Well – my activism efforts have gotten me sued!
Not the Tenth Amendment Center.
A few months ago, I launched into some local activism in my hometown related to surveillance. This activism is directly connected to my work here at the TAC and flows out of efforts we’ve put into reining in the surveillance state through state and local action. I figured by engaging in boots on the ground activism in my own backyard, it would broaden my perspective and help us more effectively support other efforts across the country.
I got a little more than I bargained for!
I initially asked for information pertaining “mobile surveillance cameras” operated by Lexington Police Department through an open records request. The LPD denied the request, citing a statute that exempts certain documents relating to homeland security, along with a second statute exempting certain “investigative reports.” On appeal, the state attorney general’s office rejected both exemptions claimed by the police and ordered it to hand over the documents. The city has sued me in an attempt to overturn the AG opinion.
I’m not going to lie. When a county constable showed up at my door and served me a legal summons, it freaked me out a little. A lot of stuff runs through your head – first and foremost, “How in the hell will I pay for this!”
It also freaked my wife out. She had visions of the cops dragging me off to the gulag. Of course, that’s not going to happen. But it really is a sobering reminder that we are going up against very powerful entities that are more than willing to “play rough.”
Of course, that’s part of the point. Government entities do stuff like this to intimidate people into sitting down and shutting up.
Fortunately, I have resources at my disposal, and I’m in the process of planning a rigorous defense. I can’t say much about that right now, but I will tell you the city is going to get more than it bargained for.
On a side-note, some of the documents I have gotten proved something we’ve known all along – the feds are heavily involved in funding local police surveillance. We’ll be releasing more on that in the future.
At the end of the Declaration of Independence, the signers pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. It’s a reminder of the cost of liberty. Getting sued by the city doesn’t come anywhere close to that level. But I’m not going to lie; it is something of a sacrifice. It’s going to require a lot of time, energy and emotion I would surely enjoy expending elsewhere. But, I committed to fight for liberty a long time ago. I guess this is part of the bargain. So, Lexington city government – go ahead. Bring it!