Cop Who Threatened to Make Photog’s Life a ‘Living Hell’ Found Guilty of Misconduct

Following up on a story we shared a couple of months ago, it seems we now have TWO examples of police officers facing consequences for dealing with photographers unprofessionally.

The story, in case you need a refresher, is the one that involved an anonymous UK photographer and the police officer who threatened to make his life “a living hell” for photographing the scene of a crash from a safe distance away in a public space. The officer claimed that only press were allowed to take photos at a ‘crime scene,’ which is not the case, and seized his camera as evidence.

The photographer recorded his interaction with the irate police officer and posted the video (above) on YouTube, sparking a long investigation that ended recently with the officer being found guilty of misconduct, given a written warning and pulled from frontline duty.


According to Amateur Photographer, the Gloucestershire Police had this to say in a statement:

All officers sign an oath to serve the public with respect to all people and, while we believe our staff uphold this in the vast majority of incidents, clearly in this case the standard of behaviour fell short of what is expected.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the other example we mentioned in the intro, we were referring to the Seattle Police Officer who was fired for how he dealt with a newspaper editor. You can read that story here.

(via Amateur Photographer via Imaging Resource)

  • Fuzztographer

    Oh, scary, now he must face punishment from the Department of Paid Vacations!

  • RegularGuy55

    It’s a shame these authoritarian figures don’t know the limits of that authority, or when to exercise it correctly.

  • David Liang

    Yeah if it’s anything like it is here in Canada, that’s exactly what will happen. But I think every little bit helps when it comes to attention being brought to this sort of thing and the courts siding with the victims rightly.

  • Chris Pickrell

    Best part, the cop has zero idea that those photos are 99% recoverable :D

  • MJSfoto1956

    seem this cop was predicting his own future…

  • Nick Silverstein

    What a brain dead idiot! Not intelligent enough to know his own job and the parameters/rules which he should abide by. No wonder police get a bad name, all because of the “big men” in uniform who shouldn’t be in that uniform in the first place!

  • Krijsh

    What a wanker

  • Rodney Wren

    Genius didn’t even realize he was be video taped. Good thing he doesn’t carry a gun. Wait scratch that.

  • Anna

    “The officer claimed that only press were allowed to take photos at a ‘crime scene’” – not just a crime scene but HIS crime scene…

  • Nobody important

    Everyone can have a bad day at work. For all we know the officer’s dog died that morning or he got kicked out of the house by his wife. The difference is that if I bark at someone, I’ll be laughed at and called an idiot. I don’t have the power to make permanent ruinous changes to someone’s life.

    This is why we expect that our police offers be held to a high standard of behaviour when dealing with the public. In general terms, no-one should be calling for the constable’s badge over this but what bears examining is whether this is indicative of a trend of behaviour for the officer. He wasn’t dealing with a violent drunk here or a driver who caused a pile up and tried to escape.

    Let’s be gentlemen about this.

  • Kynikos

    Remember how all the smartest, most thoughtful, compassionate kids in your high school entered the Police Academy?

    Me neither.

  • David Sr

    I’d be like “OK, here I am deleting them.” Do a Format, go right back to the office and run File Recovery. ALL the images would be back. I win. Srgt. Wallace, yer a poor example to your profession, grow up. The whole “I’m a cop and I say what the law is” crap is out of hand. Glad this guy video’d the encounter. I think this is a demote-able offense. Reduce those 3 stripes down to 1.

  • mayo

    I think that the police officer had the right motivation but a bad way to make his point clear. Guess what happened if the photographer had uploaded his pictures from the accident and maybe from the victim? Now think what happened if the victim had passed away and the pictures reach the husband of the victim (im not sure but i think they talked about a woman) before a police psychologist had a chance to support the family and the husband? thats why there are police press officers. and thats why they are distributing images to the press. dont get me wrong im loving freedom but here i need to say: “seriously? getting pictures of a car accident? morality anyone?”

    sorry for my bad english. i hope u get me point.

  • David Sr

    If an officer’s dog dies, and they are unable to enforce the LAW accurately, they ought call in sick. No excuse for officers to ‘Make Laws’ or grossly misinterpret them. Their job is to enforce the law as it is written, not as they wish. If a Brain Surgeon’s dog dies and they are having a “bad day” and are unable to remove my tumor without causing other damage, I’d prefer they post pone until they were 100%. IMO

  • David Sr

    100% if you use Format and remove the card and not do any more writes to it. I’ve tested it multiple times. Always get 100%. The key is not writing to the card after format.

  • Chris Pickrell

    Well, yeah. I’ve never had 100% success. But I’ve had in high 90s. I was just speaking generally. But yes, you are absolutely correct :)

  • battlepriest

    Doesn’t formatting a card remove all data from it?

  • Omar Salgado

    It only erases the index. To truly erase files, you need to overwrite them with “empty” data or burn your hard drive to mere ashes.

  • Omar Salgado

    Get to visit La Prensa newspaper.

    3w d0t oem d0t c0m d0t mx slash laprensa slash

  • Hector

    What the policeman did was legally wrong but photographing an accident is morally questionable when the photographer has no link to the press. What exactly did he intend to do with those photos?

  • Eden Wong

    Hector, so long as the photographer was acting legally and in a
    responsible manner then it’s no one’s business or concern what the
    photographer intended to do with the photos. Thinking that press
    credentials somehow make photographs “legit” is ludicrous.

  • Mike

    I dare say that you agree with the nobody, yet didnt read the comment thoroughly

  • Mike

    Testing a new camera? Simply enjoys taking pictures? Why do we all have to have some say in otherwise legal activities? Either it is legal, or it is not?

  • Sarah

    Was the camera returned?

  • Bawbag

    Did you watch the entire video you bawbag schmuck?