It’s pretty simple… Amy Hedtke, Citizen Journalist, was unlawfully removed from a State Affairs Committee meeting for attempting to film it in accordance with Texas state law. Totally legal to do and well within Amy’s rights.
Bryon Cook, Chair of the Committee, had her removed and doesn’t state why. Instead violates her right to not only be there but to film it as well.
According to the Texas Government Code Sec. 551.023, Recording of Meeting by Person in Attendance:
A person in attendance may record all or any part of an open meeting of a governmental body by means of a recorder, video camera, or other means of aural or visual reproduction.
It appears that Representative Cook has a track record of limiting the transparency of government–other organizations have also accused him of prohibiting citizens from filming public meetings.
Amy Hedtke: This state law says that I have the right to record. So you’re going to break state law and remove me?
DPS Officer: The chairman has the right to make that decision.
Amy Hedtke: Where does the chairman have the right to break state law?
David Sauceda: You’re going to have to leave, there is no discussion. I’m sorry.
Amy Hedtke: I have the right to stay and record with video camera. If you remove me…If you remove me… I am not going to leave. Cause I am exercising my rights. I have the right to be here. And I have the right to record.
David Sauceda: I’m sorry you don’t.