NH Accident Scene Photographer Arrested

We posted on Brian Blackden a few months back — he’s the freelance photographer who works crime and fire scenes in Concord, NH for the First Responder newspaper and web site. At a fatal traffic accident in August, a state trooper confiscated Blackden’s camera, and then an investigation was launched into whether or not he was interfering in the scene and impersonating an emergency responder. (Blackden likes to wear safety gear that may resemble an emergency responder’s, but his helmet clearly says photographer.)

Well, now the results of that investigation are in — and Blackden’s been arrested. He’s been charged with two misdemeanors: obstruction of government administration and impersonating rescue personnel, in addition to two motor vehicle violations.

Blackden is apparently well-known among local media, emergency responders and police, and usually is able to photograph incidents with no problem. He’s also an enthusiast, no doubt. The state police didn’t know him though, and as happens so often, they overreacted. Because the fact of the matter is, if the guy has media credentials AND is photographing in public, there doesn’t seem to be laws that are being broken here.

According to Blackden’s lawyer, the state police sent seven officers — 7! — along with the second in command to execute a search and arrest warrant at Blackden’s home, even though he’d already volunteered to turn himself in.

If nothing else, that tells you right there this is more about the police department’s ego and assumed self-importance than the rights guaranteed in the constitution.

Source: WMUR

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