Quote Originally Posted by bjorke
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.
I think you're only seeing the side of the story you want to see.

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."

Ohh, Pul-lease.

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.