After complaints that state police were photographing people protesting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), the state's attorney general has stepped in to outlaw the practice.
Protesters have complained that the photographs violated their civil liberties.
The order came a day after a man who identified himself as a member of the State Police photographed people who disrupted one of the governor’s usually highly orchestrated events.
In a statement issued to The Star-Ledger, acting Attorney General John Hoffman said he and State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes had "instructed the State Police to no longer photograph at these events for security or any other purposes."
Christie plans to hold another town hall meeting Thursday in Flemington.
In calling for a halt to the practice, Hoffman said: "The State Police is responsible for the safety and security of the governor and the public at town hall meetings. In doing so, the State Police are careful to guarantee that First Amendment rights are respected and the public — whether expressing positive or negative sentiments toward the governor and his policies — have ample opportunity to make their positions known."
A spokesman for the governor said Christie was unaware that his critics were being photographed.
Christie continues to hold town halls while still dealing with the fallout from his administration's bridge scandal. There were no disturbances at the first town hall, but several protesters disrupted the second one.