Posts Tagged ‘police’

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)

Man Preserves Video of Police Shooting by Hiding Memory Card in Mouth

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.

Baltimore Officers Make Up Laws and Detain Student for Photography

29-year-old student and avid photographer Christopher Fussell was taking photographs of trains at a Baltimore station back in March when he was confronted by Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) officers. He was able to record the conversation, which shows the officers having a complete lack of understanding of laws and photographers’ rights. Fussell writes,

I have no qualms with MTA Police inquiring what I’m doing, but the fact that they took it to the next level with so many lies, unreasonable detainment, denying my boarding of my train that caused me to be delayed and following me to delay me further; this whole episode of theirs was unprofessional and perhaps unconstitutional. I am posting this video in hopes to further strengthen photographer’s constitutional rights.

The story has since become a pretty big deal after the video went viral online, with the MTA admitting that the officer had incorrectly cited the Patriot Act and other laws. The American Civil Liberties Union has also sided with Fussell and may sue MTA over his detainment.

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)

University Mistakes Pinhole Camera for a Bomb, Ruins Photo Project

If you’re planning to try your hand at solargraphy, it might be a good idea to label the pinhole camera before placing it out in public — when one was spotted at Central Washington University, it was reported as a bomb and caused part of the campus to be shut down for four hours!

[...] a groundskeeper found a cylinder with duct tape on it. Officers closed a street while an Army explosive ordnance disposal team from the Yakima Training Center traveled to Ellensburg to check it out the unidentified object.

The chief says it contained what appeared to be film and could have been a camera made for some project. [#]

Since solargraph cameras are sometimes exposed for up to half a year, there’s probably a solargraph photographer somewhere out there crying right now.

Suspicious device at CWU was homemade camera [The Seattle Times]

Image credit: Beer Can Cameras by andeecollard

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.
Read more…

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.
Read more…

Interactive Map Shows “War on Cameras”

Cop Block created an interactive map showing the “War on Cameras” in which each marker shows an incident where someone was “harassed, detained, threatened, attacked, arrested, or charged with a crime” by government officials for using a camera. It only has about 60 markers on it at the moment — a more solution would be to have a crowdsourced map where anyone can contribute and add events. Still, this is pretty neat for those interested in photographers’ rights (a pretty big issue last year).

The War on Cameras: An Interactive Map (via Pixiq)