Reporters Had Footage Of On-Air Killer’s Car Crash…Here’s The Chilling Thing The Police Wanted Them To Do With It

What police told BBC video journalist Franz Strasser to do Wednesday, as he sought to cover the apprehension of alleged murderer Vester Flanagan, was completely unprecedented in his multi-year career.   

Following the on-air murder of WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward in the Roanoke area, Flanagan reportedly fled the scene, eventually ending up in northern Virginia on I-66 heading east. That is where police caught up with the suspect. After resisting calls to stop his vehicle, Flanagan veered off the road, stopped his car and shot himself.  

Strasser, who is Washington, D.C-based, was en route to Roanoke with BBC reporter Tara McKelvey, going in the opposite direction on I-66 when they noticed no oncoming traffic. Then, suddenly ahead, they saw several police cars had converged on a silver vehicle on the other side of the freeway (Flanagan’s rental car).

Strasser pulled his car off into the median about 200 yards away from where the police were, grabbed his camera and began filming. The two quickly realized that they had stumbled upon the Flanagan arrest scene. 

Image Credit: Facebook/Franz Strasser

Image Credit: Facebook/Franz Strasser

Six police officers rushed towards them yelling, “Get back to your car!” according to the Virginian-Pilot

They followed the instructions, with Strasser seeking first to open his trunk to put his camera away. An officer came up and closed his trunk before he could.

“You’re not going anywhere. Your car is being towed,” the officer told him. “You’re parked illegally.”

The officer then asked about the footage: “What’s on that camera? That could be evidence. We need to seize that.”

He took the camera and sought to view the footage, but could not figure out how it worked. The officer directed Strasser to show it to him. The journalist said that he really needed to get on to Roanoke. The police then instructed him to delete the footage, which he reluctantly did.

Franz Strasser tweets

The veteran cameraman, who has covered the Sandy Hook shootings, the Boston Marathon bombing and Ferguson, had never heard of such a thing. Sometimes he has been told to stop filming or to move away, but never to erase what he already has.

Strasser wrote on his Facebook page later that day: “Recovered some images of our encounter with the police today. Working on recovering the full video, too.” He noted the officer who ordered him to delete his footage is not shown in the pictures he posted. 

Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, told the Virginian-Pilot:

There are narrow circumstances in which police could ask for video footage or obtain it with a search warrant, he said. For instance, if a serious crime was committed and police believe that if they didn’t seize a camera, evidence would be lost or destroyed, they can ask for consent to view the images or get a search warrant, he said.

In this case, the trooper violated the reporter’s First Amendment right to free speech, his Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable seizure and his 14th Amendment right not to be deprived of property without due process, Osterreicher said.

“It would seem from that conversation that the trooper was very interested that whatever images (Strasser) had never see the light of day,” he said.

The Daily Sheeple reports that the “National Press Photographer’s Association has requested a formal investigation of the Wednesday incident. Corrine Geller, a representative for the Virginia State Police, says it is investigating the incident. In a tweet to Strasser, she said, ‘VSP is aware of this incident and we are looking into it, as such actions violate VSP policy.’”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

The ‘Gay Marriage’ Gauntlet: Time To Choose

It’s never fun to be proven right when warning of some impending wrong. Many in the pro-family movement have long stressed that the cultural Marxist left’s belligerent push for the judicial fiction that is “gay marriage” was never about gaining “equal access” to this biologically exclusive male-female institution, as they profess–but, rather, is, and has always been, about control.

While there are many layers to unfold, the almost instant explosion in government-sanctioned, anti-Christian extremism on display post Obergefell v. Hodges confirms the poisonous three-fold agenda that underlies the “social justice” mob’s flowery “marriage equality” propaganda. That is: 1) the ultimate destruction of marriage, 2) forced affirmation of sexual deviancy under penalty of law, and 3) the eventual criminalization of Christianity.

The destruction of marriage

Here’s the bottom line: Homosexual activists don’t want the white picket fence; they want to burn down the white picket fence. The endgame is not to achieve so-called “marriage equality” but, rather, to render marriage reality meaningless.

Masha Gessen, a lesbian journalist, activist and author, expressly admitted this fact in a 2012 interview with ABC Radio: “It’s a no-brainer that [homosexuals] should have the right to marry,” she said. “But I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. … [F]ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there – because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.”

Homosexual activist and pornographer Clinton Fein echoes Gessen’s candid sentiments: “Demand the institution [of marriage] and then wreck it,” he once wrote. “James Dobson was right about our evil intentions,” he quipped. “We just plan to be quicker than he thought.”

The goal is to water down marriage until marriage is pointless. And as evidenced by the burgeoning legal push for polygamous and incestuous “marriages” – even for the “right” to “marry” a robot – sexual anarchists are well on their way to achieving this goal.

Forced affirmation of sexual deviancy

Here’s what Christian America is already experiencing from coast to coast. On Wednesday, civil rights law firm Liberty Counsel filed a request for a stay and an appeal of U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s opinion ordering Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to issue same-sex “marriage” licenses both in violation of her First Amendment right to religious free exercise and the biblical mandate that she must not participate in this explicitly sinful activity. Davis had been sued by the ACLU and two lesbian political activists.

“The plaintiffs in this case only sought licenses from Ms. Davis after learning of her religious objections to same-sex ‘marriage,’ and they refuse to obtain a license elsewhere,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Just as Justice Alito predicted in his dissent in Obergefell, secularists are trying to ‘stamp out every vestige of dissent’ by targeting people of faith who do not agree with same-sex ‘marriage.’”

Judge Bunning wrote: “Davis remains free to practice her Apostolic Christian beliefs. She may continue to attend church twice a week, participate in Bible study and minister to female inmates at the Rowan County Jail. She is even free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk,” the ruling said.

“Judge Bunning’s decision equated Kim’s free exercise of religion to going to church. This is absurd!” responded Staver. “Christianity is not a robe you take off when you leave a sanctuary. The First Amendment guarantees Kim and every American the free exercise of religion, even when they are working for the government.

“Kim Davis did not sign up as a clerk to issue same-sex ‘marriage’ licenses. Her job duty was changed by five lawyers without any constitutional authority. At a minimum, her religious convictions should be accommodated,” concluded Staver.

Indeed, Davis’ oath as county clerk was to defend and protect the U.S. Constitution and the constitution of Kentucky. As Chief Justice John Roberts rightly observed in his Obergefell dissent, the activist majority’s opinion actually hijacks the democratic process and is in no way rooted in the Constitution: “[D]o not celebrate the Constitution,” he said. “It had nothing to do with it.”

The fact is that if Ms. Davis were to issue counterfeit same-sex “marriage” licenses, she would not only be disobeying God and directly participating in expressly sinful activity; she would be violating her constitutional oath.

The criminalization of Christianity

To her credit, Ms. Davis is standing her ground while the decision is appealed. Predictably, many leftists are now clamoring for her imprisonment. They want her held in contempt of court and thrown in jail for refusing to at once affirm homosexual sin and violate God’s commands. This is the new pagan orthodoxy. It’s “here, it’s queer, get used to it.”

Meanwhile, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) reports on “a Colorado Court of Appeals decision Thursday in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig, regarding a cake artist who declined to use his artistic abilities to promote and endorse their same-sex ceremony even though other cake artists were willing to do the job.”

“Americans are guaranteed the freedom to live and work consistent with their faith,” observed ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco. “Government has a duty to protect people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally rather than force them to adopt the government’s views. Jack (C. Phillips, the cake artist) simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic talents to promote a message with which he disagrees. The court is wrong to deny Jack his fundamental freedoms.”

The court affirmed an earlier order wherein Phillips and his Christian staff were not only ordered to bake homosexual “wedding” cakes against their will, but were additionally forced into pro-homosexual “sensitivity” propaganda classes.

And if they refuse?

Then they go to jail.

That’s how it works. Christian free exercise isn’t outlawed all at once. Judges across our fruity plain simply order from the bench that millions of Christians, just like Kim Davis and Jack Phillips, must either deny recognition of God’s natural order and Christ’s admonition to “go and sin no more,” or face prison for “contempt of court.”

Welcome to 2015 America, where evil is good, men are women, judges are tyrants, and Christians are persona non grata. There is no more in between. The anti-Christ left has thrown down the “gay marriage” gauntlet. It’s either God or man.

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. … But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

Whom will you serve?

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Her School Refused To Let Her Start A Pro-Life Club. She Just Made Them Regret It In A Huge Way.

With the help of advocates including attorneys from the Thomas More Society, Las Vegas high school student Angelique Clark is hoping to force a change to a policy she believes is stifling students’ free speech.

She approached administrators at West Career and Technical Academy about forming a new pro-life club, citing the interest of other students. Noting that the school already had a number of special interest clubs, Clark said she saw no reason for her request to be denied.

“The school actually already has a Gay-Straight Alliance and a Bible club,” she said in a recent Fox & Friends interview, “and multiple other clubs, so I would have the right to have a pro-life club.”

In addition to complaining that the club would be controversial, the school also alleged that Clark had not produced the necessary faculty member willing to sign off on the club.

“I’ve had a faculty adviser since I submitted the application in December of 2014,” she responded, “and I still have a faculty adviser.”

She explained that she is “very passionate” about the issue of abortion, noting that she wants to establish the club “to educate other people about what it really does to women and preborn human beings.”

More than two dozen students are interested in joining the club, she said, adding that “a lot of other students come up to me and ask how they can help.”

A lawsuit was filed last week, she noted, and she is now waiting for school administrators to reply. Reports indicate a judge could file an injunction forcing the school to approve the club’s formation prior to the conclusion of a trial.

The high school junior is hoping for a quick resolution in her favor, concluding that she wants to have “at least two years to have the club.”

Should schools allow students to form pro-life clubs? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

A Governor Attempted ‘Total Intimidation’ Against Gun Supporters. They Just Made Him Pay…

Gun rights advocates in New York State have scored a legal victory over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration in regards to a 2014 gun-rights rally during which state troopers are accused of intimidating attendees and violating their First Amendment rights.

“I was there, and it was total intimidation,” said New York State Assemblyman David DiPietro. “That was done by the governor on purpose to try and intimidate people.”

A gun-rights group, the Shooters Committee on Political Education, or SCOPE, sought records regarding the event. They seek to learn if state lawyers “concocted a special regulation designed to suppress protestors’ right to use toy guns in exercise of their First Amendment Rights,” according to court papers.

The Cuomo Administration refused to give up all the requested documents, numbering more than 150, citing attorney-client privilege. The state is expected to appeal the ruling.

The April 1, 2014 rally drew an estimated 5,000 demonstrators. As the speakers railed against the SAFE Act, however, police confiscated two signs or items that looked like replicas of assault weapons, one plastic and one made of wood. Lawyer John Ostrowski, representing SCOPE, argued that the gun replicas were “political messages and were clearly not firearms.”

The decision came less than two months after another judge ordered the State Police to relinquish information on weapons registrations, as required by Cuomo’s signature Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act of 2013.

Central to the law was a ban on assault weapons, characterized by military-style features such as pistol grips or flash suppressors. The ban angered Second Amendment supporters who coalesced around groups like SCOPE. It also sparked a number of lawsuits.

DiPietro blasted Cuomo’s administration for secrecy.

“Here’s the governor, who is being demanded by the court to turn over public documents, and he keeps refusing,” DiPietro said. “That’s the height of arrogance.”

h/t: TheBlaze

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

A Baker Refused To Make A Cake For A Gay Wedding. What A Court Just Ruled Could Have Huge Implications.

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a Christian baker must bake cakes for same-sex weddings.

The court affirmed a Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling that Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood outside of Denver, violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA).

“CADA prohibits places of public accommodations from basing their refusal to serve customers on their sexual orientation, and Masterpiece violated Colorado’s public accommodations law by refusing to create a wedding cake for Craig’s and Mullins’ same-sex wedding celebration,” the court wrote.

Phillips, a devout Christian, did not refuse to serve Charlie Craig and David Mullins when they came in his bakery in July 2012, but informed the men that, because of his beliefs, he would have to decline their wedding cake business. Gay marriage was not legalized in the state until October 2014. He told them he was more than happy to sell them other baked goods.

“Phillips believes that decorating cakes is a form of art, that he can honor God through his artistic talents, and that he would displease God by creating cakes for same-sex marriages,” the court opinion recognized. However, the three-judge panel rejected his religious liberty argument, finding that his refusal to bake a same-sex wedding cake constituted discrimination against the couple based on their sexual orientation. The same-sex couple’s right to not be discriminated against overrides Phillips’ right to the free exercise of religion, according to the court. 

“We conclude that the act of same-sex marriage is closely correlated to Craig’s and Mullins’ sexual orientation, and therefore, the [administrative law judge] did not err when he found that Masterpiece’s refusal to create a wedding cake for Craig and Mullins was ‘because of’ their sexual orientation, in violation of CADA,” wrote Judge Taubman.

The judge added that “Phillips is free to post a disclaimer online or in his store indicating that his services don’t constitute an endorsement of gay marriage,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“This is an important decision for civil rights in Colorado and for the country,” Denver attorney Paula Greisen said.

Masterpiece’s attorney, Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said: “The court is wrong to deny Jack his fundamental freedoms.” They are considering their legal options.

The court order requires Phillips to retrain his staff, including his 88 year-old mother, in the state’s anti-discrimination policies.

He told Fox News’ Todd Starnes shortly after Thursday’s ruling that he will not be retraining his mother, adding defiantly: “And I’m not going to make same-sex wedding cakes.”

The court’s ruling is not fair. It shows that some people have more equal rights than others. When you’re not in line with the same-sex agenda, you don’t have as much equal rights.

Phillips stopped making wedding cakes altogether at his Lakewood bakery last year, but hopes to be able to use his talents again to do so one day. Meanwhile, Western Journalism confirmed there is another award-winning bakery that does make wedding cakes a three minute walk from his location.

As reported by WJ last month, a bakery in Oregon, owned by a Christian couple, was ordered to pay $135,000 in punitive damages for declining to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The final ruling came down shortly after the Supreme Court found all state laws defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman unconstitutional.

The couple received an outpouring of support, with online donations totaling over $400,000.

Do you believe these bakers should be able to exercise their 1st Amendment rights by declining to make same-sex wedding cakes? Please leave your comments below. 

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth