Posts Tagged 'deleting photos'

Oregon Officer Crashes Car, Harasses Witness for Snapping Photos

When Hillsboro, Oregon, resident David Emerson witnessed an officer-involved car crash he did what a lot of people do nowadays – he pulled out his cell phone to take photos. The unnamed Hillsboro officer objected (naturally) and told Emerson he had to delete the photos or he would confiscate the phone.

Emerson thinks the officer’s behavior was due to the fact that he was speeding through an intersection without his lights and siren on when he crashed into a Buick and then (to save his own butt) tried to convince Emerson otherwise.

Sorry, officer, but if you weren’t doing anything wrong and have nothing to hide why the paranoia over someone taking pictures of a public and newsworthy event? Is it because you really didn’t have your lights and sirens on when you caused that collision and sent yourself and the other driver to the hospital?

On the other hand, the Hillsboro cops are now trying to say that the unknown officer  never told Emerson to delete his pictures, that the Buick driver “failed to yield” to the officer, and that the cop was only trying to tell Emerson that investigators could confiscate his phone for evidence.

Sure, fellas, keep telling yourself that. But why hasn’t the Buick driver been cited yet for “failing to yield”? And why haven’t investigators asked Emerson to see his photos? Seems like the photos would be very important and useful in determining what really occurred. However, that’s probably not what they’re trying to find out—cover-ups generally don’t involve getting to the truth.

Personally, I’m more inclined to believe a guy on the street who has nothing to gain or lose from this incident than a cop clearly trying to protect himself.

As KATU reported:

“…the officer never told Emerson to delete his photos. After all, they say, that would be completely against protocol.”


Article from KATU

Met Police Force Photog to Delete Pics

Followers of the  issue know that police in the UK are pretty tone-deaf when it comes to photographers’ rights, no matter what “guidelines” they create.

This past Sunday, freelancer Carmen Valino was working for the Hackney Gazette covering a shooting in East London when she was approached by police, who told her “she was disrupting the investigation and had to hand over her camera.” This was after she had showed her credentials and was working outside the cordoned off area. She protested until the sergeant brought out handcuffs, and then she relented. He took her camera away for five minutes and when he returned it, he told her she had to delete the images.

You have to wonder about Valino here. Perhaps she’s a rookie and didn’t know how to hold her ground. Or maybe the Met Police are frightening thugs and there’s no gettin around them. But she should have never complied – it’s an outrageous request of anyone, much less the working media.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police called it “disappointing” when officers don’t follow the department guidelines and said they’re looking into it.

Article from the Press Gazette

Calgary Police Delete Photos

calgary police
Photo by Robert Thivierge

A photojournalist in Calgary found out the hard way that law enforcement will do whatever it takes to assert their power. Last Sunday, Robert Thivierge came upon a scene where four Calgary Police Service officers were arresting a man. He starting taking photos and was told to stop and delete his photos or – get this – he’d lose his camera for a year. 

What an outrageously asinine rule! Do these security guards live in a special fantasyland where they get to make up their own laws? Or is Canada just totally fine with trampling its citizens’ civil rights?

From Thivierge’s account:

The security guard on the left said the pictures I took didn’t belong to me, and I wasn’t allowed to have any of the images, and they’d have to be deleted.

Then, the other security guy talked to a cop, who said it was ok for me to go, with the images, saying the first security person “misspoke”.

Then, the next cop, said I couldn’t leave with an image that’s potential evidence. So, I would have to delete it, if I didn’t want to lose my camera for a year. When I said it would be illegal to delete evidence, they said it wasn’t evidence if it’s deleted. Make sense?

Thivierge says he is pursuing the matter and the police seem to be looking into it too, according to Metro News Calgary. I do hope he gets some answers. According to Thivierge, Canada does not have an ACLU equivalent or respect civil rights as we do in the US. To be sure, in this country, at worst, these officers (or whatever these guys are) are engaging in lying and stealing; at best, they’re just incompetent because they don’t know what their job parameters are.

Just remember this mantra, and repeat it to yourself if you’re ever in one of these situations: Police (or security personnel) do not have the right to take your property or delete your photos, and don’t be bullied into thinking otherwise.

Read a brief article on the Metro News Calgary site here.

See Robert Thivierge’s Flickr photostream here.

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