If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Some Photog)   Photographer harrassed by cops, told to "Google it" when asked what specific "Homeland Security statute" he violated by taking a picture of a public building   (carlosmiller.com) divider line 224
    More: Scary  
•       •       •

17963 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Apr 2009 at 5:31 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



224 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all
 
2009-04-04 02:06:36 PM  
Police have the right to ask why you're taking a picture.

If you're taking a picture in a public place of something that's publicly visible, it's not illegal.

Of course, arguing with the police will probably cause you to have a difficult time because police hate being wrong.
 
2009-04-04 02:17:12 PM  
If a cop tell you that you can't take any pictures, take a picture of the cop.

They'll calm down after you pick the pieces of your camera out of your butt ;)
 
2009-04-04 02:26:40 PM  
If the building doesn't have physical protections that prohibit photography (like Area 51 for instance), or signs warning against photography, then there is nothing to support the cops' action. My guess is that the cops didn't know what statute they were detaining him for.

/dumb, da dumb dumb.
//dumb, da dumb dumb dumb...
 
2009-04-04 02:36:05 PM  
Check local laws, keep a copy with you. When piggy confronts you give him/her a copy of the law. Tell them to find someone to read it to them.

/Once you make bail find a good CIVIL COURT lawyer
//Profit
 
2009-04-04 03:25:35 PM  
lajimi: Check local laws, keep a copy with you. When piggy confronts you give him/her a copy of the law. Tell them to find someone to read it to them.

/Once you make bail find a good CIVIL COURT lawyer
//Profit


I am on it!
 
2009-04-04 03:25:49 PM  
DarthBrooks: Police have the right to ask why you're taking a picture.


and you have a right to let their question go unanswered
 
2009-04-04 04:29:51 PM  
Coronach: DarthBrooks: Police have the right to ask why you're taking a picture.


and you have a right to let their question go unanswered


Both of these.

If it's in public, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. Period. If I'm on a public street, I can take a picture of anything I like. That's the definition of being in "public". If you don't want me to take a picture of your building, you should build some kind of structure around it, like another building, so that your building is on private property.
 
2009-04-04 04:30:31 PM  
t3knomanser: so that your building is on private property.

Er, is only visible from private property, I mean.
 
2009-04-04 04:35:01 PM  
Photography may be banned by executive order, no law is needed. Having said that, areas open to the public is a stupid place to keep anything sensitive enough to matter for National Security or it should be a secret that anything is there.
 
2009-04-04 04:35:34 PM  
In all fairness, it's a much catchier directive than "ALTAVISTA IT!"
 
2009-04-04 04:38:34 PM  
OregonVet: Photography may be banned by executive order, no law is needed.

You mean that, in some government areas not accessible to the public, an executive order may ban photography. Because no executive in the US can ban photography on public sidewalks.
 
2009-04-04 04:49:07 PM  
t3knomanser: You mean that, in some government areas not accessible to the public, an executive order may ban photography. Because no executive in the US can ban photography on public sidewalks.

No, not really. I'm just saying a law isn't required. There should be notice properly given in the areas.... But no law needed there.

In the area 51 (examle given earlier) one can get arrested for taking a picture of the 'no photography permitted' sign. But areas should be posted. Which begs the real question- why put anything sensitive in reach of the public?
 
2009-04-04 04:58:36 PM  
OregonVet: I'm just saying a law isn't required.

There is no law needed for special areas because they're special areas. But photography cannot be banned in public spaces by any executive order or law.
 
2009-04-04 05:01:31 PM  
t3knomanser: But photography cannot be banned in public spaces by any executive order or law.

I'm sorry but case law disagrees with your statement. I'm not saying it's right. I believe it's wrong. But it's true.
 
2009-04-04 05:05:12 PM  
Well I guess I sort of see your point. What I'm getting at is any space may be designated as special. Like an airport for example. I don't know why. One could draw a perfect picture for the terrist- it's stupid.
 
2009-04-04 05:07:03 PM  
OregonVet: Like an airport for example.

Um, an airport is a restricted access environment. It is not considered "public" in the same way that a sidewalk or a city park is considered "public".

To count as "public" it must be:
a) publicly owned my a government organization
b) without access restrictions, literally "open to the public"
 
2009-04-04 05:32:34 PM  
Agreed. Except nothing says a fence or sidewalk has to be X number of feet from the area to be designated. It merely needs to be designated.
 
2009-04-04 05:40:34 PM  
OregonVet: t3knomanser: But photography cannot be banned in public spaces by any executive order or law.

I'm sorry but case law disagrees with your statement. I'm not saying it's right. I believe it's wrong. But it's true.


Please cite case law specifics about when/where photography of a public building is illegal - that should be a good read. Thx.
 
2009-04-04 05:40:37 PM  
Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: In all fairness, it's a much catchier directive than "ALTAVISTA IT!"

And "Ask it" is too confusing and will surely lead up to some old time farce.
 
2009-04-04 05:41:20 PM  
Wow, the internet lawyers are out in force.

A general rule of thumb is if you can see it from a public thoroughfare you can photograph it. That goes for public buildings, trains, and Brittny's beaver.
You may not obstruct traffic, or trespass, or unduly interfere with others lawful activities.

If the cops tell you not to take pictures go along with them, they are generally not lawyers, so they don't really have any idea. That is why the people they arrest go to trial, rather than prison because they can and do make mistakes.

Come back another day, the building or whatever you were photographing will probably be there. If you are photographing a riot or something and the cops ask you not to, you can argue the point or just go around the corner. Sure, they are probably wrong but is it worth the hassle. Take your pictures next to a cop who is not so uptight.

IAAL, but not for a living, and this is not legal advice. If you need legal advice go pay a lawyer for it.
 
2009-04-04 05:41:20 PM  
Dear god, the police shut down the article! Viva la revolucion!
 
2009-04-04 05:42:13 PM  
As long as there's no law against taking pictures of friends groping those small scale Statues of Liberty around New York...
 
2009-04-04 05:42:15 PM  
Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: In all fairness, it's a much catchier directive than "ALTAVISTA IT!"

"What statute am I breaking?"

"You should Ask Jeeves."

(is that still a site?)
 
2009-04-04 05:42:49 PM  
Welcome to the Soft Authoritarianship that we call the New America.
 
2009-04-04 05:43:51 PM  
OregonVet:
I'm sorry but case law disagrees with your statement.

Cite?

When I took broadcast law back in college, the professor specifically noted that you can take photos in any public area without restriction, and that there had been more than one Supreme Court ruling to confirm that.

You're going to have to cite an actual "new" case law that changes that.

Every true "designated" non-photography zone is inside of restricted areas, like on active military installations or government facilities. For example, note the number of people who have been taking long-range photos of Area 51 for the last couple of decades from nearby hills (who have only been stopped by the government taking over said hills and restricting access to them, not by vague "executive orders" about photography).

In recent years, every time some police officer arrests or harasses someone for taking photos of public structures (and the photog fights the action), the case is either dropped or never makes it to trial in the first place.

A couple of local governments have tried such laws, but they don't survive trial due to being horribly unconstitutional...
 
2009-04-04 05:45:34 PM  
www.valart.com
 
2009-04-04 05:45:38 PM  
Cop: "Google it."

Me: "You're the one claiming this is illegal. Cite proof."

XCop: "Arrest you?"

Me: "Law suit?"
 
2009-04-04 05:46:01 PM  
OregonVet: Except nothing says a fence or sidewalk has to be X number of feet from the area to be designated.

No, but if I can see it from public property, I can take a picture of it. Period. Restricted access areas, like airports, I can take photos of, from the street. On airport property, I may be limited. Public streets? I'm fine.
 
2009-04-04 05:47:46 PM  
another instance that shows the police are turning into storm troopers.these people who are supposed to "protect,and serve",do little more than hack and slash.they took an oath to obey, honor and enforce the laws that were written and enacted by the biggest crooks in the land.they are no better!people, its time to protect and serve yourselves.
 
2009-04-04 05:49:30 PM  
BUUUUUSSSSHHHHH!!!!!


Oh, wait...
 
2009-04-04 05:50:35 PM  
And people wonder why cops are hated?
 
2009-04-04 05:50:49 PM  
feckingmorons: If the cops tell you not to take pictures go along with them,

...and that's what's wrong with the USA today. If what I'm doing is legal, I should not have to stop doing it. I should not have to "come back another day". I should be able to (politely, of course) inform the officers that what I'm doing is legal (new window)(pdf), and to please leave me alone.
 
2009-04-04 05:51:15 PM  
farm4.static.flickr.com
 
2009-04-04 05:51:17 PM  
"What statute am I breaking?"

"Funk & Wagnalls it."

/both cop and photographer do the Charleston off screen
 
2009-04-04 05:51:56 PM  
some swedish girl: And "Ask it" is too confusing and will surely lead up to some old time farce.

Heh! Very Abbott and Costello, aye...


... and "DOGPILE IT" is only going to cause far more problems than solutions...


Dumb-Ass-Monkey: "What statute am I breaking?"

"You should Ask Jeeves."

(is that still a site?)


I still see Jeeves at Ask's site, even after he was supposedly retired.

I guess Jeeves knows a good gig when he sees one in this economy.
 
2009-04-04 05:52:09 PM  
 
2009-04-04 05:52:17 PM  
wow, so close to the last "Phoenix cops are dicks" thread. You think maybe Phoenix cops are dicks?
 
2009-04-04 05:53:46 PM  

So all those years ago when I was in Washington DC taking pictures of all the National Monuments and of the White House, I was actually aiding the terrorists?


And what self respecting person would really want to go after something in Phoenix? If you really want to bring that town down, all you have to do is send them some more retirees.

 
2009-04-04 05:54:03 PM  
ixquick it
 
2009-04-04 05:55:09 PM  
моя воздушной подушке полна угрей
 
2009-04-04 05:55:48 PM  
I'll take as many farking pictures as I want you authoritarian farks.
 
2009-04-04 05:56:32 PM  
Noticeably F.A.T.: Photographers Rights (p)

You're too fast for me. I was just about to post that. It's printed, laminated, and lives in my camera bag.
 
2009-04-04 05:56:35 PM  
 
2009-04-04 05:57:21 PM  
fredklein: feckingmorons: If the cops tell you not to take pictures go along with them,

...and that's what's wrong with the USA today. If what I'm doing is legal, I should not have to stop doing it. I should not have to "come back another day". I should be able to (politely, of course) inform the officers that what I'm doing is legal (new window)(pdf), and to please leave me alone.


Please, if the community college courses they took, or the police training could not help them, do you think you will be able to get through to them. Jesus H Khrist on a crouton, an apparition of Ruth Bader Ginsburg could appear above a flaming bush telling them they are wrong and they wouldn't get it.

Why argue with simpletons? Yes, you should be able to do anything legal, but why even waste your time arguing with someone clueless.
 
2009-04-04 05:57:53 PM  
This happened to me a lot before I started concealing my gear better. Can't even take holiday snaps without some jumped-up Jack Bauer wannabe getting in your face. Simply got tired of having to explain my constitutional rights to renta-cops.
My advice to photojournalists is to keep a hidden cam with audio in your lapel pocket and switch on the black box at the first sign of douchebaggery. Be nice, be polite, but be insistent. Most cops know the law and don't have a problem with you taking location photos - it's not illegal in any way, shape, or form.
If the officer fails to back down, hand over your visible equipment, walk a safe distance away, and call your lawyer and 911 in your preferred order.
Most PDs will settle generously once you show them your hidden cam footage and if they don't, well, there's always CNN and YouTube.
 
2009-04-04 05:58:25 PM  
fredklein: inform the officers that what I'm doing is legal (new window)(pdf)

Paper cuts in your ass are going to hurt. I think in NYC, you can't take photos of the subway, bridges or tunnels without a permit. If you have deep pockets or a pro bono attorney, go ahead and challenge it. Until then, comply or don't whine when you get arrested, your equipment seized as evidenced, jailed and/or fined and your appeal rejected before you run out of money.

I wish someone would challenge these laws, but until then, showing them a stupid HEREZ MY RITES!!11 PDF is just asking to get your ass in jail.
 
2009-04-04 05:59:03 PM  
thesubliminalman

Wow, I'm sure nobody would notice a giant LENSE sticking out your hat.
 
2009-04-04 05:59:08 PM  
Hollerin Charlie: This happened to me a lot before I started concealing my gear better. Can't even take holiday snaps without some jumped-up Jack Bauer wannabe getting in your face. Simply got tired of having to explain my constitutional rights to renta-cops.
My advice to photojournalists is to keep a hidden cam with audio in your lapel pocket and switch on the black box at the first sign of douchebaggery. Be nice, be polite, but be insistent. Most cops know the law and don't have a problem with you taking location photos - it's not illegal in any way, shape, or form.
If the officer fails to back down, hand over your visible equipment, walk a safe distance away, and call your lawyer and 911 in your preferred order.
Most PDs will settle generously once you show them your hidden cam footage and if they don't, well, there's always CNN and YouTube.


hidden camera means illegal wiretap to them.
 
2009-04-04 05:59:15 PM  
ninjakirby: Photographers Rights

Are overruled by actual laws. I agree with the rights, just that see my post above as to the challenge in making the rights stick.
 
2009-04-04 06:00:01 PM  
PC LOAD LETTER: fredklein: inform the officers that what I'm doing is legal (new window)(pdf)

Paper cuts in your ass are going to hurt. I think in NYC, you can't take photos of the subway, bridges or tunnels without a permit. If you have deep pockets or a pro bono attorney, go ahead and challenge it. Until then, comply or don't whine when you get arrested, your equipment seized as evidenced, jailed and/or fined and your appeal rejected before you run out of money.

I wish someone would challenge these laws, but until then, showing them a stupid HEREZ MY RITES!!11 PDF is just asking to get your ass in jail.


cause america is all about rolling over and letting the man get away with bullshiat
 
Displayed 50 of 224 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all



This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report