Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, August 26, 2011

Channel 9: Cameras confiscated at Chabot event

One of us attended Rep. Steve Cabot’s town hall meeting Monday at the North Avondale Recreation Center. We picked up a free pocket-size copy of the U..S. Constitution from a stack on the table where people were filling out forms with questions for Rep. Chabot. By our estimate, roughly 2/3 of the audience were protesters wearing yellow t-shirts. They weren't a very rowdy group in our opinion. We sat in the row directly in front of a woman whose camera was seized by a Cincinnati police officer after the meeting started. She asked the officer what law was being used to confiscate her camera, but we didn’t hear him cite one. Standing nearby was a man whose camera had already been confiscated by the same officer. Just a few feet away were 2 or 3 television camera crews that captured the entire episode. Click here to see Channel’s video report of the incident, which features an interview with Tim Burke, Chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.

Channel 9 reports that Rep. Chabot’s office has since modified their camera policy with this released statement: “Cameras not operated by credentialed media will be allowed into future town hall meetings but the public will be asked not to record residents asking the congressman delicate questions.” What’s interesting about the new camera policy is none of the questions were personally asked by residents. Instead, residents turned in forms with their questions to a Chabot aide who then read aloud only the questions he selected prior to Rep. Chabot appearing.

This YouTube video of the incident has subtitles for the dialogue between the female protester and the police officer. Anybody see a serious violation of the protester's Constitutional right(s)?