When the case of State of New Mexico v. Phillip Mocek (misspelled in the court docket as “Moesack”) was called this morning in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court in Albuquerque, the defense was ready for trial.
But Assistant District Attorney Dan Rislove claimed that he had only just yesterday learned of the existence of additional video evidence, and needed more time to review this video.
Defense attorney Molly Schmidt-Nowara told the court that the prosecution had already been aware of the existence of this video, but agreed to a 2-day delay of the trial until 9 a.m. Thursday morning, December 9th, to allow the prosecutor more time to review the video.
But when (by prior arrangement and with the court’s explicit prior permission) we began photographing those in attendance, the TSA and police became visibly agitated, to the point of apparent near-panic. They got the prosecutor to point out our camera to Judge Kevin Fitzwater. Judge Fitzwater, however, said that he was already aware of our camera and audio recorder and had given us permission to use them as long we didn’t record or photograph members of the jury pool, none of whom were yet in the room.
Meanwhile, the men from the TSA held up manila folders for the remainder of the hearing to hide their faces — already familiar from their own videos and surveillance camera photos — from any photos after our first one reproduced above. It seems that the intense fear of public scrutiny they showed in going after Mr. Mocek for allegedly trying to take photos at the checkpoint at ABQ continues today, and extends even into a courtroom where the defendant has a Constitutional right to a public trial.
What is the TSA trying to hide?
Stay tuned. We’ll be there when Phil Mocek returns to court in Albuquerque on Thursday morning.