Posts Tagged Police officer
Photography In Public Is Not A Crime
from the protecting-the-first-amendment dept
Sadly, we talk way too often about police arresting people for doing nothing other than taking a picture or filming them. The police officers being filmed and photographed make these arrests using various excuses, but frequently the charges get dropped for lack of merit. The reason charges rarely stick when an officer is filmed is because filming police, or anyone in a public space, is not illegal. Some people may not like it, but it is a fact.
The New York Times is waking up to this fact that photography is not a crime. In an interview with Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counselor for the National Press Photographers Association, they get down to the nitty gritty of the legalities surrounding this age old tradition. They also talk a bit about just why such arrests are happening more frequently.
Since 9/11, there’s been an incredible number of incidents where photographers are being interfered with and arrested for doing nothing other than taking pictures or recording video in public places.
It’s not just news photographers who should be concerned with this. I think every citizen should be concerned. Tourists taking pictures are being told by police, security guards and sometimes other citizens, “Sorry, you can’t take a picture here.” When asked why, they say, “Well, don’t you remember 9/11?”
I haven’t really thought of criminalizing photography as something to do with 9/11 before. I know that a lot of our rights have been eroded since that day, but the photography aspect never really clicked until now. Just as Mickey can’t make heads nor tails of this argument, I am struggling to find a connection here. I don’t recall cameras being a part of the plots to destroy the Twin Towers, Pentagon or White House.
Of course there could be more reasons for this increase in arresting photographers. Mickey suspects that part of the reason is the proliferation of the camera. Pretty much everyone with a smart phone has a camera capable of taking some very high quality pictures. Prior to this boom, the police had some modicum of control over the press. They knew the press wasn’t going to be everywhere and were used to not being under constant recordable surveillance by the public. Now that anyone could be filming them or taking their picture, they are more on edge and more prone to lashing out.
When this happens, it is important for those accused to know their rights. However, it is also important for the police to know the public’s rights as well. While you, as a photographer, may know that you have the right to take pictures or film in a public space, some officers may not know or may have forgotten that fact. That is why the Mickey and others have been working with police to keep officers reminded of that right.
Q. After photographers were stopped from photographing the police clearing Occupy Wall Street protestors from Zuccotti Park, you and representatives of a media coalition including The Times, met with the police commissioner Ray Kelly. What happened at that meeting?
A. It was on Nov. 23. I asked the commissioner if he would reissue the “finest message” from 1999 that dealt with the police cooperating with the press. He did that. It was read at 10 consecutive roll calls in every single station house and precinct.
The finest message is a policy statement on police interactions with the press. It states that officers are not to interfere with videotaping and photographing in public places. It also reminds officers that they have an obligation to assist the press whenever possible. This is very similar to the recent news when the DC police chief laid down the law on filming of officers.
Hopefully, continually repeating this message will help slow down this barrage of arrests for photographing the police. As more officers are reminded of the rights of the cameras-wielding public, we will hopefully start to see fewer future incidents. It would be great if other police departments across the nation follow the lead of NY and DC police in proactively spreading the word about the rights of the public to record and photograph the police.
- Pre-Conventions, Photographers Know Your Rights (reason.com)
- “The War on Terrorism Has Somehow Morphed into an Assault on Photography” (petapixel.com)
- Don’t Take A Picture In Public (crooksandliars.com)
- Veteran NYTimes Photographer Arrested & Allegedly Beaten by NYPD [Interview] (chasejarvis.com)
- Photojournalist group urges NYPD to ‘do the right thing’ (capitalnewyork.com)
- Photographer Arrested After Fight With Police (huffingtonpost.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment (mikehardisty.wordpress.com)
- Sebastien Zanella – Photography (wevelostcontrol.com)
- Times Photographer Roughed Up by NYPD Just Wants His Stuff Back (nymag.com)
- New York Times fights NYPD after photographer brutally arrested (rt.com)
Scenes from the NATO protesters march downtown
May 19, 2012 7:27PM
A girl watches a line of police officers pass by during an Occupy Chicago march through the Loop Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: May 19, 2012 8:16PM
Scenes from the marches as NATO protesters descend
- One arrested as NATO protesters disperse downtown – Chicago Sun-Times (mbcalyn.com)
- Hotels have reservations about NATO’s profit potential – Chicago Sun-Times (mbcalyn.com)
- Suspects wielding hammers and batons attack diners at Tinley Park restaurant – Chicago Sun-Times (mbcalyn.com)
- Saturday night live: Hundreds of protesters march through Loop, financial district, on Michigan – Chicago Sun-Times (mbcalyn.com)
- You: Three NATO summit protesters face terror charges (france24.com)
- Cubs boss Tom Ricketts works to douse Obama political firestorm – Chicago Sun-Times (mbcalyn.com)
- Thousand join 2nd day of anti-NATO protests in Chicago (EndtheLie.com)
- Three NATO protesters face terror charges: report (dailystar.com.lb)
- Is Chicago now under Martial Law? Evacuation and Blockade of Downtown Chicago (offgridsurvival.com)
- NATO Protesters Arrested in Chicago’s Downtown (abcnews.go.com)
Saturday night live: Hundreds of protesters march through Loop, financial district, on Michigan – Chicago Sun-Times
Saturday night live: Hundreds of protesters march through Loop, financial district, on Michigan
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO AND NATASHA KORECKI Staff Reporters May 19, 2012 9:26PM
Police stopped the crowd from proceeding North on Michigan ave. from Balbo but let them continue through after several minutes Saturday, May 19, 2012. | Rich Hein-Sun-Times
Updated: May 19, 2012 9:45PM
They were met by large contingents of police officers, some in riot gear, and others on bikes, who generally let the demonstrators remain in the streets.
At one point, a police van with sirens flashing drove down the middle of Jackson, forcing the marchers to disperse. A protester jumped on the front fender of the van, then got off, and someone screamed, “They hit him! They hit him!”
A law enforcement source late Saturday said there had been about 40 arrests throughout the day, mainly on misdemeanor charges.
Some of the arrests might have taken place at 8:30 p.m. near Wabash and Balbo, where police in riot gear carried a woman to a waiting police van. A man was taken as well, but few details were available.
Officially, police at 9:30 p.m. would only confirm one arrest had taken place.
That came after a crowd — possibly numbering more than 1,000 — had marched down State Street and eventually ended up on Balbo, where they were greeted by police in riot gear backed by police on horseback. The police then relented and let them march North on Michigan.
The mayor’s office said the crowd was between 750 and 1,000 at its peak.
Back, in the financial district, some protesters dressed in all black grabbed orange plastic barriers and dragged them to the street at LaSalle and Monroe.
The protesters headed to corner of Jackson and LaSalle, where Occupy Chicago had set up a long running camp last fall.
At one point Saturday night, the driver of a Jeep stuck in the crowd in the middle of LaSalle cranked his stereo in solidarity with the protesters. As he filmed the crowd, members took video of him.
Others members of the crowd stood on garbage cans looking around.
- One protester detained at 18th and Michigan (suntimes.com)
- 3 in Chicago Face Terrorism Charges Tied to NATO Protests (nytimes.com)
- NATO Summit Leaves Lasting Impression on South Loop Businesses (chicagotalks.org)
- Tensions rise during NATO 3 march (suntimes.com)
- Prosecutors: Trio in Chicago planned to attack Obama’s campaign headquarters (boston.com)
- Cops: Protesters wanted to hit Obama HQ, mayor’s home – chicagotribune.com (mbcalyn.com)
- Chicago Militarized for NATO (sjlendman.blogspot.com)
- 3 charged with terror conspiracy ahead of NATO (foxnews.com)
- The Nato summit template for policing the ‘other Chicago’ | Keeanga Taylor (guardian.co.uk)
- The NATO summit template for policing the ‘other Chicago’ (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)