Here's a neat little series of facts:
Photography is, in fact, not a crime; as a general rule, you can take a picture of anything you can see. (This is why the posted borders of Area 51 kept getting pushed farther and farther out.) It's a First Amendment issue and you'll find outfits like the American Civil Liberties Union foursquare on the side of the guy making pictures.
Policemen who overstep the bounds are a civil-liberties issue, too -- and it's something that intersects with cameras more and more often. So much so that there's an increasing movement to stick cameras on police. It's an idea I heartily support, especially for uniformed officers, who oughtn't be up to anything that can't stand daylight.
The reliably libertarian/Leftish Photography Is Not A Crime walks every millimeter of that beat and does a darned fine job of it.
Now, my Left-leaning friends reliably inform me that The Koch Brothers are, in fact, The Devil, some kind of crypto-fascists of the direst stripe. They also tell me the Cato Institute, founded and partially funded by at least one Koch, is up to the The Devil's Work.
So imagine my surprise this morning when PINAC cited Cato's Quartly Report from the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project! (I believe this is an effort begun by ex-Hoosier Radley Balko and handed off when he moved on.)
Yep, when a cop beats up a guy? Cato is there, probably peeking over Henry (Tom Joad) Fonda's wrathfully-grape shoulders. When an OWS hippie gets rousted or a muckraking photojournalist gets arrested on trumped-up charges? Cato spreads the news and raises the alarm!
Turns out that civil liberties as a thing has got itself a variegated army of rough allies -- and they can get along well enough to push back, at least a little. --Stuff that in your sharply-delineated red/blue pipe and smoke it, why don'cha?
(A nod to this article, which put it all in one place.)
5 months ago