In response to the video-taped fight that appeared on You Tube the other day, Per WKTV Sen. Griffo and Mayor Roefaro want new legislation to make the person holding the camera guilty of a crime.
While most people are outraged at what happened, and outraged that the fight may have been staged for posting on the internet as entertainment, Mr. Griffo is ignoring what his legislation might lead to: Infringement on the Freedom of Speech.
Sure I understand that not all speech is Constitutionally protected -- you can't yell "Fire" in a crowded theater unless there is one -- but in this day and age THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ENTERTAINMENT AND NEWS IS OFTEN A FINE LINE.
There are other laws that allow the authorities to go after the cameraman. If he participated in the staging of the event, then he aided it --he is an accomplice.
Mr. Griffo's law would discourage anyone from videotaping any fight . . . in turn discouraging the production of evidence that would assist the police in apprehending the responsible parties and throwing them in jail.
More pernicious is the lack of knowledge by the general public of such events that such a law would encourage . . . which would allow the mayor and police chief to portray the safety of the city in whatever terms they wish. There will be no evidence to the contrary.
The public has a right to know what is happening in their community. Mr. Griffo's law will make it easier for some criminal acts to go unnoticed.