One of the first things I learned as a newspaper shooter ?
Get the Picture and Stay Out of the Way.
"Rights" are one thing, "Human Nature" is another.
We know why cops are most afraid when they are called to a "Domestic Disturbance".
There are problems with the Blog that was cited to begin this thread: both stories are twisted versions of incomplete, single account stories. Neither story was picked up by other local news. What really happened ? Who knows.
Cops aren't perfect, and they don't usually fly off the handle.
Normal people go to pieces every day. And cops probably have cameras stuck in their face far more often than do normal people, seldom with benign intent.
Stick a camera in somebody's face - anybody's - in ANY circumstance,
and you probably deserve what you get.
Imagine this: your kid has just been vile, and you are in the process of
correcting his misbehaviour. A complete stranger appears behind you and begins taking pictures.
What are the questions that come first ? WHO ARE YOU ? WHY ARE YOU TAKING PICTURES ? And so on. Human Nature. It's too easy to make somebody look bad, to make somebody appear to be abusing a child, breaking the law.... anything. You resent the interference, and rightly so.
A camera will incite anxiety in normal, innocent people as quickly as brandishing a firearm. Especially when the the photographer doesn't know how to conduct himself. More important than knowing films and lenses, you need to know how to belong in an event, and how to make the camera non-threatening. Are you REALLY there just to be a witness ? Really ?
If there were an accident that put an automobile in my front yard,
first thing I do I chill out as quickly as I can, and go out and introduce myself to the cop. Walk slowly, and behave like you live there.
When the pleasantries are out of the way, I tell him I'm going to take a picture of the scene from my porch for the insurance company. Then, I do it, go in, and get out of the way. HINT: use your Point & Shoot, not the Nikon, zoom, motor, strobe.
Some people see 'action' and want to pretend they're a cop, a journalist,
or avenging angel. They want to 'make a difference' but don't know what they are doing.
You want to 'make a difference' ? Be out in the neighborhood every day, not just when there's something exciting. Hate injustice ? Get involved. Want to get rid of Bad Cops ? Become a Good Cop.
Want to get rid of incompetant, criminal, and corrupt elected officials ?Vote.