Posts Tagged ‘lawenforcement’

Freedom of the Press Begins with You

Here’s a disturbing video called “If You See Something, Film Something” that shows why it’s important that citizens have the right to turn cameras on the activities of police officers without being stopped or harassed:

The United States has growing problem with police abuse, brutality, and corruption. It is essential for civilians to document their encounters with police officers to ensure transparency, accountability, and safety to all of those involved.

Police departments have, for too long, tried to bully, intimidate, threaten, arrest, or otherwise harass law abiding citizens from recording the activities of law enforcement in public. Enough is enough! It is time for all of us to take a stand and expose police brutality when we witness it.

Be warned: the video contains many graphic scenes of police brutality…

Funny (But Sad) Test of Photographers’ Rights in Germany

German satire program Extra 3 conducted a humorous — albeit disconcerting — experiment testing photographers’ (and videographers) rights in Germany. They had an actor use a camera at different “sensitive” government locations, doing the exact same things (e.g. film the locations of security cameras) but dressed in two different outfits — first as a European tourist and then as a Middle Eastern man. The result shows that how law enforcement deals with cameras is largely determined by common prejudices.


Thanks for sending in the tip, Felix!

At This Rate, All the Hipsters in LA Will Be Locked Up in No Time

The Long Beach Police Department’s hunt for photos with “no apparent esthetic value” quickly became national news last week. Here’s a news segment in which Alyona Minkovski of RT speaks out against the erosion of photographers’ rights in the United States:

I understand that the Department of Homeland Security has a job to do, but we can’t just automatically assume that any photographer out there is a terrorist. At this rate I’m pretty sure that all the hipsters in LA will be locked up in no time.

Hopefully the publicity that these stories receive will make it easier for photo-enthusiasts to shoot in public without being harassed.

(via Fstoppers)

News Photographer Arrested for Filming End of Police Chase from Sidewalk

Freelance news photographer Phil Datz was recording the conclusion of a police chase from the opposite sidewalk last Friday when he was confronted by a police officer and commanded to “go away”. Though he politely obeyed and moved a block further from the scene, the officer decided to arrest him for “obstruction of governmental administration”. The latest news is that the department is planning to drop the charges and put its officers through “media relations training”.

(via Poynter via Gizmodo)

Why Citizens Must Fight For Their Right to Point Cameras at Police

Here’s a short clip from the talk show Stossel where American libertarian journalist Radley Balko talks about how cameras — especially mobile phone ones — are a powerful weapon against tyranny, and why laws should protect our rights to use them.

(via Reddit)

Six Photographers Test Their Right to Shoot in London

On June 21, 2011, non-profit organization Shoot Experience sent out six photographers to various parts of London to see the current state of photographers’ rights.

Some used tripods, some went hand held, one set up a 5 x 4.

All were instructed to keep to public land and photograph the area as they would on a normal day. The event aimed to test the policing of public and private space by private security firms and their reaction to photographers.

The result? Every one of the photographers was confronted at least once, and in three cases the police were called.

(via Reddit)

Police in the US to Turn iPhone Cameras Back on Citizens

If ordinary citizens have the right to photograph police in public places, what about the other way around? That’s a question that’s sure to be asked often in the coming days, as 40 law enforcement agencies across the US are planning to use iPhones to photograph civilians for the purpose of identifying wanted perps. The system, called Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System (MORIS), costs $3,000 apiece and will be able to do facial recognition searches on a database of known criminals. Photographers’ rights will apply to cops too — police won’t be required to ask permission before snapping a photograph of your face!

(via Amateur Photographer and WSJ)

The Government’s War on Cameras

Libertarian magazine Reason created this video about the erosion of photographers’ rights in the United States. One of the cases highlighted is the one involving Antonio Musumeci, who was arrested for filming a government building and came out victorious in a lawsuit with the help of the NYCLU.

(via Reason.tv)

How Police Officers See DSLR Cameras

Apparently this is what some police officers see when they look at a camera, which explains the horror stories of photographers being harassed by law enforcement for having cameras and making pictures.
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Photographer Robert Frank Detained by Police for Being Suspicious in 1955

Being stopped by police for being suspicious — and having cameras — isn’t an issue unique to our time. In 1955, photographer Robert Frank was driving through Arkansas when he was stopped by a police officer who looked into his car and noticed, among other things, “a number of cameras”. The officer had something to take care of in a nearby city, so he conveniently had Frank held in a city jail until he could return and question him.
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