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  1. #1
    bjorke's Avatar
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    Utah LF Photog Arrested, Harrassed, Loses Job

    I don't like to spread stories from my own sites, but this one has got me truly steamed:

    http://www.photopermit.org/?p=105
    discussed:
    http://www.photopermit.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=234
    this past week the woman photographer was suddenly fired from her job after the FBI started investigating her from across the country (links in the discussion).

    The police screwed up under the banner of "national security" and now that one person has called them on it they seem bound and determined to harass her into oblivion.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  2. #2
    laz
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    Commenting only on the orginal incident:

    In this day and age it is so hard to judge incidents such as the one of a person being asked for identification while phographing within a city. Every day I travel into NYC and somewhere in my mind is always the question of what next?

    Maybe it's just working in a target that has made me greatly relax my usually far to the left opinions on personal liberties. I still write my yearly check to the ACLU, but when a policeman steps into my subway car I am happy he or she is there and would at their request be glad to identify myself or submit to a search of the backpack I carry.

    Sometimes one must sacrifice person freedom for the greater good.

    -Bob

  3. #3
    nexus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laz127
    Sometimes one must sacrifice person freedom for the greater good.
    *cough* no way. Absolutely not. There is less and less "personal freedom" going around this way. Its not the "terrorists" I worry about its our own governments and those who put them in power that I worry about.

    I can't see how on earth politicians and Americans who support the war can bleat on about "freedoms" and "liberties" and "democracy" but then at the same breath allow such BS like what happened to that photographer be ok because its for the "greater good" when the "greater good" isn't even a real threat.

    There should be no powers to allow cops to just arrest or ask people who are NOT doing anything wrong for their ID and name. There should also be no laws under the guise of "security" whereby people with cameras or who are minding their own business are expected to just do whatever the constabulary tell them to do, say and show.

    How can you say that its for the greater good with no sense of irony? If its supposedly a free coiuntry that people are jealous over and want to get rid of, then how can you support something like this? Its turning the supposed free countries of the west into dictatorships like in the former soviet union or heaven forbid China where the government just barrels down dissidents with heavy artilery, because thats the next step.

    And until people start waking up to this, there are going to be a lot more arrests and incidents of this happening. Next thing you know, cameras will be banned for security reasons. What next?

  4. #4

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    What I find truly puzzling is how the link between terrorism and LF gear can possibly be made by anyone - especially the Police. What is it exactly we`re doing in their eyes and mind when we have 50 lbs-worth of LF gear spread out taking pictures? I wonder if site-painters have the same problem when they bring out their easels and paint a street scene?

  5. #5
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laz127
    Sometimes one must sacrifice person freedom for the greater good.
    How is direct contravention of the Constitutional protection against unlawful search and seizure, with absolutely no probable cause, contributing to the greater good?

    An enhanced (and I use the word very lightly) police presence may become necessary during times of heightened security, but an abusive police presence which usurps unlawful dictatorial power (and that what we have in this case) always uses the "personal sacrifice of freedom for the greater good" argument to rationalize the proliferation of fascism. This cop is a bully, pure and simple, acting against the law and we're institutionalizing this behavior in the name of "national security" or "fighting terrorism" or "the struggle against mopery with intent to creep" or whatever the euphemism du jour might happen to be.

    I hope she takes them to the cleaners good and proper.

  6. #6
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    If in fact the information contained in the article is correct and truthful, I would suspect she indeed has a good case, there has been a number of court rulings on stiutations of this nature, infact the NPPA has published another white paper with cases cited on the issue of First Amendment rights.

    http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/.../08/rights.pdf

    Dave

  7. #7
    bjorke's Avatar
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    There has never been much doubt about how a court would perceive these situations. The First Amendment is a Big Hammer compared to the concerns of a city policeman's ego (or even claimed national security interests, as evidenced in the Pentagon Papers case).

    What I see here is police abuse of their authority, and then further abuse to cover up their tracks and claim "see, the system is working, we're investigating terrorists!" despite the fact that they don't have any real terrorists to investigate, and they know it. They have the resources to do it, while Tanya Ortega de Chamberlin is just one lone individual (who has now been deprived of her job as well) -- to fight this may cost many months and many thousands of dollars, while the worst punishment the cops will get is an admonition and the taxpayers will foot the bill for any fines.

    recall the scene with Sir Bedevere in "Monthy Python," where the villagers dress up a girl as a witch just so they can have someone to burn, then rationalize the process? Well, the cops sure do look like those illiterate villagers from here.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  8. #8
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to know if she is a member of one of the national photography organizations, alot of them have legal defence funds to litigate cases just like this.

    Dave

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by laz127
    Sometimes one must sacrifice person freedom for the greater good.
    Sounds good, but is not what I believe this country is about.

    Isn't this where we quote that old man who said something about anyone who sacrifices liberty for security deserves neither?

    *

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcallow
    Sounds good, but is not what I believe this country is about.

    Isn't this where we quote that old man who said something about anyone who sacrifices liberty for security deserves neither?
    No, because that quote is not apropos. Exactly how do these actions enhance security?

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