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And also killed a local Austin street artist's companion dog which he considered unforgivable. Soon after he became a legal advocate in response to that horrendous crime by the APD.. Joined several groups of filmers and individuals and is still out filming. Julian has mostly been filming to keep the same law dept from harming people and their dogs who either don't know their rights or have no real access to law themselves and people who are impacted or from historically Austin marginalized communities in general. He still films the cops on the streets in Austin. A dangerous job. Mostly for volunteer basis and for independent news outlets like the Challenger Street Newspaper.
Since then, Julian Reyes has joined, trained of shared knowledge with dozens of other photojournalists in Austin, St. Loius/Ferguson, Missouri, etc. that also like to film interactions with govt. officials. The same govt. officials (aka police) that will often retaliate against us for filming, use threats, intimidation, coercion and block the view of many people that film them. These threats often lead to police retaliation, interference of filming rights and law, and false arrests.
Until now little could be done for indigent and low-income filmers.
Now we have the Watchers Defense Collective in Austin, Texas, U.S.A. We are a non-political group operating under Open Collective Foundation (our 501c3 fiscal host). We intend to will help filmers defend the Civil Rights of photojournalists. Filmers denied access to the law, as well as push hard against the fabricated immunites that police and their parent governmental entities and persons in charge enjoy in the Courts.
We do this as you do this - for social justice for all, and for transparency and accountability of Government. Creating a more just, accountable and transparent land for people to protect people from rogue agents operating under color of law. Protecting people's Civil Rights and proving again that filming is a constitutionally protected exercise. Transparency of government is the law. Accountability is part of that right and a major goal of social justice. Without us filmers no one is safe from our own government and any dangerous rogue agents. Transparency of government is a type of sunlight that cures corruption especially as seen with policing. We can't talk about your "public safety" without all of the above.
Until police decide to live stream all their activities to the Public from their own bodycameras. We are responsible until that time. Citizen journalist, free press, must be allowed access and freedom to express themselves through film and to practice that art form, as free speech and a protected right. Exercise filming, flex your rights when you are able, seek justice and Film the Police for the People and your community, to keep us safe and to remedy ongoing fraud, waste and abuse.
Join us, sponsor us, and film the police, it's your right and it is essential. For the People.