Nat'l Press Photographers Assn. replies to Dallas Police Assn's 'no right to photograph cops' demand

DPD Chief Brown affirms public's right to photograph and record

Last week, the president of the Dallas Police Association told CBS DFW he did not think the public had a right to photograph officers working on the street.

This quote - and the story - went viral, for good reason...

Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston wants citizens to stop taping because he worries someone will get hurt. “It’s creating a major officer safety issue,” he said. “We don’t know who it is pulling behind us. We don’t know they’re there to videotape, they might be part of… if that guy has has just done a kidnapping they could be part of the kidnapping. You don’t know.”

Early Monday morning, Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, sent a letter to DPD Chief David Brown, stating:

Such ill-informed statements only underscore the apparent lack of understanding or respect by those officers who still have the erroneous belief that they can order people to stop taking pictures or recording in public. Interference and in some cases arrests stemming from those actions have led to a number of court cases resulting in: six-figure settlements, new policies and procedures and sometimes serious disciplinary actions against the officers involved.

By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Legal issues
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Dallas police officers warned about civilian camera encounters

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas police are putting out a warning to some of their own people. Members of the DPD staff are being told about an officer’s encounter with a woman who was following him with a video camera. The woman, like so many others, is part of a movement to keep an eye the police.

Now some officers say the tactics of those shooting video could put lives in jeopardy.

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By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Legal issues
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RIP Wm. Scott Tanksley, Dallas Fire/Rescue

More photos at this link...

By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Dallas City Hall
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More abuse allegations emerge against Dallas County Judge Carlos Cortez

By MATTHEW WATKINS and BROOKS EGERTON, Dallas Morning News Staff Writers, Updated: 16 February 2014 02:47 AM

Judge Carlos Cortez’s ex-girlfriend says he abused her throughout an “off and on” relationship that lasted 13 months, not just in the December incident that led to his arrest.

Maggie Strother, 26, makes the claim in a sworn statement that seeks to extend an order protecting her from the Dallas County civil court judge.

“Carlos repeatedly warned me that disclosing his abuse and threats would not be heard because of his status and position,” she says in the affidavit. “I am embarrassed that I allowed the abuse to continue and fearful that my life is in danger now that I have reported his abuse.”

Cortez, 44, was arrested Dec. 28 and is charged with felony assault. A Dallas police report says he choked the Collin County woman, leaned her over the edge of his 20th-floor balcony and threatened to kill her.

For the complete story, click here

By Avi S. Adelman under Elections , Legal issues
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Constable gains attention for rap video

February 12, 2014, Bud Gillett,

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas County Precinct 5 Constable is raising some eyebrows over a recent film appearance. It’s a trailer for a music video from a Christian artist known as Harmini. Constable Beth Villarreal and four deputies participated, all volunteers, according to the constable.

“I did consider everything. I considered the scene,” Villarreal said adding, “ I considered the content, I considered the layout of the scene, I considered everything. And I would do that for anyone else that would ask for help.”

Villarreal says if the scene called for derogatory language or images—or had an officer firing a weapon—she would have said “no.” But Harmini — real name Dominic Bonsignore — promised her it involved only a character needing to be arrested. “I did ask him if there was going to be profanity, if there were going to be any derogatory words, comments, statements, or phrases, to which he assured me that there wouldn’t.”

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By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Legal issues
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