Your Right to Photograph in Public

RightToPhotographKurt Nimmo writes on InfoWars:

Infowars has posted numerous stories and videos documenting police and security guards harassing photographers and videographers in public spaces. In the United States, it is entirely legal for you to photograph people, buildings, infrastructure, and even criminal activity in public, so long as you do not interfere with the police. You don’t need permission and the cops cannot legally stop you or confiscate your camera, film, or video tape.

Earlier this year, Aaron Dykes was threatened with arrest in downtown Kansas City, Missouri after filming the local branch of the private Federal Reserve building. Security guards working for the Fed approached Infowars reporters at a city park that houses the National WWI memorial and demanded that they provide their names and disclose why they were filming the building.

Dykes and the Infowars crew were legally photographing the Federal Reserve building but this did not stop over-zealous rent-a-thugs from threatening them.

Infowars posted a video of the confrontation, but YouTube removed it claiming it violates their terms of use. Apparently Google (who owns YouTube) does not want people to know Americans are denied their right to photograph in public, especially when they are photographing buildings where criminal activity is planned and carried out.

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  • Word Eater

    PDF explaining your rights to photograph available here: http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

    edit: if you are in the United States

  • 5by5

    Some of this stuff is conspicuously racist too.

    A couple years back there was a photography student out working on a school assignment taking photos of the Ballard Locks in Seattle. Something which frankly, nearly everyone who lives there has done at one time or another, not to mention the tourist traffic there. But officer and his threatening german shepard pulled this ONE GUY out of a crowd of other people all doing the same thing, simply because he was brown. They then sent 8 cops and three plain-clothed undercover DHS geeks after him to harass him some more, as he has refused to show the first moron his ID, as was his legal right, since he'd done nothing wrong. They then went so far as to follow him to his home, and after showing them his photography notes outlining all the exposures he used, they still demanded his ID so they could run a background check on him, and told him he had to call them first to notify them if he ever wanted to take a picture of what is a public place ever again. Read his hair-raising account here: http://www.brownequalsterrorist.com/artiststate

    $20 says this poor kid is STILL on some dippy watchlist — for the “crime” of doing nothing illegal whatsoever. Except maybe thinking he was free in the United States of America while being brown.

    And it's hardly the only incident.

    A University of Washington Professor whose photographic prints & etchings have been exhibited at galleries across the country, was arrested for taking pictures of power lines crisscrossing the sky. She was detained for 3/4 of an hour while police asked about her children and searched her car, and she sued the pants off the police for it. Details on that here: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/339897_photos16….

    The ACLU defended another kid in a similar incident in Seattle and won a judgment for him. Police arrested him and seized his property on a charge of “provoking a riot” simply because he took two photographs of them arresting another man. You can read about that here: http://www.aclu-wa.org/detail.cfm?id=784

    No doubt others have even more stories from other states (and this all happened in ultra-Liberal Seattle, I can't imagine what it's like in someplace more aggro like Texas or Mississippi) of overzealous officials being irrational in a “post 9/11 world”.

  • Patrick

    5by5,

    I’m from Dallas and take pictures all the time with my photography group (haha yeah I have one of those), and have never, ever encountered a problem. We are black, white, brown, and yellow. And we have shot in different towns and cities in Texas. I’m surprised that something like this would happen in Washington, especially Seattle, which likes to boast its progressive image.

  • Patrick

    5by5,

    I'm from Dallas and take pictures all the time with my photography group (haha yeah I have one of those), and have never, ever encountered a problem. We are black, white, brown, and yellow. And we have shot in different towns and cities in Texas. I'm surprised that something like this would happen in Washington, especially Seattle, which likes to boast its progressive image.

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