PINAC Uncovers Alabama Town Playing Fast And Loose With The Law
Upon reading my news feed today I came across a story from Carlos Miller of Photography Is Not A Crime about a First Amendment audit gone horribly awry. “They treated me like the same people I use to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Said Keith Golden, a military veteran whose activism is well known.
Keith is better known to the world as Bama Camera. He started the successful Youtube channel to prove the police in Alabama, unlike the rest of the country, respect our First Amendment right to film. The irony is not lost on me that a channel made to show good cops has accidentally become the opposite. I commend Mr. Golden because two weeks after his first video he was arrested filming a police station and he kept with it. His channel has dozens of videos and has only been active for about a year now.
In the video featured above, Wetumpka police surround and force Mr. Golden to turn off his camera. They then claim he could be a terrorist several times as a reason for for unlawful detainment and theft of his property. To add icing to the cake, the one officer even said, “I don’t care about the First Amendment.”
Our focus here today is not so much the First Amendment audit or the illegal and disturbing actions of the police. No today we have an update that puts a nice cherry on the top of this whole situation.
Upon reading about this story on PINAC and seeing video numerous calls were made to the department. So many calls that they shut down the lines. (True story. If you call you get an automated message saying the line is down, if you have an emergency call 911.) They even shut down their Facebook page after they claim “officers were being threatened”. Its hard to prove though since they were deleting all comments until they took the page totally down. So they essentially silenced the public by taking down the publicly paid for phones. Whats even worse is they then decided to target Mr. Golden himself by arresting him on felony charges of interrupting emergency services!!
These guys are insane! I was so surprised and disgusted by what was happening I decided to call the mayor of the town myself. Not surprisingly I was treated like garbage. The woman who answered the phone was hostile and even made a statement in defense of the officer’s actions saying “the guy was out there for a while, what were they supposed to do? They have to be safe.” She then hung up on me when I asked for her name. I attempted to call back and get her name and was greeted with a threat of arrest too! Yup, true story they said they had my number and a local cop would charge me with harassment. As if complaining about government actions to a government employee is harassment…especially since the phones are only up in that office.
Carlos Miller Of PINAC had this to say of the charge against the activist:
The exact charge is interference with public safety communications, which carries a maximum ten-year sentence.
But we already know Wetumpka police officers are idiots when it comes to the law, inventing it as they go along while trampling on the Constitution, so there is little chance this charge is going to stick.
Let’s hope he is right. In the meantime, last I checked we still have a right to petition and protest. We also have a right to access our elected officials. These people cannot charge someone with crimes because of the amount of calls they received. That’s preposterous. EVERY Person has a right to be heard and considered separately. When did the government get so much power that simply protesting verbally to them allowed them to cage you? We are in scary times my friends.
You can read PINAC’s Detailed account of this story HERE
If you would like to contact this department or the town officials you can try these PUBLIC phone numbers:
- Wetumpka police non-emergency line – (334) 567-5321
- Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis – (334) 567-5147
- Chief District Assistant Attorney for Elmore County C.J. Robinson – (334) 567-2237
- Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce – (334) 567-4811