Texas state troopers forcefully dragged an activist out of the State Capital during a public committee hearing on a bill seeking to restrict abortions after a committee chairman announced orders for her stop live streaming footage of her political representatives in action even though Texas law clearly states it’s a legally protected activity.
State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook directed liberty activist Amy Hedtke to stop recording the meeting over the proposed restrictions, claiming she wasn’t permitted to record because she didn’t have the proper media credentials.
State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook (R-Corsicana)
In the video posted to Hedtke’s Facebook page, Chairman Cook can be heard making an announcement, saying the hearing is being livestreamed via the Texas Capitol’s website.
So, naturally, there wasn’t a need for a citizen to document the hearing.
Amy Hedtke apparently believes the First Amendment applies even to those without media credentials.
“Only credentialed media is allowed to visually record,” Chairman Cook directs from the panel.
“Anyone else will be asked to leave.”
Hedtke apparently disagreed and peacefully resisted the violation of her First Amendment right to record public officials conducting public business in a public place.
Shortly after she peacefully refuses Cook’s directions, troopers from the Department of Public safety approach and order her to stop recording.
One trooper tells her to gather her belongings an leave the meeting room.
Hedtke continues peacefully refusing and even reads aloud to the troopers the Texas statute that states recording a government meeting open to the public may not be impeded.
Sec. 551.023. RECORDING OF MEETING BY PERSON IN ATTENDANCE. (a) 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.
(b) A governmental body may adopt reasonable rules to maintain order at a meeting, including rules relating to:
(1) the location of recording equipment; and
(2) the manner in which the recording is conducted.
(c) A rule adopted under