What do a loaded gun, a stun gun disguised as a pack of cigarettes and an inert grenade all have in common? Pictures of all of them are to be found on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) new Instagram account, where the government agency is doing its best to show the public the kinds of dangerous things its employees are confiscating on a daily basis. Read more…
DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier (left) and Earl Staley (right)
Well, that didn’t take long. Just one day after Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier issued a directive ordering officers to leave photographers alone (PDF here), a police officer reportedly snatched a man’s camera at a crime scene and later returned it without the memory card. My Fox DC writes,
Earl Staley says he considers what happened to him Friday, July 20, a robbery.
“I know that I could take these pictures of these guys,” Staley tells Fox 5 News. “I know it. Especially when they’re doing something wrong.”
Staley says his smartphone was snatched by a D.C. Police officer last Friday evening along Raleigh Place in Southeast D.C. Staley says he saw police punching a man they were arresting and another plain-clothes officer harassing the people watching.
“So I go and grab my phone and start trying to record it,” says Staley, a 26-year-old employee of a private, non-profit mental health agency in the District. “And once I do that, another vice cop reaches over my back and grabs my phone and tells me he’s not giving my phone back.”
Man claims cell phone taken by DC Police officer at crime scene (via Pixiq)
Image credits: Photographs by the Washington DC PD and My Fox DC
On Memorial Day 2011, Narces Benoit witnessed and filmed a group of Miami police officers shooting and killing a suspect in a car chase and armed robbery. He was then confronted by officers who handcuffed him and smashed his cell phone, but Benoit was able to sneakily preserve the video with some quick thinking. The Miami Herald writes,
Benoit said the officers eventually uncuffed him after gunshots rang out elsewhere and he discreetly removed the [memory] card and placed it in his mouth.
Officers again took his phone, demanding his video. He said they took him to a nearby mobile command center, snapped a picture of him, then took him to police headquarters and conducted a recorded interview while he kept the [memory] card in his mouth. He insisted his phone was broken.
The video was uploaded to YouTube yesterday, and has since gone viral. A local news cameraman also had his camera confiscated and thrown into the back of a police car.
(via The Miami Herald via Carlos Miller)
Update: Turns out it wasn’t a SIM card, but an SD memory card that was used in a HTC EVO. (Thanks Caleb!)
Update: You can read the National Press Photographers Association’s response here.
Here’s another site you can bookmark if you’re constantly on the hunt for cheap, used camera gear to play with: PropertyRoom.com is an online auction site through which law enforcement agencies can sell goods that were stolen, seized, or found. There’s a section just for for photography that includes cameras, lenses, and accessories. Like the Goodwill auction site we featured last year, the fact that these auctions sites are lesser known means it more likely that you’ll be able to find a crazy deal.
PropertyRoom.com (via Imaging Insider)