As the mainstream media starts taking notice of these activists it becomes imperative for the "community" to put their best foot forward if it is to gain the support of the general public. Many news articles have been published and they’re less than flattering.
In this article we’re going to take a step back and focus on three individuals who have made a positive impact in the community.
We begin in Colorado Springs, CO. Terrell Clayton, known on YouTube as News Now Colorado, takes his camera out for his first foray into activism.
Only minutes into his video, being taken outside a police station from the public sidewalk, officers approach him and make contact. After a brief interaction he’s detained and deprived of his recording equipment. He remained calm and professional despite the obvious violation of his first and fourth amendment rights. It is important to note that Terrell was recording from a Traditional Public Forum.
Mr. Clayton sued the department and was awarded a monetary sum of $41,000 but the most important part of the settlement wasn’t the money. Included in the agreement is demand that Colorado Springs officers recieve updated training on how to deal with citizen journalists. Also, policy changes were made within the department on how the officers would interact with citizens merely exercising their right to record in public. Money aside, these changes will have an effect on any citizen of Colorado Springs intent on recording in public and is a small example of what this community can accomplish.
Now, shifting gears to the east coast, we will discuss an activist that goes by Police State NJ.
As an ex law enforcement officer this activist was able to become involved in training local law enforcement on the rights of citizens to record the police in the performance of their official duties.
Because the content creator wishes to remain anonymous any documents with his legal name will be redacted. For now, here’s a short video of him explaining his path to reforming policy and efforts in further training of the local police.
Finally, we turn our attention to an activist that fought long and hard and won a 5th circuit decision ending in case law.
Philip Turner, known as The Battousai on YouTube was recording from a traditional public forum when he was arrested unlawfully.
After taking the legal battle all the way to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals he was victorious, earning the decision known as Turner v Driver. It is landmark case that strips qualified immunity for officers caught violating the first amendment right to film from a Traditional Public Forum.
Case law is widely considered to be the penultimate accomplishment as it sets precedent for activists and citizens alike. This victory for the First Amendment is a feather in the cap of a burgeoning movement claiming to work for positive affirmation of constitutional rights.
For more detailed information and documents, see links below.
News Now Colorado:
Police State New Jersey: