Coalition protests installment of surveillance cameras

About a dozen protestors showed their opposition to the installation of surveillance cameras in downtown Columbia Friday afternoon.

The Mid-Missouri Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has joined with two other groups called Liberty On The Rocks and The Boone Liberty Coalition.

The demonstrators handed out flyers and pretended to use cameras to hold a mock surveillance protest.

Proposition One is a ballot issue that would allow the Columbia Police Chief to put city-owned surveillance cameras in high crime areas.

Protestors say they are not opposed to privately-owned surveillance cameras.

They oppose government controlled cameras that are subject to the state TMs sunshine law.

Keep Columbia Free member Mark Flakne said, They are going to announce where they are and they are going to be very visible. It TMs going to give the wrong idea. It TMs going to suppress that type of activity. People act differently when they are constantly surveilled. There are plenty of studies that say that. We don TMt need that here in downtown Columbia and we don TMt want it in downtown Columbia.

Protestors call their newly formed anti-Proposition One group Keep Columbia Free.

That name is a parody of the name of a group supporting the ballot issue called Keep Columbia Safe.

Karen Taylor organized Keep Columbia Safe after her son Adam was attacked in a Columbia parking garage.

Surveillance cameras helped identify Adam TMs attackers.

Columbia voters will decide the fate of the ordinance on the April 6 ballot.