(CNN) –New Jersey's acting attorney general and the state police superintendent banned state police on Wednesday from taking photos of hecklers and protesters at Gov. Chris Christie's now-weekly town halls.
The announcement came after a man taking photos of demonstrators at Tuesday's town hall reportedly identified himself as a member of the state police.
Democratic Assemblywomen Loretta Weinberg, who co-chairs the legislative committee investigating the George Washington Bridge controversy, issued a scathing statement Tuesday, calling the picture-taking a "Nixonian tactic" and blaming Christie "for allowing this to happen."
On Wednesday, Acting Attorney General John Hoffman, who was appointed by Christie, ordered state police to stop the practice.
"The State Police is responsible for the safety and security of the governor and the public at town hall meetings," he said in a statement, which was first reported by the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
"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. That said, the colonel and I have instructed the State Police to no longer photograph at these events for security or any other purposes."
Colin Reed, a spokesman for Christie, said "such security matters are determined by the State Police" and "the governor had no knowledge this was happening."
Further questions were directed to the attorney general's office.
More than a dozen hecklers disrupted Christie's town hall in South River, New Jersey, on Tuesday.
Christie stayed silent as the scene unfolded. After the protesters left, he weighed in: "Well congratulations you have now seen the latest gift given to you by the public sector unions in the state of New Jersey."
They continued their protests outside the venue after being escorted out. Most were affiliated with the labor organizations, the Communication Workers of America and New Jersey Working Families.
Christie had anticipated the hecklers and urged the audience to ignore them at the top of his remarks Tuesday. Security at the venue was noticeably tighter than at previous town halls, of which Christie has now held 114 since becoming governor in 2009.
The demonstrators first started interrupting the town halls last week, when they took turns shouting at the governor throughout the event.