When law enforcement stands up for peoples’ rights at airports…

Gary posted a link to this pretty awesome video:

The gist of it is that a couple of people are trying to hand out flyers at Albany Airport about opting out at security, and the airport authority does everything they can to bully them, claiming they’re not allowed to film, they need a permit, they need insurance, they can’t be on the departure level, etc., all of which are bogus.

Fortunately there’s a pretty awesome sheriff, Office Lenic, who sticks up for what’s right.

As far as the airport authority guy goes, what an absolute jerk. He’s acting like a five year old. Almost makes me want to boycott Albany Airport in the future. Not that I’d ever go to Albany unless there was a great mileage run fare anyway, but… ;)

Comments

  1. says

    I can sympathize, but the InfoWars people are also being annoying, interrupting everyone else. The Sheriff is the only one who keeps a cool head. I deal with too many protestors on a daily basis, and this is typical behavior, however much in the right they are.

  2. lucky says

    @ Scottrick — Oh I agree, but last I checked being annoying isn’t a crime (or I’d be in jail).

  3. Sven says

    I wonder how long it takes for the Sheriff to fire this officer who did an outstanding officer to deal with both the airport person (who did handle this really badly) and the protestors.

    It is amazing what common sense can archive these days, if more people would be as level headed as the Deputy it would be a better place.

  4. observR says

    Amazing Sheriff. Way to go.

    But I couldnt help but wonder whether there are any trespass laws that the airport could have invoked to eject the filmmakers…? Anyone know? Is it because they are not private property? Surely they must have rules about what can and cannot be done on the premises….

  5. Rich A. says

    Wow. Deputy Lenic is to be congratulated for knowing and upholding the law. Guess democracy and freedom of speech is alive and well in Albany. Hope the campaign continues —-

  6. E says

    This video has made my day. Amazing how doing the right thing or watching people doing the right thing can put you in the right mood.

  7. FormerAirlineEmployee says

    Interesting listening to the on-the-fly constitutional arguments flying around. None of the three parties involved were completely correct (though Officer Lenic was closest). Airport guy was the most wrong.

    The protesters were trying to distribute material protected by the First Amendment. They were trying to film — also protected by the First Amendment.

    First Amendment rights are not absolute and only apply to the government. Airport guy tried to argue that it didn’t apply but didn’t really have a case. Why? Because the airport is a governmental entity — owned by the County and leased to another governmental entity — the ACAA.

    But, the government can place “reasonable time, place, and mannner” restrictions on the protesters. Had airport guy said to the sherriff that while the protesters had First Amendment rights, the airport under the Constitution, could impose reasonable, time, place and manner restrictions. And if they had these restrictions and they were not following it, the protesters could have been asked to leave and if they didn’t arrested for trespassing. Now, it appears to me that at least one of their restrictions (getting a $1 million insurance policy) wasn’t reasonable.

    Among things that would be reasonable would be for the airport to establish an area in which people can exercise their First Amendment rights. Many airports have consigned the Krishna’s to these booths for years as reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions.

  8. BrewerSEA says

    @observR

    The short of it is airports are not considered public fora, so any restriction of speech must simply be shown to be reasonable.

    This issue was considered by the Supreme Court in Int. Society for Krishna Consciousness v. Lee back in 1991. New York City’s airport authority banned repetitive solicitation of money within airline terminals. Solicitation was permitted outside the terminals. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness solicits funds in public places. It challenged the regulation. A federal district court granted an injunction against the airport authority. The authority appealed.

    “In an opinion authored by the Chief Justice, we hold that the airport terminals are not public fora.

    Historically, airports have not been made available as locations for speech activity, nor has the respondent in this case voluntarily opened the terminals to solicitation.

    To survive review, therefore, the solicitation ban need only be shown to be reasonable.

    The solicitation ban satisfies this test as it is a reasonable means of attacking the risks of duress, fraud, and congestion that attend personal solicitation for funds in airports.

    In a separate per curium opinion, dealing with the related challenge to respondent’s ban on leafleting activity within the terminals, we strike down the port authority’s regulation.”

  9. Erndog says

    @FormerAirlineEmployee

    I think you are confusing things . . .

    “Among things that would be reasonable would be for the airport to establish an area in which people can exercise their First Amendment rights.”

    Filming people going through security isn’t as much a first amendment issue as a privacy issue – there is no reason to expect privacy in a public place.

    The handing out flyers thing . . . well, that may be more in line with what the Krisha’s do and probably is more of a First Amendment thing, but it’s not (at least not now) an ongoing thing, but rather a one-off thing

  10. David says

    Dep Lenic is a hero! In an era of law enforcement overkill, where the public is normally the convicted criminal, just for existing, it is brilliant to see him stand up for the law! As to bald PR guy, what an idiot!

  11. NNW says

    Anyone who uses that music, for that long, in a video intro, deserves to be persecuted a bit.

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