by Garret Ean
Dec 27 2011
Today at Concord District Court, I had attempted to audio and video record a hearing at the defendant’s request. I was given last minute notice, and ended up missing the brief hearing by the time I had arrived. When I entered the courthouse, I did not appreciate that security had disarmed me of my harmless accountability mechanism, the camera. They also took my tripod, and would give me back none of my equipment until a judge gave me permission to act as the press.
To protest the violation of my first amendment right, I exercised different first amendment rights outside. Utilizing my speech, I chalked out against the press restrictions practiced by the monopolist court officers. I was almost finished when the head of court security exited the building and asked me to stop chalking and leave. He implied that I was doing something illegal, but never spelled out exactly what. He even identified himself as a police officer. Due to some NH court’s crackdowns on press freedom, in the more restrictive venues it is rare to see a court security officer in action, especially outside of his normal domain inside the building.