A citizen trying to record the Texas House Committee on State Affairs was dragged out of the room on the orders of Joe Straus’ hatchetman.
Earlier today, Amy Hedtke and other citizen activists came to the Texas Capitol in order to testify on legislation to curtail abortion in Texas, much of which was set for a hearing in the State Affairs committee chaired by State Rep. Byron Cook (R–Corsicana).
While waiting for the committee to begin proceedings, Hedtke began filming the proceedings of the committee and broadcasting online using her iPhone. Such recording was in defiance of posted signage by Cook which states only citizens granted media credentials by the Texas House would be allowed to film within the room—signage that Hedtke says violates state law.
After noticing Hedtke’s filming in the back of the room, Cook instructed DPS troopers and House personnel to prevent Hedtke from recording the proceedings of his committee. However, when confronted Hedtke refused to stop recording.
“State law is clear. I have the right to be here and you are violating state law if you violate my right to record,” said Hedtke in a video posted to Facebook.
After debating Hedtke on the law for several minutes, DPS troopers physically removed her from the committee room.
“Basically they have arrested her for attempting to record the committee hearing as she is not a ‘member of the media’,” said Andy Prior, an activist and friend of Hedtke.
A video taken by Prior and posted to Facebook shows Hedtke in handcuffs being taken away by DPS.
A liberal Republican, Cook has been an enemy of pro-life activists for a decade and has used his position as chairman of State Affairs to dilute and destroy life-saving legislation.
Texas Scorecard is currently pursuing legal action against the Texas House for unlawfully revoking a reporter’s press credential and thus preventing him from being able to record Cook’s committee.
This story is still developing and will be updated as information comes available.