The Minimalist Photographer
Minimalist, contemporary and experimental photography by Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson Posted on: June 1, 2012
This crap has got to stop – it is our right (or even duty) as photographers to 'watch the watchers'
Daily Kos: NBC News Photographer Handcuffed After Cop Yells, "Your First Amendment Rights Can Be Terminated!"
In the past year, the Occupy Wall Street protests have brought to the fore a disturbing national trend: local law enforcement agencies' continued and brazen disregard for the First Amendment rights …..
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No mystery there, it happened in that bastion of freedom, Chicago.
Are they trying to scare him out of a job if anything they just made his job a lot easier.
This whole media thing is bullcrap you can have an iPhone and take pictures all day long where ever you want as soon as you have anything that looks half way professional they tell you that you can't use it.
And that cop better be going to prison for a decade saying that our rights can be terminated, if he thought they were causing a problem wait for them to drop their cameras and pick up their rifles, then will that be a scene, no that's just a riot, come on!
+Doug Wittrock this is far from the only example though – problem is nationwide.
It has random occurrences in many places, but that is far from nationwide. I'm not saying it isn't a problem, but its far from pervasive. This cop is clearly an idiot, and it makes me wonder how he got his job. Oh wait, I forgot, it's Chicago.
I got bitched at for having a DSLR camera in a mall, and it's in Minnesota!
The other thing that's puzzling is, why only those two? Why did they allow the other cameras to record this?
Agreed – the only conclusion is that policy is left up to individual police officers which can't be good.
Actually, in most departments it isn't a matter of individual judgement. This is a training issue in this case. But if you listen to the conversation afterwards, there was some question as to where they were standing, which is in a median in a busy road. The officer 'may' have asked them to move due to causing a safety hazard. The white shirted guys are Sergeants (supervisors) attempting to explain that to the remaining newsies.
I don't disagree that the cop in question was being a dick, because he was. What we aren't seeing is the conversation that led up to what was actually shown on the tape. His statement about their First Amendment rights was…well, stupid.
Michael Moore – Policeman (from The Awful Truth)
+Doug Wittrock The photography thing is a legal issue and citizens are allowed to photograph police while they are working. This has been tested in the courts. The police's duty is to work with existing law and definitely not to make it up as they go along. I can understand potential crowd control issues that vary from situation to situation but the right to photograph is or at least shouldn't be open to the interpretation of the local police force.
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