I was a customs officer in the 1980s, and since then have practiced law.
As a customs officer, part of our training concerned the danger of the "20 pound badge". That was a reference to how easy it was to get carried away with the authority one had, and as a result do a much poorer job of enforcing and applying the law, while at the same time decreasing the respect the public has for a peace officer.
I've certainly run up against difficult and unreasonable peace officers. I've certainly advised people that one of the least productive things to do in life is to argue with a peace officer who doesn't agree with you. In my experience, however, most peace officers listen, in most circumstances.
One needs to pick ones battles, and more importantly, where and when to fight them.
While I have no hesitation to apply criticism where it is due, I should add though that in my experience most peace officers are dedicated, hard working and well trained, and I am grateful for the often thankless job they, for the most part, do for us.
This has become a big problem in the UK - particularly in major cities. Police have been quite proactive in preventing photography of any kind they don't like, whilst in total ignorance of the law (forcing people to delete images from digital cameras, seizing film, using CCTV to track the movements of photographers then - in one recent case following - a guy's car and seizing his camera equipment). They've been using 'anti-terror' and 'anti-paedophile' legislation to harass allcomers and it's getting worse....
Opposition described here:
Photos from recent demonstration here:
Me too, up to a point. I'm glad I can call someone if there's a lunatic attacking someone on the street, or breaking into my car, or that kind of thing.
Originally Posted by MattKing
On the other hand, detaining and harassing photographers and press - that's pretty much 100% wrong. The situation that started this thread is the least of the problems people have been facing lately. Just google it; photographers are being harassed absolutely everywhere. A lot of circumstantial evidence points to it being a systematic effort to hush the press (and by this I don't just mean the New York Times, I also mean all the unaffiliated outlets like indymedia and to some extent perhaps people's blogs). If you read enough of these stories a few patterns emerge: police forces harass photographers who photograph them conducting police business (e.g. arresting people - which could easily mean "arresting people with excessive force" or "arresting people at political demonstrations"). *Federal* agents have detained and interrogated photographers for taking "suspicious photographs" on at least one occasion (Albuquerque NM) and police have questioned, harassed, and recorded the identities and information of photographers on too many occasions to count. Perhaps most telling of all are the tales of border agents confiscating the equipment (including memory cards and laptops containing images) from war journalists returning home. It goes on and on, and it's all very political and pretty obviously unrelated to the threat of terrorism.
Will all this new found "hope" and "change" actually change anything? I don't know. The problem spans borders; Britain is particularly bad for it right now. Canada seems okay to me, though I did see one advertisement for an RCMP terrorist line that implored people to report any suspicious acts of photography.
The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
The public are being actively encouraged to regard photographers with suspicion
What grates the most is that if I was going to take covert surveilence pictures of an intended target, I'd probably want to use a small discrete camera (like a mobile phone for example?) that would enable be to get near said target. I certainly wouldn't cart a Mamiya RB67 round.... er left oh sorry right a bit er hold on, I've dropped the cable release, damn the sun's gone in I need to remeter....
I agree with you completely. I am a large format documentary photographer and often work in areas where it would be easy for the police to give me a hard time if they chose to. I have never had this happen. Officers will often talk to me to see what I am up to, and I am always happy to chat with them. I am sometimes glad to see them as I feel safer with them around. Very often they understand what my purposes are and are very supportive and have suggested areas to work in that I had not considered. At the least, they wish me a good day and leave me alone. I am careful to not knowingly do anything illegal, and the couple times I unwittingly was where I maybe shouldn't have been, that fact was pointed out to me, I was allowed to finish shooting and go on my way. My experiences have been with officers from many jurisdictions and they have always been positive. I don't know if I have just been lucky or what, but I have been doing this for about 15 years and have had only positive interactions with law officers.
Originally Posted by MattKing
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And I thought Congress only had naming rights for Federal property:
Originally Posted by c6h6o3
H.R.6267 (1982): Designates the building known as the Federal Reserve Board Building, in Washington, D.C., as the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building.
The buildings are Federal property. The Federal Reserve Board is a quasi-independent federally chartered bank that manages US currency, banking and lending policy. The Board Chairman is appointed by the president to a four year term, which can be renewed until he serves 14 years, or 14 plus the balance of any prior partial term if he is appointed to replace someone mid-term.
That's a bit overwrought. It seems more like simple ignorance and sloth. When you have no f---ing idea what you're doing because you're ignorant to begin with, or because the supervisors themselves are ignorant or poor leaders, it's much easier to default to the most restrictive position you think might apply. No one ever much got in trouble for being too restrictive, in that way of thinking.
Originally Posted by walter23
Stopping one guy from photographing the Federal Reserve is a long way from a police state. Take a breath.
Still waiting for the facts on this one......
I hear a lot of opinions so far. What does the law say??? Everything else is irrelevant. I have heard over and over again that certain buildings are off limits for photography due to laws passed or orders given after the Sept. 11 Attacks, but have never dug deep about it because I have never wanted to shoot pix of one of the supposed off-limits areas. Is it true, or is it not? Somebody give us some real information. I don't care what everybody thinks. What is the law?
Maybe, just maybe, to actually get anywhere with this discussion, it belongs on a message board that is concerned with issues of the law, as opposed to analog photography. These discussions always go nowhere. There are a bunch of people with *opinions* who repeatedly and incorrectly state them as fact, who will jump down your throat the second you act somewhat objective and mention the actual laws. The time that your opinion really matters is when you go to elect the folks who make our laws. Not on the analog photography Internet group.
We all know it's B.S., on a personal and Constitutional level, and is nothing but a way to slide in foundations for restrictions on published imagery, information, art, and journalism, as is always done in a nation that is in a pre-Fascist state. But it would not be the first time that B.S. was made into law.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 02-26-2009 at 12:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
Is that the Federal Reserve Building which is free to view in Google Earth streetview from any angle you choose?
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.