|comment By Bob Weaver|
The Herald's usual and customary coverage of local events has slowed because our camera has been confiscated by the WV State Police.
Research regarding the Homeland Security violation of photographing a federal building indicates it has often been a case of misunderstanding or misuse by officials across the country.
Some "suspicious" photographers have been detained to determine if they are terrorists.
In this case with Cpl. Doug Starcher, it seems rather fanciful that the officer would consider me "suspicious," as a possible terrorist, since he knows me and why I photograph at such scenes.
Just to be clear, I was attempting to photograph those who responded to the bomb threat at the Big Bend Armory, all of whom were positioned next to the highway where I stood on public space.
It's disturbing that the State Police can, perhaps illegally, confiscate a camera from a person standing on public right-of-way, without warrant, and in this case, without redress.
The Herald is moving forward with necessary steps to have the camera returned.
We have filed letters of complaint against the Grantsville State Police for consistent violation of legal and civil rights, notwithstanding consistent violations of WV's public information statues.
As the long-time publisher of the Herald and also as an elected official, I would hope that my actions would be considered as also standing up for the people of Calhoun County and their rights.
I can assure you, in a personal sense, it does not benefit me.