Posts Tagged 'NYPD'

NYC Cop Harasses Photog, Claims “Frozen Zone”

Apparently the sidewalks around the UN headquarters in New York are a “frozen zone.” This is yet another fine example of police officers overreaching to justify trying to prohibit a legal activity. And their tool of choice? The “Patriot Act” of course. Hey, didn’t that became irrelevant along with its enabler anyway?

Perhaps this cop should go back to the academy to brush up on some laws. Federally owned sidewalk? Credentials? Signs? No asking questions? Yikes.

NYPD Told to Back Off Photographers

Photo by lempkin

Responding to numerous complaints by individuals and public advocacy groups, the NYPD has finally issued a department order reaffirming the rights of photographers and tourists to take photos in the city. The New York Post reports today:

“Photography and the videotaping of public places, buildings and structures are common activities within New York City . . . and is rarely unlawful,” the NYPD operations order begins.

It acknowledges that the city is a terrorist target, but since it’s a prominent “tourist destination, practically all such photography will have no connection to terrorism or unlawful conduct.”

The department directive — titled “Investigation of Individuals Engaged in Suspicious Photography and Video Surveillance” — makes it clear that cops cannot “demand to view photographs taken by a person . . . or direct them to delete or destroy images” in a camera.

This is a big step in the right direction. In a city with so many irresistible photo opportunities it’s a shame there are any impediments to capturing them.

Article via The New York Post

Rally Guards Block NYC Photographer

We posted on a pro-Palestinian rally that took place in LA a few weeks back, and there was a similar event in New York City in January. This video shows a credentialed photographer being harassed by event “security guards” (which are actually just civilians in neon vests) and knocked over the head by protesters with signs. The NYPD doesn’t seem to care either.

If you go to 7:07 of the video, a guard/thug starts grabbing the photographer and then forces him far away from the protesters. The guard/thug then lunges at the photographer for no apparent reason other than he’s a hot head on some sort of a retribution mission. NYPD are nowhere to be found. And when they do finally show up, they’re useless.

This is America. Times Square. The photographer has credentials. It’s a public rally. This shouldn’t be happening here. But what’s truly puzzling is that there doesn’t seem to be any downside to letting a photojournalist photograph your event. What are they so worried about?

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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