficult law to police if the chaser doesn't make their video viral. I can't see how they plan to ever act on 100-200 chasers lined up in the same spot shooting the same tornado with the same police cruiser in the foreground, as a purely incidental object. I can definitely see where, if it ever came to pass, this might affect ENG/money chasers. But for folks who are just quietly out there doing their thing, it's doubtful any recorded law enforcement vehicle video would ever be known about.
 

Warren Faidley

Supporter
May 7, 2006
1,779
1,602
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Mos Isley Space Port
www.stormchaser.com
This falls under the heading of 99% of the time no one is going to care, especially in emergency situations. But....... of course there will be one unfortunate individual who gets slammed. On the larger scale, that has to be the most idiotic law in history.
 
Oct 10, 2006
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Fort Worth, Texas
This is from a lunatic state senator from Dallas. This isn't the first time he has tried to get legislation passed that the little voices in his head made him write. There have been several articles in the media today about this elected official. This bill will die a quick death just as all his others. Whats up with Dallas and their "elected" officials???
 
Feb 23, 2015
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Eastpointe Michigan
I don't expect this sort of law to pass and even if it does it would run into the same issue that the Illinois law had. Not to mention in recent times there has been a push for more video taping of police, not less, so this sort of law goes against the current grain anyways.
 

Stephen J

Enthusiast
Jan 7, 2015
5
4
1
I really see this very unlikely to pass and also it will be hell for them to even enforcing it. In most situations, it would be hard for any chaser to actually keep a "Police Cruiser" out of a shot, especially during scenes of damage. Hopefully silly TX Legislation realize that this is barely constitutional..
 
Actually, from the three page bill, it seems to read more as an extension of an existing law. But I haven't had time to dig deeper.

Let's not kid ourselves that it won't pass. There are some pretty conservative folks in Texas and with strong police connections and many departments with police with their own constitution, I can see this passing. Would it hold muster later...perhaps not. But who wants to be the one dealing with the issue for the next 10-12 years of legal battles and fees.

It is funny that LA is actually training officers to accept and right to film and encourages it now. Talk about a role reversal.
 

Mike Smith

Doesn't matter whether it will pass. It is clearly unconstitutional. 1) They are public employees in the public place and 2) We have a due process RIGHT to record the police.
 

James Brennan

There are many keys to this. This is just an extension of a law in place that protects officers from interference of their job duties. This is just for those instances where something is going on and someone with a cell phone camera wants to get up close and personal, with no regard for officer safety. This shouldn't snowball into the chaser community whatsoever, unless you're sitting there sticking your camera up the officer's nose. The keys here are 25 ft and 100 ft.

Honestly, I'd like to keep 25-100 ft distance between me and someone with a gun that is dealing with a situation.
 
Apr 22, 2009
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11
preferrably near a storm
Only in a police state would a policeman have a problem being videotaped doing his official duties. Amazing how police now have cameras on their uniforms recording the public while performing their job duties. Why not both ways?
 
Nov 25, 2008
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Dallas,TX
www.wxdallas.com
I think the main purpose of this proposed bill is really aimed at a few activist that have gotten right up in the cops face during traffic stops, arrests, open carry demonstrations, etc. While it is very unlikely to pass I can see the reasoning behind it as during an arrest the cop doesn't need someone he doesn't know entering the incident scene. The cop has no idea if that person is there to help or hurt.
I don't see any problems with anyone taking video in public of police, fire, etc. so long as they remain far enough away as not pose a threat, hinder emergency response or other harm while doing so. So far as chasing goes I wouldn't worry about this even if by some wild chance it did pass. There are simply too many people out there (chasers or not) that have a phone that can record video and push to youtube and beyond. It would simply be unenforceable.
 

Jesse Risley

Staff member
Apr 12, 2006
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Macomb, IL
www.tornadoguys.com
It's always good to remember the caveats about it being a proposed bill in one house of a state legislature (not national), unlikely to pass in present form, etc., but at the same time stranger things have happened. Granted, while highly unlikely to pass as written, IF it did pass in its present form, it could have legal implications for some chasers in certain situations as has already been mentioned. If I were a TX resident, I would be watching this closely and exercising my democratic rights to petition my elected representatives, making my voice heard, if this moves to a point where it could become a legislative reality. It's never too early to write professional letters or send well-written emails expressing concern for why this is a misdirected piece of legislation.
 
Apr 14, 2011
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Alexandria, LA
Wow - given the likely (I would say obvious) actual intent of this legislation, I'm somewhat surprised to see the state police union come out against it. But whichever; this is definitely good news and helps alleviate concerns vis-à-vis chasing.
 

James Brennan

There is one more argument to the law - it says you have to hold an FCC license. It doesn't say what type of license to have, so those that hold an amateur radio license is an FCC license, so therefore they have an FCC license = they can film police :D