Posts Tagged ‘lawenforcement’

Texas Lawmaker Receiving Death Threats for His Bill That Limits Photographing Cops

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Texas House of Representatives lawmaker Jason Villalba sparked quite a controversy earlier this month after proposing a bill that would make it illegal to photograph a police officer from within 25 feet. People were so angered by the idea that Villalba has received death threats from angry members of the public.
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Texas Bill Makes it a Crime to Photograph Police From Within 25 Feet of Them

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A week after Los Angeles agreed to train its law enforcement that public photography is not a crime, a bill has been proposed in Texas that would make it a crime for citizens to photograph or film police from within 25 feet of where the are.
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LAPD Tasers Will Double as Wireless Shutter Releases for Body Cameras When Fired

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At the end of 2014, we reported that Los Angeles will be the first major city in the US to equip every officer on the street with a body camera. Now the city is announcing that it’s going one step further towards making sure its cops are held accountable by the devices: newly issued Tasers will trigger the cameras when fired.
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Judge: Police Can Use Fake Instagram Accounts to Try to See Your Private Photos

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A federal judge has decided that it’s okay for police officers to befriend Instagram users with fake accounts in order to gain access to photos shared through the service.
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The War Against Photography is Growing Alongside the Use of Security Cameras

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The western world was sent into a brief paranoid frenzy when whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked government information about the surveillance of the National Security Agency (NSA). I say brief, because it seems to have been forgotten by a large number of people; it seemed like it was just more news. The revelations, and more that followed, showed how the NSA record phone calls and data and more controversially; that they use information from emails and social networking sites.
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A Safe Harbor: Being Viewed as a Creep When Out as a Photographer

The schooner Lucy Evelyn as I knew it- a museum and souvenir shop

Most years around this time we take a road trip to visit my family in New Jersey. There are always a couple of camera bags in the back seat, as there will be tomorrow night when we saddle up and head south once again. And most years around this time I think back to something that happened on another hot summer night less than two months before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

For photographers, a lot has changed since then, but we have to remember that most of it started changing well before 9/11. When my students complain about the hassles of trying to make photographs in public places, I tell them that it’s something they’re just going to have to get used to. And then sometimes I tell them this story.
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Justice Department Affirms the Right to Photograph Police in Public

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The US Department of Justice issued a statement this past Sunday that confirms the fact that the 1st, 4th, and 14th Amendment protect citizens’ rights to photograph police in public places.
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Perp Pics Posted to Pinterest Lead to an Uptick in Arrests

Last year there was a minor controversy when the Portland Police Department began posting photos of arrested Occupy protestors to Facebook. It may or may not have been inspired by the PPD, but Pottstown, Pennsylvania newspaper The Pottstown Mercury has begun sharing photographs of wanted individuals through the popular photo sharing service Pinterest.
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NYPD Memo Reminds Police Officers That Photography is Not a Crime

If you’re a street photography-loving New Yorker who’s worried about being stopped and harassed by the New York Police Department, check out this official memo that was sent out to officers back in 2009. The Operations Order, titled “Investigation of Individuals Engaged in Suspicious Photography and Video Surveillance”, states,

Members of the service are reminded that photography and the video taping of public places, buildings and structures are common activities within New York City… all such photography will have no connection to terrorism or unlawful conduct. Given the City’s prominence as a tourist destination, practically all such photography will have no connection to terrorism or unlawful conduct.

Members of the service may not demand to view photographs taken by a person absent consent […] When there is probable cause to believe that the camera, film or other media contains evidence of criminal activity, the item may be seized, and a search warrant must be obtained in order to view its contents.

Here’s a higher-res version of this image in case you’d like to print it out, laminate it, and carry it around in your photo bag. You can bust it out in the event that you do get stopped.


Thanks for sending in the tip, Eric!

LAPD Terror Policy Once Again Identifies Photogs as Potential Terrorists

Bad news for photographers in Southern California: the Los Angeles Police Department issued a notice regarding its official terrorism handling policy earlier this week, and the document still identifies photographers as potential terrorists. The intradepartmental correspondence, sent out by the Chief of Police, warns officers about the following:

Photography. Taking pictures or videos of facilities/buildings, infrastructures or protected sites in a manner that would arouse suspicion in a reasonable person. Examples include taking pictures or videos of ingress/egress, delivery locations, personnel performing security functions (e.g., patrol, badge/vehicle checking), security-related equipment (e.g., perimeter fencing, security cameras), etc.;

Observation/Surveillance. Demonstrating unusual interest in facilities/buildings, infrastructures or protected sites beyond mere casual or professional (e.g., engineers) interest, such that a reasonable person would consider the activity suspicious. Examples include observations through binoculars, taking notes, attempting to measure distances, etc. …

Dennis Romero of L.A. Weekly writes that “the LAPD is now poised to detain and question half the L.A. Weekly staff.”
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