Monday, July 26, 2010


Washington Post: Police interference with citizen photographers is widespread

by Larry Geller

I’ve written about my own encounter with a photo-stopping HPD officer in Intrepid blogger prevented by HPD from shooting photos (1/8/2010) and Taking photos in public places is legal, even if the police don’t think so (7/22/2010). Damon Tucker, writing from the Big Island, had a similar problem in 2008.

A good article on he subject appeared in yesterday’s Washington Post: Freedom of photography: Police, security often clamp down despite public right (7/26/2010). A snip:

Courts have long ruled that the First Amendment protects the right of citizens to take photographs in public places. Even after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, law enforcement agencies have reiterated that right in official policies.

But in practice, those rules don't always filter down to police officers and security guards who continue to restrict photographers, often citing authority they don't have. Almost nine years after the terrorist attacks, which ratcheted up security at government properties and transportation hubs, anyone photographing federal buildings, bridges, trains or airports runs the risk of being seen as a potential terrorist.

The story also covers police reaction to having themselves photographed. Check it out.

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