Posts Tagged 'Photographers’ Rights'

Arrested for Photographing LAPD

On June 2, 2013, while standing on a public sidewalk and approximately 90 ft. away, Shawn Nee was arrested for photographing officers from the Los Angeles Police Department.  The officers claimed he interfered with their police investigation.  Shawn was transported to the Hollywood police station, handcuffed to a bench, and escorted into an interrogation room where he was questioned by a detective.  The arrest lasted approximately  1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Shawn was eventually released without charge.

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.

LAPD Sergeant Fires Away on YouTube

While YouTube is great fun for silly cat videos and clips of kids freaking out after the dentist, it’s also fertile ground for angry, arrogant, illiterate people. Exhibit A:

“your a dick ? what would u wanna video/pictures? a dead guy.. what the fuck are you gona do with the video of a dead guy.. get a life you fuking cunt,”

Interestingly, the comment was left by AbawiTariq, a sergeant with the LAPD, according to his YouTube profile.

Nothing but the best in Los Angeles. Seriously, Chief Beck – that is who you want representing your force?


Photographers’ Rights Rally Weekend 2009

nprd_blog

 

It’s been a year since we held our first National Photographers’ Rights Organization (NPRO) rally in Los Angeles, and a lot has happened since then. Over the past 12 months, hundreds of us have been harassed by security guards and law enforcement for practicing a perfectly legal activity while in public. Some of us have even witnessed or personally experienced an unlawful arrest by an out-of-control cop. But with the help of our cameras, the grassroots mobilization of the internet and our lobbying of companies and public officials, we have stood up to this abuse and forced change.

For instance, Amtrak finally released a policy on photography and the NYPD’s leaked policy document says to stop the harassment of photographers shooting in public. So in order to progress even further, promote even more awareness and stand up for our rights, NPRO is holding a Photographers’ Rights Rally Weekend this year that will kick off in the Los Angeles Harbor/Port of Long Beach on Saturday June 6th, and end on June 7th in Downtown Los Angeles.

Before attending this event, it is important that we all educate ourselves about the law and photography. To learn the essentials it’s best to start with Bert Krages’ ubiquitous “The Photographer’s Right.” Read it. Memorize it. Print it. The knowledge you obtain from this document will help protect yourself when confronted by law enforcement or security staff when taking pictures in public.

You can also check out the numerous links in section 9 of this blog’s sidebar, which provide you with even more information regarding the law and photography.

Most importantly though, no matter what we are told by law enforcement, California Wiretapping Law legally permits us to secretly record police, or anybody for that matter, when they are in public and there is no expectation of privacy. We do not need a cop’s acknowledgment or permission to record their threats.

It’s extremely important that we bring video cameras and/or audio recording devices to document the unlawful actions of  cops and security guards.

So put on your rally lens caps and clear your schedules for the first weekend in June.

NPRO Rally – Saturday, June 6th
Location: Los Angeles Harbor/Port of Long Beach
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Directions From Downtown Los Angeles: 110 S to Anaheim St Exit, Turn Left on Figueroa Place, Turn Left on W Anaheim St, W Anaheim St Turns Into E Anaheim St, End At N Henry Ford Ave, Park On Street
Directions From the 405 N/S: Exit 33B S Wilmington Ave, Travel West on S Wilmington Ave, Take First Left at E 223rd St, Right on S Alameda St, Continue on S Alameda St, Veer Left on to N Henry Ford Ave, End at Intersection of E Anaheim St and N Henry Ford Ave, Park on Street

 

NPRO Rally – Sunday, June 7th
Location: Pershing Square, Corner of S. Hill St. & W. 5th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
Time: 11:30 a.m.

US Bank Tower Guards Harass and Call Photographers Idiots

On January 18, NPRO members went to the US Bank Tower in Downtown Los Angeles to protest against their security staff’s illegal treatment of photographers when photographing the property from a public sidewalk.

Over the next couple of days, more video and photos will be posted, showing what happened, along with contact info for the building’s management staff.

In the the meantime, here is the building’s address and phone number. Please contact them after listening to the audio and reading the transcript to voice your concerns.

US Bank Tower
633 W 5th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 615-6300

Below is a transcript of what happened between NPRO members and the US Bank Tower’s security staff on January 18, 2009.

———————————————————

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Excuse me sir, you’re not allowed to take any pictures.

NOHO DAMON: We’re both on a public sidewalk here.

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: No actually this sidewalk is private.

NOHO DAMON: No, no, no, no…(inaudible)

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: No.

NOHO DAMON: This is a public sidewalk.

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Right…no.

NOHO DAMON: You guys own the street?

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: That’s the public, this is private.

NOHO DAMON: You’re telling me you own the street, you’re telling me you own the sidewalk.

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Yes sir.

NOHO DAMON: You’re telling me that.

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Yes.

NOHO DAMON: Would you be willing to discuss that with a cop?

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Yes.

NOHO DAMON: That you own the sidewalk?

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Yes.

Continue reading ‘US Bank Tower Guards Harass and Call Photographers Idiots’

They Can Shoot Us, But We Can’t Shoot Them


Photo by discarted

It only took 17 years, but the LAPD is finally getting dashboard cameras installed in patrol cars. The issue was first suggested in the early 90s, and in an article in New American Media, Councilman Ed Reyes blamed the delay on the fact that it was a “low priority” for the previous administration. The first wave of cameras will be for about 300 cars in the South Bureau, which sees the highest rates of crime and violence.

There will be two different dashboard cams (one facing front, one facing the backseat) and the officers will wear wireless microphones. Data will be automatically uploaded and sent to a computer at the local station.

“From a patrol officer’s point of view, it’s a good thing,” said Officer Danny Hernandez.

From a suspect’s point of view, it’s also a good thing.

Article from New American Media.

Was L.B. Jeffries Violating Privacy Laws in Rear Window?

Image via IMDB

Although the NPRD and this site are dedicated to preserving the rights of photographers as well as educating the public about those rights, we must be impartial, and discuss the other side of this issue — an individual’s right to privacy.

So, was L.B. Jeffries violating privacy laws using a giant telephoto lens to peer inside his neighbors’ apartments in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window where there was an expectation of privacy? … The answer is YES.

And if you do a quick search on this subject you will quickly find numerous sites and discussions debating this issue. Or just simply type in Andrew Kantor, and you may come across the following PDF explaining a person’s right to privacy.

Whether we can take a photograph is determined by whether the subject has a reasonable expectation of privacy or seclusion. If not — if he’s visible to the public (even on private property) — photography is legal.  The logic is simple: If you can see it, you can photograph it. If it requires extraordinary means to see (e.g., using a telephoto lens, or trespassing on property not open to the public such as a private office), then you may not be able to photograph it legally.

So all of you out there with telephoto lenses, take note. If you would like more information on this subject, there are some links in our Know Your Rights section.

Let’s Break It Down

Andrew Kantor is a tech writer/pundit/author who wrote this article in USA Today awhile back, but it bears repeating.

The law in the United States of America is pretty simple. You are allowed to photograph anything with the following exceptions:

  • Certain military installations or operations.
  • People who have a reasonable expectation of privacy. That is, people who are some place that’s not easily visible to the general public, e.g., if you shoot through someone’s window with a telephoto lens.

So simple, yet so complicated. But wait — that’s not all:

You can shoot pictures of children; your rights don’t change because of their age or where they are, as long as they’re visible from a place that’s open to the public. (So no sneaking into schools or climbing fences.)

Video taping has some more gray areas because of copyright issues, but in general the same rules apply. If anyone can see it, you can shoot it.

And yes, you can shoot on private property if it’s open to the public. That includes malls, retails stores, Starbucks, banks, and office-building lobbies. If you’re asked to stop and refuse, you run the risk of being charged with trespassing, but your pictures are yours. No one can legally take your camera or your memory card without a court order.

You can also shoot in subways and at airports.  … Airport security is regulated by the Transportation Security Administration, and it’s quite clear: Photography is A-OK at any commercial airport in the U.S. as long as you’re in an area open to the public.

Photo by Andrew Kantor.

Photographers Stand Up for their Rights

Naomi Mercer, host of the web series “Gadget Gossip,” passed up a beautiful day at the beach to document our first-ever Photographers’ Rights Day in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 1.  

Video by Naomi Mercer

UK Security Guard Assaults Photographer

This security officer in the UK gets handsy with a photographer on a public street in Middlesbrough. From the photographer’s account:

Two security guards from the nearby shopping center THE MALL came running over, we were surrounded by six hostile and aggressive security guards. They then said photographing shops was illegal and this was private land. I was angry at being grabbed by this man so i pushed him away, one of the men wearing a BARGAIN MADNESS shirt twisted my arm violently behind my back, i winced in pain and could hardly breathe in agony.

I thought the Brits were supposed to be more civilized?

Read the full account here.

via WindWalkabout



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