Posts Tagged 'film confiscated'

Cop Commandeers Camera in Coral Gables

Photo by sunrise954

Like the story of the photographer in Coney Island we posted on last week, here’s another incidence of a person being asked to hand over their film by law enforcement. Momoko Sudo was taking nature photos in her Coral Gables, FL, neighborhood when she snapped one of a police motorcycle. The officer, who Sudo says was abusive and confrontational, demanded to see her camera, deleted all her pictures and threw her memory card on the ground.

She thinks the officer was not only suspicious that she was a foreigner taking photos but put off by her outfit (a large sunhat and bandanna with Japanese writing) and the fact that her camera settings were in Japanese.

It’s unfortunate Sudo didn’t get the officer’s name or badge number because he seems completely unprofessional and inappropriate. Assuredly this is not the policy of the Coral Gables Police Department (Franklin of has a letter in to them to make sure). But it’s just another reminder that no one, in pretty much any circumstance, has the right to ask for your film or your camera.

Article from via Carlos Miller

A Sticky Situation in Coney Island

A diver jumps off the pier at Coney Island
Photo by Simon Lund

From an interesting article in the Village Voice, commercial photographer Simon Lund was taking photos in Coney Island over Memorial Day weekend when he was forced to give up his film.

It all started when he unknowingly (if at all) took a photo of a woman’s young son. She became angry and demanded he erase the picture. (Which makes me think the kid was in the witness protection program, but that’s neither here nor there.) Lund explained he couldn’t because he was shooting film, so she involved the cops, who intimidated Lund into handing over his film.

Lund knew he wasn’t in the wrong, and it’s easy to say now, “Why didn’t he just walk away?!” But when a woman and her irate family are yelling at you and you’re surrounded by a group of NYPD — one of which says, “You’ve got to give up your film, or things are going to get much worse for you” — you might not be thinking crystal clearly.

In the article, Christopher Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union, says: “Police officers are not allowed to look at images without consent of the photographer, and they have no authority to order someone to let them look at their pictures or to confiscate their film.”

If only Lund could have reminded them of that.

To give Deputy Inspector Robert Johnson and the 60th Precinct (which oversees Coney Island) your thoughts, call 718-946-3311.

Article via Village Voice.

See some of Simon Lund’s Coney Island photos here.

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