On 1 April, Baltimore officials officially approved that this city’s police can use surveillance drones. Equipped with hi-res cameras, these drones would reportedly be used to spy on the citizens. As probably expected, this caused quite a stir. And now, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore police over the use of this invasive surveillance program.
First off, allow me to preface this post by saying that I regard anything coming from Photography Is Not a Crime with suspicion. From what I’ve learned in life, anyone who is that dogmatic about something is typically biased.
With that out of the way, PINAC posted a video showing a June 11th run-in with correctional officers in Baltimore who demanded a PINAC film crew (and I use that term loosely) cease operations on the sidewalk outside the Chesapeake Detention Facility. In the video, a correctional officer tells them, “Nah, nah…state property, you can’t film here.” To which the PINAC crew said hogwash and began a typical round of photo rights protesting.
Saturday night, huge crowds of protesters converged on the streets of Baltimore to protest the death of Freddie Gray, a black male who sustained life ending injuries during an arrest made by the Baltimore City Police Department on April 12th. Like many similar protests that have taken place in recent months, the protest began as a peaceful assembly before pockets of violence began breaking out.
During one particular standoff, in which protesters were reportedly throwing rocks at the riot gear clad officers, the police announced the assembly was no longer peaceful and ordered the protesters to leave the area. According to the Baltimore Sun, the police made an announcement that went “something like, ‘This is no longer a legal assembly. This is no longer a peaceful protest,'” just before they backed off, creating a wider distance between the officers and the protesters.[Read More…]