Posts Tagged 'DC Police'

ACLU Takes on DC Police in Photog Harassment Case

Photograph by Jerome Vorus

This past summer, photographer Jerome Vorus was harassed and detained by DC police when he tried to take photos of a traffic stop in Georgetown. The incident touched off a mini firestorm, with mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and NBC crying foul. (It always helps when these things happen in a major media hub.) People were rightfully alarmed at the cops’ arrogance (telling him it was illegal to take photos of the police) and their violation of Vorus’ rights.

In a letter to DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier, a lawyer from ACLU’s DC chapter demands the police acknowledge the incident in the form of a settlement and an apology – or  a lawsuit will follow. If this doesn’t make police departments sit up and take notice, it should.

Times are changing, and it’s not fun and games and unlimited power anymore. The ACLU is very proactive on the photographers’ rights issue, and with photographer Antonio Musumeci’s recent settlement with the federal government, they have a pretty good track record of winning. Sometimes the only way you can change institutional behavior, or implement “corrective training” as the ACLU calls it, is with a costly lawsuit. Too bad it’s the taxpayers who will pay for these public servants’ ignorance.

Photographer Captures DC’s Finest

Photograph by Jerome Vorus

Photographer Jerome Vorus had a little trouble with TSA authorities at Regan National Airport last month, and this past weekend he ran afoul of the Washington, DC police too.

It happened when he came across a routine traffic stop in Georgetown and took a few photos. One of the DC police officers on the scene told him he was being detained and needed to provide identification. Then no less than four officers told him it was illegal to take photos of people without their permission and one has to get approval from the department’s public information officer to take photos of police.

It seems weird that people who are being paid to uphold the law don’t even know it…oh. Wait. It’s DC. One of the most notoriously corrupt, ineffectual governments in the country. Where incompetence isn’t just tolerated, it’s encouraged.

Now it makes sense!

Read the whole encounter on Vorus’ blog here.

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