Back on the 10th of April Copblock posted the story Officer Safety – Mobile Phones as Weapons, once again it seems that we have members of the law enforcement community attempting to infringe on the 1st Amendment rights of Americans.
“Put your device down.”
“Why do I have to put my device down?”
“We don’t know what it is. Put your device down.”
This incident took place Wednesday April 17, 2013, as two men were trying to access an area in Mayflower, Arkansas where an Exxon pipeline ruptured last month, spilling 5,000 barrels of oil.
Rod and I had just been speaking with property owners along the edge of the lake. We had permission to be there. These officers forced us to stop filming. Literally. The officer on the right ripped my iPhone from my hands and drew down on me with a taser. As of this day, April 17, 2013, I have uttered the words, “Don’t tase me bro.”
After a 20 minute lecture about the dangers of snakes, ticks, various and sundry other warnings about spending the afternoon in jail, we tried to leave. That’s when a Mayflower police officer issued Rod a citation for a) Parking in a Prohibited Area and b) Interfering with a Government Operation.
A government operation? That pretty much takes the cake. The only posted sign anywhere NEAR this section of Lake Conway is a red tape between a few trees which reads: “DANGER”
Funny way for the government to cordon off its “operations”. Maybe it’s just me, but concerned citizens documenting an oil spill are being fined. What will Exxon’s fine be for the wholesale destruction of wetlands vital to the Lake Conway ecosystem? MORE