“You can film all you want but I can still lock you up.”
Nov 27, 2012
Infowars reporter David Ortiz was threatened with arrest in New York after he began filming TSA screeners at an airport checkpoint last weekend, despite the fact that he was within his rights to do so and was not interfering with the screening process.
Ortiz was traveling from Austin to New York for the thanksgiving weekend, and combined the trip with the opportunity to engage in the national “opt out and film” campaign, led by Infowars.com.
When passing through the checkpoint at Austin-Bergstrom, Ortiz had a handheld camera rolling, prompting a TSA screener to demand he turn it off. Ortiz handed the screener a print out of rules from the TSA’s own website that clearly states filming and photographing at checkpoints is within the law.
The video highlights the fact that TSA workers and supervisors are not aware of their own rules on this matter.
Ortiz was also told that he was not allowed to film a pat-down after he’d opted out of the x-ray scanner.
After Ortiz landed in New York, at JFK airport, he once again began filming at the checkpoint which raised the ire of TSA workers who accused him of filming their X-ray machines.
A supervisor approached Ortiz and asked him to display what he was filming, stating “if you are filming the process, you are not allowed to do it.”
Once again, Ortiz attempted to show the supervisor the TSA’s own rules contradicting her claims. However, she ignored him and repeatedly told him to move, even though he was clearly not impeding any TSA screeners from their work.
The supervisor then called for a police officer who approached Ortiz and again told him he was not allowed to film the checkpoint, while pushing him and covering the camera with his hand. Ortiz again presented the the TSA’s own rules, stating he is within his rights to film.
TSA screeners repeatedly approached Ortiz, who was standing away from the checkpoint, to tell him that he was interfering with the screening process because he was “distracting” them.
After he declined to present ID, another officer arrived on the scene and threatened Ortiz saying he could “lock him up” if he pleased, and that he’d be “making arguments in court with some bracelets on.”
The officer then stated “We’ve been through this, you can film all you want but I can still lock you up.”
The officers tenuously argued that because Ortiz passed through a no-entry sign, he was committing a crime.
After a further threat that he would be arrested, Ortiz told the officers he was going to get his bags and left.
Watch the video below:
The rules regarding filming and photographing at TSA checkpoints can be viewed on the TSA website here.
Although the TSA has contradicted its own policy by placing signs at checkpoints ordering people not to film, as well as attempting to intimidate and even accuse people of being terrorists for doing so, filming federal employees or police is not illegal in the United States, as a First Court of Appeals ruling confirmed last year.
Earlier in the week we reported on video of Houston Free Thinkers reporter Derrick Broze, who narrowly avoided arrest at Reagan airport following a long confrontation with TSA workers and police. Broze, who was filming TSA activities and passing out information about the opt out protest, was hounded out of the airport.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.
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