LA County Sheriff Tells Photographers Not to Photograph Them

While waiting for OccupyLA members to arrive at the Wilshire/Normandie Metro station in Los Angeles, CA, an LA County Sheriff told two photographers not to photograph them.

At that point, a video camera was turned on to document the encounter, as the photographer defended his constitutional rights to take pictures in public.

The irony of the video is the fact, that at the beginning of the footage, the Sheriffs tell the photographers that photography is not allowed on the Metro (which is quickly rebuked by the photographer).  However, five minutes into the video, the sheriff backtracks, and starts saying the opposite—so suddenly photography is allowed on the Metro?

And it is, in this case, for now, simply because the photographer knew his my rights and Metro policy and stood up to these Sheriffs.

This kind of behavior from police officers needs to stop.  We can no longer allow them to continue harassing photographers exercising their constitutional rights while using the Metro.

To voice your concerns regarding this officer’s behavior, contact the LA County Sheriffs via this complaint form.

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5 Responses to “LA County Sheriff Tells Photographers Not to Photograph Them”


  1. 1 steeltoad January 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I don’t see what the big deal is, after all, He’s “cool with that”. He knows the hip lingo.

    You should have gone up to the officer and said “Sir, it appears that you are trying to surreptitiously take my photo, I’d be more than happy to pose for one and save you some time and effort”

    • 2 discarted January 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      Wish I had the first exchange on video because the sheriffs were adamant on telling us not to photograph them. But I know my rights, so of course they backtracked and started doing their little dance and saying whatever they could to try defend their position. However, we all know they have nothing stand on.

      Point is, the officers should have never opened their mouthes and engaged us to begin with, because they know very well that we can photograph them and take pictures on the Metro.

      More important, police need to realize that they don’t decide who is press and who isn’t, and press credentials do not make someone a super-citizen with more rights than rest of the public.

      The 1st Amendment applies to all.

  2. 3 Just Me January 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    You do realize and understand that when the cops are taking your photos they are putting your photo / face in their new Facial Recognition database.

    “Operation Mission Creep” is a fucking bitch.

    The Fatherland- Socialist/Nazi Germany
    The Motherland – Communist Russia
    The Homeland – An Unspeakable Bastard crossbreed of the two above!

    Velcome to za Homeland.

  3. 4 Yas January 18, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I wonder if those sheriffs (the one on the video and the others in the background) would had been so “nice” if reporters had not been there? I really doubt it. If it had been anyone of us (average folks) they would had turned into dickheads really fast and kicked us out or threaten us with arrest. It’s amazing how well they behave with cameras are around.

  4. 5 Elson July 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    At every station there is a sign listing things you’re clearly NOT allowed to do: No riding bikes on platforms. No motorized vehicles. No loud music. No eating or drinking. That’s all fine and good, because it’s explicitly shown.

    But photography and video are NOT listed in there.


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