Nov 7, 2011

Photographer Shot By Oakland PD

Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium - "I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery"

Even though this blog is about cartooning, drawing and photography, I have a section devoted to efforts by the police and authorities to limit and censor the rights of artists and photographers, efforts that damage our society as a whole. I do not bring politics into my classes, however it is important to take a stand to protect your rights, because if you don't, you will have no rights at all.

These are troubled times that we live in. With worldwide protests come confrontations and efforts by some authorities to limit the rights of journalists and photographers. Case in point this shocking video that shows a blogger and videographer who is obviously not provoking or threatening the police in any way. All he is doing is shooting video.

He is shot by one of the police officers for no apparent reason and without warning. The projectile may have been a rubber bullet or a crowd control beanbag; it is impossible to determine from the video. The always-excellent blog Photography Is Not A Crime has more information HERE.

Is it even legal for police officer to shoot a photographer just because he does not want to photographed? Is that what this country is all about?

UPDATE: The San Jose Mercury News has an article in which experts in police use of force are expressing shock about this incident. Read it HERE. 

UPDATE #2: The officer who fired the beanbag bullet has been identified, and has been removed from the SWAT team and is now under investigation, as is the captain of this unit, who has attempted to justify and dismiss the shooting. LINK

The Oakland Police Department has been accused of a variety of abuses in its interactions with protesters. It is not releasing any information about these abuses either; a request by the ACLU for information about the department's use of force has been denied. Read about it HERE.

To read Magnum Arts' position on censorship and artistic freedom, click HERE.

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