Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Officers arrest men for videotaping them

*Actual men not pictured*
Source: KRQE News 13

ALBUQUERQUE -- Undercover officers with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety that were out Saturday night trying to bust drunks leaving bars arrested three men for videotaping them.
The three men showed up in court Sunday morning with an attorney to fight the felony charges they are facing. Jacob Traub owns the Downtown Distillery, David Garcia and Lance Gomez both work for him.

One criminal complaint says an officer asked one of the men to stop videotaping for security reasons since he was working undercover. The complaint also says the man told the officer they were harassing the customers in the bar.

The men’s attorney Paul Kennedy told KRQE News 13 that they were videotaping on a public street and there is nothing illegal with what they did.

“Every citizen has a first amendment right to videotape public officers in the performance of their duties on public property and that's all that was going on here,” said Kennedy.

Deputy Director of the Special Investigation Division Jim Plagens spoke with KRQE News 13 regarding the arrest.

“These three individuals were arrested for obstruction of the administration of the liquor control act. To comment any farther at this point, I think would be inappropriate,” said Plagens

Kennedy plans on filing an injunction in state court and a civil rights lawsuit.

All the men are charged with obstruction of the administration of the liquor control act. They are out on bond and allowed to go back to work.

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