Photographer Harassed, Detained at DC Airport

Photo by Jerome Vorus

June 1st marks the day NPRO stands up for photographers’ rights, and for the past two years we’ve held a rally in Los Angeles where we’ve gathered to assert our right to shoot in public. So stand up and be counted…or stand up and shoot in your own city, and if you’re stopped and harassed just remember your rights.

And now, in honor of the day, another incident in the annals of clashes between photographers and authorities….

In March, 18-year-old and photographer Jerome Vorus was taking photos at Reagan National Airport in Virginia because that’s what he likes to do. Knowing the airport was a sensitive location, he spoke to a media relations representative beforehand and asked about any restrictions. He was told there were none. He and  the representative went over which areas were leased by private companies (like the check-in counters) and she said she would notify airport police and TSA officials.

Still, the message didn’t seem to get through. As Vorus shot photos, TSA employees approached him twice and asked what he was doing. The third time, he was approached by TSA in suits who asked whether he’d spoken with media relations. Even though Vorus told them he had, they said he could not take photos of TSA employees or checkpoints. To clarify, so that he could understand the situation he was in more fully, Vorus asked the men if he could see their credentials. One man replied, “We ain’t gotta show you shit.” Vorus pressed because he knew they are required by law, and so they did. It turns out they were Department of Homeland Security officers, and when Vorus asked if he was being detained he was told no. Things got heated and there was some back and forth over being detained versus being free to go.

Ultimately Vorus was told he was being detained and he would be arrested for disorderly conduct. His camera was taken and photos were deleted. And then, when all was said and done, he was free to go. Afterward Vorus filed a complaint with the airport authority’s internal affairs and received a letter a few weeks ago that acknowledged the officer did violate policy. TSA has not gotten back to him about the complaint filed with them.

The thing is, friction naturally occurs when law enforcement officers very badly want some trouble and an innocent person knows his rights are being violated. That is a predictable clash, and it happens all the time — but it doesn’t have to.

Article from Vorus Blog

9 Responses to “Photographer Harassed, Detained at DC Airport”

  1. 1 thierry June 1, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    good image for a news..

  2. 2 technology June 17, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Really when someone doesn’t know afterward its up to other viewers that they will assist,
    so here it happens.

  3. 3 Judy May 19, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    I’ve been loionkg for a post like this forever (and a day)

  4. 4 May 31, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Nawet bardzo szkoda. Ale nic straconego. Ani Pan nie “odchodzi w niebyt” ani UKSW nie zamykajÄ…, póki co przynajmniej.Ech, miaÅ‚em popisać coÅ› wiÄ™cej i o Sienkiewiczu, ale podobnie jak latinitas mam jakiÅ› zupeÅ‚ny “zawaÅ‚ na przodku”Przy okazji jeszcze podziÄ™kujÄ™ za drugiego bloga – czytam, ale na razie nie komentujÄ™ – patrz wyżej. serdecznie pozdrawiam!

  5. 5 May 31, 2017 at 11:14 am

    ten states have “Good Samaritan” laws which require a bystander to at least attempt to summon aid.“Even so, that’s very different from having to stay up close and personal with a deadly criminal.”But intentionally allowing the deadly criminal to die rather than summon aid for him would be a violation, no? Even if we think the whole world is better off if the guy is pushing daisies?

  6. 6 August 28, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Injuries, injuries. No fun indeed. I've been out of running for nearly 9 months because of an injury. Sorry to hear the news. Will the race be available to following via webcast?

  1. 1 Tweets that mention Photographer Harassed, Detained at DC Airport « -- Trackback on June 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm
  2. 2 Photographer Harassed, Detained at DC Airport - FlyerTalk Forums Trackback on June 2, 2010 at 10:26 am
  3. 3 DC’s Most Detained Photographer Gets Detained Again « Trackback on February 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: