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Activist Dragged from Texas Capital Hearing in Handcuffs [Video]

Amy Hedtke, a self-described liberty activist, was arrested Wednesday at the State Capital in Austin after she refused to stop recording during an open, public committee hearing on an abortion bill.

Hedtke was live streaming video to her Facebook page when she was ordered to stop recording and refused.  Hedtke cited state law that says an individual’s right to record an open, public meeting may not be impeded.

Sec. 551.023. RECORDING OF MEETING BY PERSON IN ATTENDANCE. (a) A person in attendance may record all or any part of an open meeting of a governmental body by means of a recorder, video camera, or other means of aural or visual reproduction.

(b) A governmental body may adopt reasonable rules to maintain order at a meeting, including rules relating to:

(1) the location of recording equipment; and

(2) the manner in which the recording is conducted.

(c) A rule adopted under Subsection (b) may not prevent or unreasonably impair a person from exercising a right granted under Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 471), Sec. 5, eff. May 18, 2013.

However, a committee staff member told Hedtke that House rules trump state law.  Hedtke had been released from custody as of Wednesday night.

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