Brian Blackden is the enthusiastic Concord, NH, freelance photographer who works crime and accident scenes often wearing protective safety gear. We posted on him before, when in November he was arrested for an incident that took place in August, and last week he was found guilty of impersonating an emergency worker.
Concord District Court Judge Gerard Boyle handed down his verdict at theof Blackden’s trial yesterday afternoon, also finding the photographer guilty of displaying red emergency lights without authorization on the ambulance he brought to the Interstate 93 crash scene Aug. 25. He fined Blackden $1,000 for each of the two crimes and ordered him to pay a $240 penalty assessment but didn’t sentence him to jail time.
Blackden’s attorney, Penny Dean, said he will appeal the impersonating emergency personnel conviction to the Merrimack County Superior Court. Blackden is also suing the state police for allegedly violating his First Amendment rights by seizing his camera at the accident scene.
In related accident-and-crime-scene news, TheDay.com reports that the Connecticut State Senate passed a law that would make it illegal for police officers, paramedics and other first responders to photograph victims at crime and accident scenes and then distribute those photos to others. The bill was in response to a New London police officer who took photos of the victim of a fatal heroin overdose in 2009 and shared them. The bill only applies to photos taken outside the first responder’s job description.