Tuesday, April 27, 2010

NYCLU Snaps to Develop Photog's 1st Amendment Case

Seal of the United States Department of Homela...Image via Wikipedia
Backed by the New York Civil Liberties Union, photographer activist Antonio Musumeci is suing the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and the Federal Protection Service, claiming the federal regulation used to arrest him last November for videotaping a political protest outside a federal courthouse is unconstitutional.

As reported in The New York Times, Musumeci, a 29-year-old software developer from Edgewater, N.J., recorded the arrest of a Libertarian pamphleteer outside a Manhattan courthouse before his own arrest for photographing the site of a federal agency without an authorized official's permission. The charge was later dropped, but the NYCLU claims the regulatory restriction of noncommercial photography in outdoor areas where the public is permitted runs afoul of the First Amendment.

Authorities confiscated the memory card of Musumeci's videocamera. He is seeking unspecified damages and declaratory relief that the government violated his constitutional rights.

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