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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 10 May 2011 (Tuesday) 12:13
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I almost got arrested last night!

 
TattooedAffliction
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May 10, 2011 12:13 |  #1

So, there was a report of a missing 9-year-old girl that happened a few blocks away from where I live, and it unfortunately ended with them finding the little girl murdered in a dumpster behind her apartment building. I got there with the intention to photograph the heroic search efforts of all the rescue workers involved before anyone knew that she had been killed. This is a small town, and murders just dont happen here, so I had thought it would turn out to be nothing more than a child that wondered off to a friends house and lost track of time and would eventually turn up safe and sound; unfortunately, that was not the case and heard the terrible news after I was wrapping up taking photos of the scene.

I got there with my camera equipment and was outside of the taped off area taking photos without issue until I decided to walk around the area to a street that was closer to get a better vantage point which was still outside of the taped off area. As soon as I got there and prepared to take some photos, one of the fire police yells from a distance, "no photos". I simply replied back that I am on public property. Several other fire police begin to gather around at this point all very rudely stating that I can not be here taking photos and I have to leave immediately. I kept as calm as I could trying to assert my rights stating that I am on a public sidewalk, not in the way of anyone, and therefore have every right to take photos.

One of the fire police proceeds to get a police officer to come over and the officer asks me who I'm affiliated with, and I informed him that I am a freelance photographer. He proceeds to tell me I need to leave as well and that I can't take photos. Again, I, as calmly as possible, try to assert that I have the right to photograph in public and on public property. Several minutes of this exchange go on until I decide that it's not worth getting arrested over, and walk back to my original position.

In conclusion, I used to be a firefighter for that fire company that the fire police in question are from, and I was forced to resign due to some issues through no fault of my own. Because of this, there's a bit of "bad blood" against me and they have it out for me wherever they see me. I feel this was the case in this incident because I later found out after watching the news that the more mainstream news media were able to get quite a bit closer to the scene than I was without issue.


Tom
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Justinryan215
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May 10, 2011 12:40 |  #2

Sure, there may br bad blood between you and the department, but did you thing that, even though you WERE on a public street, there might be a reason that they want photos taken? You say you were a distance away, but do these guys know photography, and what kind of "reach" your lens has?

Also, just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD...I know that if my little girl was raped, beaten and found murdered IN MY OWN APARTMENT COMPLEX, I wouldn't want every schmo with a camera around, snapping pics....

Just my two cents...

Justin


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RTPVid
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May 10, 2011 12:44 |  #3

Justinryan215 wrote in post #12383422 (external link)
...I know that if my little girl was raped, beaten and found murdered IN MY OWN APARTMENT COMPLEX, I wouldn't want every schmo with a camera around, snapping pics....

Just my two cents...

Justin

Yeah, there outta be a law!


Tom

  
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hawkeye60
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May 10, 2011 12:56 |  #4

...just because someone thinks you shouldn't, doesn't give them the right to say you can't.


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jeppoy
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May 10, 2011 12:58 |  #5

just because you have a camera doesnt mean you have every right to shoot either.


No I'm not a photographer, I just shoot with Canon DSLR with those lenses with red thingy...;)

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hawkeye60
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May 10, 2011 13:04 |  #6

jeppoy wrote in post #12383555 (external link)
just because you have a camera doesnt mean you have every right to shoot either.

On public property, I think you do. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.


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Nathan
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May 10, 2011 13:06 |  #7

OP was within his rights, if what he described is accurate

http://www.krages.com/​ThePhotographersRight.​pdf (external link)


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pbelarge
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May 10, 2011 13:06 as a reply to  @ jeppoy's post |  #8

We all have rights, and should be able to execute them when we want to.

Then again, there are times where some common sense and respect for the type of situation in front of one, should take over and maybe just say, not this time.

It sounds to me like you had more of an anger issue with the fire patrol, than an issue with taking photos. Forget about it, life is too short. I am glad to see that your sense kicked in and you walked away.


just a few of my thoughts...
Pierre

  
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jeppoy
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May 10, 2011 13:06 |  #9

so you are not even sure either


No I'm not a photographer, I just shoot with Canon DSLR with those lenses with red thingy...;)

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atlrus
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May 10, 2011 13:12 |  #10

I am pretty sure that crime scenes are offlimits...Tampering or something like that...


Gear: Sold :cry:

  
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TattooedAffliction
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May 10, 2011 13:12 as a reply to  @ post 12383520 |  #11

I feel horrible about what happened to the little girl and my thoughts are certainly with her family, but as photographers, it is our job to document the good, bad and the ugly whether we like it or not.

EDIT: And for the record I gave the photos to the news organization for free because I would not want to profit from something like this.


Tom
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HastyPhoto
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May 10, 2011 13:12 |  #12

Talk about a waste of time.


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hawkeye60
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May 10, 2011 13:20 |  #13

jeppoy wrote in post #12383621 (external link)
ok, let say he did took some photos of the crime scene? what would you do with it? sell to the newspaper and benefit on someone elses grief? I could understand if you're a journalist but if you are just a regular jo schmuck wanna be phtographer then I would even laugh if they beat you with the camera you carrying that day.

Yes let's beat up people when we don't agree...just brilliant.


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Nathan
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May 10, 2011 13:23 |  #14

Here's a situation similar to the OP's: http://www.photoattorn​ey.com/?p=492 (external link)

Here's Carolyn Wright's summary of legal rights: http://www.photoattorn​ey.com/?p=36 (external link)

*Disclaimer - I am an attorney, but not one who specializes in 1st amendment rights, public safety law, or copyright issues.


Taking photos with a fancy camera does not make me a photographer.
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superwspfreak
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May 10, 2011 13:23 |  #15

So was it worth it?


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I almost got arrested last night!
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