lawenforcement

Trey Ratcliff Photo Walk Derailed by Police in Atlanta

Photographer Trey Ratcliff is currently on a photo walk tour of the United States. On Wednesday, he visited Atlanta, Georgia, and led a large crowd of photographers on a route through the city. While strolling through Centennial Olympic Park, however, the group was confronted by police officers and told that their photography wasn't allowed in the public park.

San Francisco’s Police Department Has an ‘Instagram Officer’

Over the past several years, there have been a number of arrests that have resulted from photos posted to Instagram. It seems that oftentimes criminals can't resist sharing photos of their illegal activities online for everyone (including police investigators) to see.

Perhaps in response to this strange trend, the San Francisco Police Department is now employing at least one "Instagram officer" who patrols the pages of Instagram in search of lawbreakers.

Photographer Wants to End Discrimination Against High-End Camera Gear

Photographer Jason Lanier is on a mission to end "discrimination against photographers." He just posted the video above showing two encounters he recently had with law enforcement while doing a photo shoot in San Francisco. In both cases, the officials noticed his "nice" camera and high-end equipment and questioned him to see if he was shooting commercially without a proper permit (which can cost hundreds of dollars).

Feds Investigating Incident of US Marshal Smashing Cell Phone Camera

Yesterday we shared a startling video in which a woman who was pointing her smartphone camera at a group of law enforcement officers had the device snatched from her hand, smashed against the ground, and then kicked back at her. It turns out the man who did it is a deputy U.S. marshal, and the U.S. Marshals Service says it's now investigating the incident.

Colorado Bill Would Punish Officers Who Interfere with Photographers

A Texas lawmaker recently attracted death threats after proposing a law that would make it illegal for photographers to take pictures of police officers from within 25 feet of them. Colorado is moving in the opposite direction.

The state is considering several bills that would increase police oversight, and one of the bills outlines punishments for police officers who interfere with people who are lawfully using their cameras.

The War Against Photography is Growing Alongside the Use of Security Cameras

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.

A Safe Harbor: Being Viewed as a Creep When Out as a Photographer

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.

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.

“The War on Terrorism Has Somehow Morphed into an Assault on Photography”

The New York Times has published a great interview with Michael H. Osterreicher, the general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association and the editor of the organization's advocacy blog. In it, NYT Lens Blog co-editor James Estrin asks Osterreicher about photographers' rights and the trend of people being stopped while shooting public locations.

Terrorism Prevention Video Asks Public to Report Photographers to Police

One of the common reasons given for being wary of photographers is that terrorists commonly use cameras as part of their information gathering tactics prior to devastating attacks.

The disconcerting video above is a terrorist prevention video that was funded by the Department of Homeland security and uploaded to Houston's city website back in January 2011. Starting at 1:42, it attempts to convince people that photographers may be potential terrorists, and that the police should be called if one appears to "hang around for no apparent reason."