PetaPixel

Washington DC Police Commanded to Leave Photographers Alone

One of the reasons photographers raise a fuss when their rights are infringed upon is to create awareness in the general public and among law enforcement. A recent lawsuit between a photojournalist and the Washington DC police department has done just that. The Washington Post reports:

District police cannot interfere with citizens as they photograph or videotape officers performing their jobs in public, according to a new directive issued by Chief Cathy L. Lanier as part of settlement in a civil lawsuit.

The six-page general order, similar to one published by police in Baltimore in November, warns officers that “a bystander has the right under the First Amendment to observe and record members in the public discharge of their duties.”

[...] “It tells police to leave people alone,” Spitzer said. “It makes it clear that if a person is in a place that interferes with police operations, the officer can ask or tell them to move to another location, but they can’t tell them to stop taking pictures.”

D.C. officers are directed to leave citizen photographers alone [The Washington Post]


Image credit: Fortress Scotus (Washington, DC) by takomabibelot


 
 
  • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.mordt Bryan Mordt

    Wow, finally some common sense being applied.

  • Elliot

    I can already see how the police officers will interpret the part that says “if a person is in a place that interferes with police operations, the officer can ask or tell them to move to another location”

  • Mansgame

    I had to do a double take. This is great! Go Cathy L. Lanier!

  • fStop

    Now it’s time to work on changing Illinois law. The jackboots arrest without cause if you take pictures of them

  • http://twitter.com/intensitystudio Antonio Carrasco

    they don’t need to change the laws, the cops just need to follow the laws

  • fStop

    Yes they do need to CHANGE Illinois law. It is against the law to photo/videopolice while they ‘perform their duties’

  • Phonana

    @antonio….fStop is correct. Check your opinion after you know the facts. Massachusetts and Maryland have similar laws, Illinois is the most restrictive and “jackbooted”. The law basically says the police have to give tippy permission to take their pic. Do you think they would stop to sign a release?