| Friday August 1st 2014

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Flier beats TSA video recording charge in court


Phil Mocek knows he isn’t required to show ID to fly, and that it’s perfectly legal to record video in publicly accessible areas of an airport. A jury agreed with him earlier this week, acquitting him of trumped-up charges brought against him by TSA and police officers who demanded obedience. He didn’t need to call any witnesses or testify himself; he was acquitted based on the evidence entered against him.

I went to a conference in Albuquerque in 2009, I went to the airport there, I spoke with some people, I went to jail, I went to court, and I was acquitted. This took over a year and I owe for thousands of dollars of legal fees as a result. Here’s a video I created at the airport. The State of New Mexico entered this as evidence against me last week. The jury was unconvinced that I was disorderly, trespassed, refused a lawful order, or concealed my identity from police officers with the intent to obstruct.


He was helped, however, by TSA rules that say “in no uncertain terms [that] you do not have to show ID in order to fly, and that you can use cameras in public areas of the airport.”

It’s also clear from the video that, while uncooperative, he remained polite to officers even after one of them waves a baton in his face. As soon as he revealed he didn’t even have ID with him, one officer claimed that he had to show it because ‘you are now part of a criminal investigation.’

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