The War on Cameras

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Very good piece from

I may also have hand my “libertarian journalist with a name that most sounds like a superhero” crown to Hawk Jensen.

Digg it |  reddit | |  Fark

24 Responses to “The War on Cameras”

  1. #1 |  Bob | 

    A guy can’t even stand around outside a Courthouse handing out information about Jury Nullification? What rational justification is there even for approaching the guy, much less trying to harass or arrest him?

    And don’t even get me started on the Jackass Pigs that figure harassing people for filming their interactions with people is somehow a good idea.

    Where did we go wrong? What started this downward spiral?

  2. #2 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “A guy can’t even stand around outside a Courthouse handing out information about Jury Nullification?”

    In at least one case, they tried to get him with “Jury tampering.” Judge Perry issued an order forbidding Heicklen’s Jury Nullification awareness campaign. Heicklen said, basically, “Screw you, Judge. I’ll defy your order because this is America and you’re grievously overstepping your authority.
    So arrest me and I’ll become a First Amendment hero.”

    Judge Perry backed down. But I think the FEDS are still after him in another case.

  3. #3 |  Marty | 

    Heicklen is badass. another good video from Reason.

  4. #4 |  SJE | 

    As long as the DA and lawyers are giving press releases from the courthouse steps, you have some “public forum” argument that Heicklen is permitted to exercise his free speech rights. Good for him.

    Radley and Hawk may have the best superhero names, but there is only one “man in leather” defending libertarianism

  5. #5 |  RomanCandle | 

    “Hawk Jensen” definitely sounds more superhero than “Radley Balko”, but it also sounds more like a gay pornstar. So it’s a wash.

    Or maybe he’s up by two, I don’t know. Personal preference.

  6. #6 |  J.S. | 

    OT: Whistleblower case about police corruption from Portland Or:

    “When Hunt told Ho she wouldn’t take anything from the 7-11 Store off Northeast Weidler, he replied, “Come on, we’re the effing police. Nobody cares. It’s fine,” [plaintiff’s attorney Dennis] Steinman told jurors….”

  7. #7 |  PeeDub | 

    Hawk Jensen definitely sounds more 50’s comic book alter-ego. Radley Balko sounds more evil corporation head.

  8. #8 |  JimBob | 

    Hawk Jensen is sort of the caped side of things– the cape-and-tights name. Radley Balko is more of a Johnny Storm sorta name.

  9. #9 |  SusanK | 

    It just dawned on me that the government’s resistance to cameras is similar to guns: they don’t want us to have anything we can use against it.

  10. #10 |  Brian | 

    I agree with Penn about a lot of things, but the title he gave you never rang true with me. Your name always sounded more like a super-villain’s than a superhero’s to me. Plus the baldness also militates toward that conclusion.

  11. #11 |  Mark Draughn | 

    I hate to break it to you Radley, but these days your name sounds more like a fugitive Serbian general.

  12. #12 |  Kevin Cullis | 


    You wrote recording cops using video cameras, what about smartphones and their video recording capabilities? Thanks.

  13. #13 |  croaker | 

    Videotaping armed soldiers at Penn Station (NYC) is now “interfering with traffic”.

    Posse Comitatus exists for a reason, people.

  14. #14 |  Fred Mangels | 

    Doesn’t that guy in the video look a bit like Odo, from Deep Space Nine?

  15. #15 |  Mojopin | 

    I think it would be great to work at Reason. That said, I don’t think I am pretty enough.

    Between Jacket and Hawk — I don’t stand a chance.

  16. #16 |  mike | 

    Illinois has a two-party consent law. I haven’t been able to find a definitive answer to this question- Is it against the law to tell an officer that you intend to record this interaction and specifically ask the officer “Are you aware of this fact?”, and after he says “yes” that it is considered “consent”? I don’t care if he doesn’t want to be recorded. Does the fact that he knows he is going to be recorded against the law? I’m not trying to split hairs. Does consent imply permission? If so, why isn’t it worded permission instead of consent? I just think using “consent” is vague and I know it is intentional, but does anyone know the answer? (I’ll hang up and listen to your answer.)

  17. #17 |  Alec | 

    I dunno, I think ‘Radley Balko’ sounds more like the name of some genial doofus on the police force who always winds up inadvertently saving the day on a weekly basis.

  18. #18 |  Whim | 

    Julian Heicklen, who hands out Fully Informed Jury Association information outside of Federal and State courthouses, was recently charged with Federal Jury tampering, 18 U.S.C. 1504.

    It would seem to be an extreme stretch, as jury tampering charges have historically been directed against individuals concerning a SPECIFIC jury being influenced or tampered with.

    His case is being heard before Federal Judge Kimba Wood, Southern District of New York. His Inquisitioner from the U.S. Dept. of Injustice is Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Gabrielle Mermelstein. Email:

    Julian is representing himself pro se, although I believe he has some attorney assistance.

    Julian Heicklen’s website is:

  19. #19 |  FTP | 

    Is that the same Kimba Wood who was nominated to be Attorney General during President Clinton’s first term?

  20. #20 |  Whim | 

    FTP: You are correct. She was Clinton’s 2nd Choice for Attorney General. She too had a minor Nannygate problem, albeit pretty minor but Clinton didn’t want the same grief he had endured with nominee Zoe Baird. Either woman would have been preferable to the freakshow we got instead called Janet Reno.

    According to Wikipedia, Judge Kimba Wood is presently married to Wall Street financier and former Harvard Law School classmate Frank E. Richardson III, whom she wed in 1999. She had earlier been named as the “other woman” in a messy, public divorce battle in 1995 between Richardson and his socialite wife Nancy.

    Can a judge who philanders with a married man who breaks his oath of marriage, still honor the oath she took as a judge?

  21. #21 |  Franklin Harris | 

    Hawk Jensen isn’t a superhero name. It’s a movie serial soldier of fortune name.

  22. #22 |  bbartlog | 

    The cameraphobes will have increasing difficulty as video cameras gradually shrink to become the size of a cigarette lighter. And then a button, a pencil eraser, a grain of wheat… On the downside though there is a lot to be outraged about and only so much public attention to go around.

  23. #23 |  SJE | 

    A funny video of an Australian journalist who, after being tailed for 5 days by the cops, decides to turn the camera on them. They don’t like it.

    It’s interesting that even in an authoratarian society, when you film the police they just get pissy. Here you get arrested, beaten and charged with a crime. Way to go USA!!!

  24. #24 |  Scott | 

    Lets hope it never comes about, but after seeing as many video reports similar to this, I’ve concluded that if Martial Law was ever enacted, authorities would have NO TROUBLE staffing Gustapo-like enforcers to surpress ANY perceived infraction of any law, REAL or IMAGINED.

    I grew up in post WW II America and vividly recall people looking at what happened in Hitler’s Germany and saying, “How could the people let that happen?” And now, two generations later, with little understanding or awareness of how police states function, it’s happening again. Only now, it’s Americans wearing a uniform and a badge, that are brutalizing other Americans for USING A CAMERA.

    All the while, “the government” is free to gather any and all information on its citizens – even invade your home for any perceived reason – real or imagined.

    Look for the YouTube video of Americans being brutalized and arrested at the feet of the Jefferson Memorial FOR DANCING and KISSING! These LITTLE MEN with their little badges and cop bikes, brutalizing citizens because they didn’t IMMEDIATELY obay their baseless orders. Yes, “baseless,” becaues 99% of the time, after are “given the treatment” the following day, they’re released and no charges are filed. That’s becaue NO LAWS WERE BROKEN!

    So, WHO are the real terrorists? I have NO FEAR of some foreign Al Ciada dupe. But getting pulled over, could very well get ugly FAST! This is NOT what my father fought in the South Pacific during WW II for!!!