Update on Libertarian Videographer Arrested for Filming FIJA Action: Facing Possible Eight Years


I blogged about George Donnelly's arrest and release last week outside a Allentown, PA, courthouse for videotaping FIJA activists handing out information, but he was released merely into house arrest, and faces a possible eight years in jail for allegedly assaulting one of the federal agents who accosted him. This report from the "Photography Is Not A Crime" blog has some details, though Donnelly himself is not talking to the press about it right now:

He is specifically being accused of striking one of the officers.

Anybody who has seen the two previous videos where Donnelly was confronted by federal officers in front of a courthouse will find these charges hard to believe.

After all, Donnelly has a tendency to remain courteous even when getting threatened with violence.

Nevertheless, the federal government is charging him with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain United States Government officers or employees, which carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison.

The evidence, of course, lies in the videotape they confiscated from him. We'll be lucky if that ever makes the light of day.

The blog post also has a list of the annoying requirements of Donnelly's pre-conviction "house arrest," including

  • Defendant shall submit to electronic monitoring
  • Defendant must obtain a land line
  • Defendant may drive to food store three times per week, and must submit receipts to pretrial services, with prior approval of pretrial services
  • Travel restricted to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Defendant shall surrender and/or refrain from obtaining or applying for a passport
  • Defendant shall surrender and/or refrain from obtaining any firearms
  • Defendant shall have no contact with co-defendants in this case, or individuals engaged in any criminal activity
  • Defendant may not publicize names, images or locations of officers or release information to anyone else

Donnelly's own blog.