NJ Attorney General To State Police: Stop Taking Photos Of Christie Protestors

AP

New Jersey’s acting Attorney General on Wednesday ordered the State Police to stop taking pictures of protestors at Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) town hall meetings, according to The Newark Star-Ledger.

Christie opponents and civil liberties advocates had denounced the practice after a man who identified himself a State Police officer was spotted taking pictures of protestors at a town hall on Tuesday.

In a statement to the Star-Ledger on Wednesday, acting state Attorney General John Hoffman, a Christie appointee, said he and State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes had “instructed the State Police to no longer photograph at these events for security or any other purposes.”

“The State Police is responsible for the safety and security of the governor and the public at town hall meetings,” Hoffman said. “In doing so, the State Police are careful to guarantee that First Amendment rights are respected and the public — whether expressing positive or negative sentiments toward the governor and his policies — have ample opportunity to make their positions known.”

A spokesperson for Christie told the newspaper that the Christie did not know the protestors were being photographed.

“Such security matters are determined by the State Police,” Kevin Roberts told the Star-Ledger. “The governor had no knowledge this was happening, and you should direct your questions to the Attorney General’s Office.”

A spokesperson for the state police said the photographs taken Tuesday would be destroyed.

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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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