It is funny, even before 9/11 the only place I was ever able to photograph without being hasseled was either Yellowstone or when I lived in Hawaii, I remember when I first moved to Montana about '97 and I set my 4x5 up outside our Library, which is also the builiding that the oldest School house in the area and wanted to take some shots, nice climbing plants on the build with increadable ambiance, and I was questioned by the local cops, took one shot and moved on, then went to the home of the founder of the city to take shots, and same thing...this was before homeland security or any other thing they like to say they are protecting now a days, it was really bizzare and I almost got thrown in Jail, cause I guess after the second time of being hassled, I got a bit smug with the cops and asked them if they thought I was James Bond and had a miniture nuke in the camera! LOL
So, this is not something new since 9/11, it has been happening for a while now..
Proud to be a Utahn :(
I just read about this in the Salt Lake City Weekly (http://www.slweekly.com/editorial/20...2005-09-01.cfm) and I am sad to say I'm not suprised. I really hope her suit sends a strong message to Utah law inforcement. Reminds me of the "Skateboarding is not a crime" stickers only now I want to change it to Photography.
My favorite part of the article is, "Speaking prior to the firing, Brent Robbins, FBI spokesman, said the incident shows the local terrorism task force working." That guy is a Tool.
Grumpy in Utah,
There ya go Bjorke..
PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT A CRIME
I'll buy one. Make that four.
Originally Posted by Sean
I think you're only seeing the side of the story you want to see.
Originally Posted by bjorke
There may be a bozo cop involved; no shortage of them anywhere. The charges were tossed; didn't even make it to the Desk Sergeant. So what? Move on. If she wants to sue them, then fine, that's also her right. Go for it, but don't expect public reimbursement of her legal fees unless the court determines they are warranted.
Why was she fired from her job? More conspiratorial persecution? Doesn't sound like it. Quoting from the article: "CoStar spokesman Mark Klionsky would not say why Ortega de Chamberlin was fired. He said it was unusual for the company’s “clearly marked” vans to arouse suspicion."
If someone worked for me and got hassled for no reason, I would back that person to the hilt, even back her legal fees. But when someone gets fired, that tells me her boss was fed up with her for one reason or another.
"She worries about winding up on a government list as well as national security encroaching on artistic freedom. “If police officers or anybody in authority don’t know what people’s rights are to take photos, to be artists or reporters, the individuals end up suffering,” she said."
Is this lady the only photographer in Salt Lake? I doubt it. Is she the only photographer taking commercial real estate photos? I doubt it. Is she the only photographer taking pictures on a public sidewalk? I doubt it. Is he the only one that's been hassled in the name of homeland security? Don't know. Maybe we should see if this is a trend or not. From what you've presented here, looks like her's is an isolated case.
Given the facts that she got fired, and had several previous encounters with Law Enforcement, and seems to be "marked" by them, could it be that she has been needling them in some fashion, trying to provoke an incident? And could that string of semi-provoked events have been the cause for her firing?
That scene in Monty Python always reminded me of a bunch of neo-Socialists turning on someone who had broken away from the party group-think.
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i know exactly what you are talking about dave -
Originally Posted by Satinsnow
i have been hassled by the police since about 1982 - no cameras needed.
pulled over on the interstate + local roads, car searched in a parking lot, you name it ...
you're right, it has been happening for a long time ...
The firing is irrelevant. In the absence of a warrant, a police officer must have probable cause to believe that a crime is either being committed or is about to be committed. The officer in question admitted at the scene that he had no probable cause. He therefore had no right to even ask her to identify herself. Arresting her is exceeding lawful authority and I'll bet her action will be successful. Any prior altercation with the law is also irrelevant.
For all their nastiness by virtue of the fact that they're incredibly overworked and underpaid, I have to hand it to the US Park Police. The last time they came up to question me on the C&O National Historical Park towpath, they at least knew the law. If you're a commercial photographer you have to have permit to photograph there. They asked me, "What do you do with the pictures you make?" I said I frame them and put them on the wall. "Do you sell them?" "Don't I wish!" I replied. They didn't like it, but they let me keep working. A universe apart from the rent-a-goons at the National Arboretum to whom tripod=commercial=pack it up, buddy.
I think that the whole thing amounts to a further indication of the loss of our personal and civil liberties. This loss seems to have drastically escalated in the last four years.
Hey what's new. Back in the 60's I was hassled constantly by cops for just having long hair.
Yep-been there and got that. Nowadays, around here, having long hair indicates a probable meth lab - so that attracts the attention.
Originally Posted by Eric Rose