Aug 14, 2011

Detaining Photographers Is Police Policy

Here's an outrageous example of police over-reach, and I would go so far as to say police-state tactics.

The police chief of Long Beach, California has proclaimed that detaining and questioning anyone taking pictures or even using binoculars is within police department policy. The officer has sole discretion as to whether a photograph has any artistic value or not. This policy cries out for legal challenge.

This is another sad example of the continued erosion of or rights as photographers and citizens. Read the news story HERE.

Glen Harlan Reynolds wrote an excellent piece in The Examiner called You Have A Right To Record The Police, and one of the best passages is this one:

"In an era when government feels free to record citizens whenever they’re out in public, government officials need to recognize that this recording business works both ways.  Want a surveillance society?  Be prepared to live in it. "

and this one:

"...America has a class of government workers who believe that they are above citizen scrutiny, and who are prepared to abuse their powers to avoid that scrutiny. "

Check out the entire article HERE.

Carlos Miller, of the excellent blog Photography Is Not A Crime, has an excellent review of the NPAA (the National Press Photographers Association) which stands up for and defends the rights of photographers across the country. It has persuaded police departments to drop charges, educate police officers on the law, and change policies. Check out the article HERE.

To read Magnum Arts' position  on the importance of artistic freedom, and the reason why I post these stories, click HERE.

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