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2/27/2006
Bounty Offered to Catch Houston Police Chief on Video
Activist fights back against Houston, Texas surveillance cameras by offering prize for tape of police chief committing a crime.

Chief Harold Hurtt
Houston, Texas Police Chief Harold Hurtt proposed an unprecedented expansion of police video surveillance cameras, including the installation of red light cameras at fifty intersections. In explaining the new program, Hurtt said on February 15, "I know a lot of people are concerned about big brother, but my response to that is, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?"

Hurtt's statement infuriated Matt Asher, 32, an Oregon resident is offering a reward to the first person to capture the police chief on camera violating any law, no matter how minor.

"Why shouldn't those who promote the laws be the first to taste their effects?" Asher asked in an interview with TheNewspaper. "I don't want my every move tracked, my every action watched. I don't want to be treated as guilty until proven innocent by the all seeing cameras, and I'm guessing Harold Hurtt won't like it very much either."

Asher put up $1000 of his own money toward the prize and pledges from website visitors have boosted the total reward amount to its current level of $1850. Asher explained his actions are intended to make a point.

"It seems like the government only works in one direction: more laws, more invasion of privacy, and our more restrictions of our freedom," Asher said. "At the same time, there's never any pushback. The idea of my website is to turn this around, if only in a small way."

View the Hurtt Prize website.



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