Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania-based photographer Jason Macchioni was recently shooting a time-lapse project from an overpass at night when he was approached by police officers who demanded his ID and threatened to arrest him for wiretapping (Macchioni was recording video of the encounter). Macchioni tells us,
I was shooting a time-lapse which I’m still working on, I arrived at this site around 9 and was there for about 3 hours until these two cops rolled up! At first I was calm and refused to give ID, After the second cop was breathing down my neck and really threatening me. I gave in and tried to get them to leave. Then stuff got heated.
Macchioni has enlisted the help of the ACLU in filing a complaint with the police department. Want to learn more about your rights as a photographer in the US? Check out this short cartoon the ACLU released earlier this month.
Want to inform someone of their right to take pictures in the US? Just share this short cartoon created by the ACLU, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and The Gregory Brothers. It features Benjamin Franklin’s ghost, who sings about the various things you’re legally allowed to do without being harassed by law enforcement.
Amateur Photographer magazine is doing something about all the stories in the news of photographers being stopped and harassed by police in Britain. They’ve created a special lens cloth that has guidelines that were issued to Metropolitan police officers last year printed on. The lens cloth set will be bundled for free in the July 10th issue of the magazine, which hits newsstands on July 6 and lands in the hands of subscribers on July 3.
Now who’s going to step up and make one for photographers in the United States?