Posts Tagged ‘activists’

Iconic Civil Rights Photographer Exposed as FBI Informant

Some of the most raw, intimate and iconic photographs of the Civil Rights Movement were taken by photojournalist Ernest C. Withers. He was present during the entire Emmett Till trial, when Martin Luther King, Jr. rode the first desegregated bus, and in the hotel room where Dr. King was assassinated. Many civil rights activists would cite Withers’ images as key to informing America of their plight and fight for equality.

But recent reports by Memphis publication The Commercial Appeal indicate that Withers, who passed away in 2007, was also informing the FBI — on their payroll.

The Commercial Appeal posted documents indicating that while Withers was photographing key members of the movement, he was also acting eyes and ears for a now inoperative wing of the FBI that heavily tracked civil rights activists.

Due to a clerical error revealing Withers’ informant number, reporters at The Commercial Appeal were able to connect Withers’ name to informant activities. Read more…

Photographers Banned for Life from Metro for Taking Pictures

It seems like every week there’s a new story of some photographer being hassled by law enforcement. Photojournalist Stretch Ledford and Carlos Miller of Photography is Not a Crime recently visited the the Miami-Dade Metrorail to ride through a few stations and see if anyone would stop them from doing non-commercial photography. They didn’t even make it to the first station.

Despite receiving assurance from Eric Muntan, Chief of Safety and Security of the metro, that non-commercial photography was perfectly fine, they still ran into a load of trouble with the private security and subsequently the Miami Police. Check out the video Miller recorded above to see what unfolded.

Here’s Ledford’s account of what happened, and here’s Miller’s.


Thanks for the tip, @stephanieldavis!