A Guide To Photographer’s Rights (And What To Do If You Get Arrested)

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Hopefully, none of you will ever actually be in a situation where this would be useful, but Mickey Osterreicher, General Counsel for The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), sat down to make a quick, but helpful, informational video regarding the legal rights of photojournalists. In the video, which is a 3 minute long gem of a sound bite, Osterreicher, explains several different scenarios photographers working in public places often find themselves in and what they can do to prevent interactions with the police from escalating.

Given recent situations regarding the possible violations of photographer’s rights in Ferguson, Missouri and other demonstrations around the country, the video is certainly worth taking a look at. [Read more...]

Mayor Candidate Records a Police Beating, Gets Arrested for “Menacing” the Cops Involved

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A few days ago, NYPD Chief Phillip Banks issued a memo reminding police officers that people have the right to fill them while they’re on duty, and that they can’t interfere and try to stop it from happening. It took only three days since then, unfortunately, for that memo to be forgotten.

Yesterday, an previously New York Mayor candidate named Randy Credico was arrested and jailed for recording the aggressive arrest of a man by officers in street clothes. While on his way to a campaign interview, Credico saw the two officers taking control of the man at the Van Cortland Park subway station, located in the Bronx.

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Following The Arrests Of Two Journalists, A Crew Of TV Reporters Were Tear Gassed, Had Equipment Dismantled By SWAT Team For Covering The Ferguson Protests

As the protest happening in Ferguson, Missouri following the death of an unarmed teenager who was shot by a police officer, enters it’s 5th day, it appears the police are vigilantly enforcing a complete media blackout. Social media is buzzing with reports of journalists, photographers, and videographers being assaulted, shot at with rubber bullets, and arrested by the St. Louis County Police. A video from local NBC affiliate, KSDK, shows a news crew from Al Jazeera America TV being tear gassed as they attempted to report on the protest. As soon the journalists cleared out, this happened:

Screenshot of video on KSDK shows SWAT disassembling journalists camera equipment.

Screenshot of video on KSDK shows SWAT disassembling journalists camera equipment.

In case it isn’t very obvious, a SWAT team in full riot gear swooped in and began breaking down the journalists camera equipment and lighting setup. Sadly, this isn’t the only case of photographers and journalists having their rights violated while reporting on the event.
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New York City Police Department Issued Memo On Photographers Rights…Finally

Photography Is Not A Crime. Right?

Photography Is Not A Crime. Right?

In a memo handed down to New York City Police precincts on Wednesday, the Chief of Department, Philip Banks, reminded his staff that photographers do indeed have the right to photograph on duty police officers. This comes two long years after the Washington DC police force issued a strikingly similar notice to its officers. It also follows the tragic death of a Staten Island man that was killed after being placed in a chokehold by a member of the NYPD. The memo instructs police officers to not interfere or interrupt photographers unless the are explicitly interfering with operations being performed by the officers.

“Members of the public are legally allowed to record police interactions. Intentional interference such as blocking or obstructing cameras or ordering the person to cease constitutes censorship and also violates the First Amendment.”

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New Jersey Officer Loses Cool While Recorded: “If Obama Doesn’t Follow The Constitution, We Don’t Have To.”

It’s common these days to find videos of people filming confrontations with policemen. With a smartphone in everyone’s hands, it’s easier than ever to be able to capture incriminating evidence. Given how many controversies have come up in recent years regarding abusive police action caught on video, officers have to be careful with how they deal with citizens recording them.

This video captures resident Steve Wronko attempting to investigate the Helmetta Animal Shelter, when he’s approached by New Jersey police officer Richard Recine. Normally, the entire thing would have been another situation of a man trying to be smart with a police officer who’s trying to do his job (the internet just loves a guy who steps up to authority), and then act threatened when they pat his back towards the exit.

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Award Winning Photographer Arrested (Again), Has Cameras Confiscated

According to a press release from The Bahrain Center For Human Rights, renowned street and war photographer, Ammar Abdulrasool has just been arrested. Again. Ammar was taken in what appears to be a succession of illegal raids targeting photographers and journalists that took place in Bahrain during the past weeks.

Ammar-Abdul shares some of his recent award winning images on his Instagram profile.

Ammar-Abdul shares some of his recent award winning images on his Instagram profile.

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7 Reasons For Not Shooting 7 Government Buildings, As Quoted From Us Officials

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Time and again we shared stories that show how photographers are given random instructions to avoid photographing in public places. I guess after Benny Johnson‘s report on getting kicked away from 7 of the US Government Buildings it is no longer random.

Benny, a Buzzfeed staff member, was doing a piece on The 7 Ugliest Government Buildings In DC. For that story he went ahead and tried photographing 7 concrete buildings. The interaction he had with each of the building’s guards, spokesmen and security personal resulted in an even better story, showing how he was kicked off property or sent away or banned from photographing any of those buildings.

Just to make it clear, Benny’s way of shooting the buildings seemed pretty legit to me, though I am not a layer:

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Woman Who Assaulted Boy With a Quadcopter Gets Probation

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Last month, a video was uploaded online by 17 year-old Austin Haughwout, showing the assault carried out on him by 23 year-old Andrea Mears after she saw him using a quadcopter at a beach. After assaulting him, she lies to the police that arrive on the scene by claiming that he attacked her. Police chose not to arrest Austin only when he showed them that he has video evidence.

Andrea faced up to one year in jail with the charges brought against her. Last Wednesday, she was instead granted Accelerated Rehabilitation, and put two years of probation.

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Photographer Denied Access From Six Flags For Wearing An ‘I Shoot Raw’ T-Shirt

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Having spent a few days with Jared Polin (AKA FroKnowsPhoto) I have not seen him wear anything but a variety of ‘I shoot RAW’ T shirts. I am not sure he actually has any other shirts in the closet. Being a well coined photography term, Jared went to a New Jersey Six Flags wearing this shirt and was detained at the gates by security for wearing the I Shoot Raw shirt (after getting a ticket), and was asked to replace the shirt with another one.

Jared told the security that he is going to film the discussion and tried asking the security guards why he can not wear the shirt. To this he was replied with a series of recursive answers, ranging from ‘it is a family friendly park’, ‘it is up to management discretion’, ‘Several guards pointed up your shirt’ but they could not explain why the shirt was deemed inappropriate.

In the end, Jared had to go in the park and get a different shirt to be allowed in (see lead photo for his selection).
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The Dangers Of Urbex – Photographer Could Be Facing A Year In Jail And A 15,000 Euro Fine

urbex-jail-franceWhile Urban exploring (also referred to as Urbex) provides both wonderful photos for the viewers and a thrill for the photographer is it not always fun and games. Urban Explorer The Other Side (full name with the system) just shared a story with us about getting detained, almost arrested and practically being banned from doing any Urbexing in France or he will get in the slammer for a year and have to pay a fine of 15,000 Euros. [Read more...]