Entartete Kunst in Long Beach, California

The Prophet by Emil Nolde (1912)

The Prophet by Emil Nolde (1912)

Greggory Moore writes in the Long Beach Post:

Police Chief Jim McDonnell has confirmed that detaining photographers for taking pictures “with no apparent esthetic value” is within Long Beach Police Department policy.

McDonnell spoke for a follow-up story on a June 30 incident in which Sander Roscoe Wolff, a Long Beach resident and regular contributor to Long Beach Post, was detained by Officer Asif Kahn for taking pictures of a North Long Beach refinery.

“If an officer sees someone taking pictures of something like a refinery,” says McDonnell, “it is incumbent upon the officer to make contact with the individual.” McDonnell went on to say that whether said contact becomes detainment depends on the circumstances the officer encounters.

McDonnell says that while there is no police training specific to determining whether a photographer’s subject has “apparent esthetic value,” officers make such judgments “based on their overall training and experience” and will generally approach photographers not engaging in “regular tourist behavior.”

This policy apparently falls under the rubric of compiling Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) as outlined in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Order No. 11, a March 2008 statement of the LAPD’s “policy …  to make every effort to accurately and appropriately gather, record and analyze information, of a criminal or non-criminal nature, that could indicate activity or intentions related to either foreign or domestic terrorism.”

Among the non-criminal behaviors “which shall be reported on a SAR” are the usage of binoculars and cameras (presumably when observing a building, although this is not specified), asking about an establishment’s hours of operation, taking pictures or video footage “with no apparent esthetic value,” and taking notes.

Also listed as behaviors to be documented are “Attempts to acquire illegal or illicit biological agent (anthrax, ricin, Eboli, smallpox, etc.),” “In possession, or utilizes, explosives (for illegal purposes),” and “Acquires or attempts to acquire uniforms without a legitimate cause (service personnel, government uniforms, etc.).” Special Order No. 11 does not distinguish between how these behaviors should be handled and how (e.g.) photography should be handled.

Read more here.

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  • Anarchy Pony

    …Why don’t they arrest the people that created things with no aesthetic values, like refineries?

    • Anarchy Pony

      But then I suppose that’s beside the point of the article…

  • Wanooski

    …Why don’t they arrest the people that created things with no aesthetic values, like refineries?

  • Wanooski

    But then I suppose that’s beside the point of the article…

  • BuzzCoastin

    > Among the non-criminal behaviors “which shall be reported on a SAR” are the usage of binoculars and cameras (presumably when observing a building, although this is not specified), asking about an establishment’s hours of operation, taking pictures or video footage “with no apparent esthetic value,” and taking notes.

    Fortunately for Bush & Cheney violating the constitution, lying to congress & torture are still OK in the Homeland of the Free.  Fortunately for Congress taking bribes and being corporate toddies is still OK.  Glad the Homeland has its priorities strait about crime.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    > Among the non-criminal behaviors “which shall be reported on a SAR” are the usage of binoculars and cameras (presumably when observing a building, although this is not specified), asking about an establishment’s hours of operation, taking pictures or video footage “with no apparent esthetic value,” and taking notes.

    Fortunately for Bush & Cheney violating the constitution, lying to congress & torture are still OK in the Homeland of the Free.  Fortunately for Congress taking bribes and being corporate toddies is still OK.  Glad the Homeland has its priorities strait about crime.

  • Malk

    this mental american sickness grows stronger every day it seems….
    refineries have plenty of aesthetic value… a police officer beating a teenager up has plenty of photographic value on top of that… they’re just covering their asses and everyone knows it. childish bullies with guns.

    some police are great, the police are supposed to serve a great role in society, and I would gladly support them; IF, I didn’t know plenty people that have been threatened with rape and beatings by the Seattle police (where I was raised, and promptly LEFT behind years ago) and the Seattle police are an above average force from what I hear…

    it’s a sickness siphoned down from power, fed into the weak and highly paid, controlled by the “intelligent” yet mad, lacking of any sort of modern wisdom.

  • Malk

    this mental american sickness grows stronger every day it seems….
    refineries have plenty of aesthetic value… a police officer beating a teenager up has plenty of photographic value on top of that… they’re just covering their asses and everyone knows it. childish bullies with guns.

    some police are great, the police are supposed to serve a great role in society, and I would gladly support them; IF, I didn’t know plenty people that have been threatened with rape and beatings by the Seattle police (where I was raised, and promptly LEFT behind years ago) and the Seattle police are an above average force from what I hear…

    it’s a sickness siphoned down from power, fed into the weak and highly paid, controlled by the “intelligent” yet mad, lacking of any sort of modern wisdom.

  • Phen

    If we’re going to start spelling aesthetic with an e, we deserve everything we’ve got coming.

    • Andrew

      It was the LAPD who misspelled it!

  • Phen

    If we’re going to start spelling aesthetic with an e, we deserve everything we’ve got coming.

  • Nunzio X

    The photographers of Long Beach ought to assemble en masse once a week and take pictures / video of everything around them, including cops who question them.

  • Nunzio X

    The photographers of Long Beach ought to assemble en masse once a week and take pictures / video of everything around them, including cops who question them.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Their experience and judgment amounts to jack and squat…if even that. Most bozo-the-clown beat walking buttheads are barely more than phys ed majors who have been given weapons and sanctioned to attack people at will. They think art begins and ends with Playboy and Hustler. Letting junior high level steroid hulks determine what is or isn’t art is a reflection of the general level of retardation that has overtaken all law enforcement and the people who supervise them.

    • Dcoy3546

      Apparently Mr. Vox hasn’t seen the new Transformers movie if he’s questioning art in the common sphere. 

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Nope…havent seen it…I’d sooner subject myself to a screening of “Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People” than a Michael Bay film.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Their experience and judgment amounts to jack and squat…if even that. Most bozo-the-clown beat walking buttheads are barely more than phys ed majors who have been given weapons and sanctioned to attack people at will. They think art begins and ends with Playboy and Hustler. Letting junior high level steroid hulks determine what is or isn’t art is a reflection of the general level of retardation that has overtaken all law enforcement and the people who supervise them.

  • Anon

    and if you aren’t wearing the adult overall found in the movie 1984, that’s a crime too

  • Anon

    and if you aren’t wearing the adult overall found in the movie 1984, that’s a crime too

  • Gergith

    … Do they not have Google Streetview there?

  • Gergith

    … Do they not have Google Streetview there?

  • Bob

    This is written with complete bias. They just mean if they are taking pictures of OIL refineries or other dangerous areas and it seems like they are scouting the area and not just taking pictures for art they need to check it out. Not like they would arrest you once they asked you and you explained to them about it.But chances are you would flip out about your rights and how cops are being assholes for just talking to you, which is when they would hassle you back because you are a scumbag. NY cops would stop and see if you were being sketchy in a subway or near tall buildings with a camera too I’m sure.

  • Bob

    This is written with complete bias. They just mean if they are taking pictures of OIL refineries or other dangerous areas and it seems like they are scouting the area and not just taking pictures for art they need to check it out. Not like they would arrest you once they asked you and you explained to them about it.But chances are you would flip out about your rights and how cops are being assholes for just talking to you, which is when they would hassle you back because you are a scumbag. NY cops would stop and see if you were being sketchy in a subway or near tall buildings with a camera too I’m sure.

    • Simiantongue

      When is the last time you had a police officer “just talk to you”? Every encounter I’ve ever had involving a police officer turned out pretty bad, even though I was polite and have absolutely no criminal record, I’ve never even had a parking ticket. I know not every police officer out there is bad, but just what are the chances that the last five, the only five, encounters I’ve had were terrible, just terrible experiences? There is a serious problem with our law enforcement, the militarization, how they are trained, it’s not just the officers it’s a systemic problem. The average person on the street is aware of this, something is just not right.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        There it is in a nutshell man. The way these people are programmed…they enter into an encounter with an attitude that says “You’re doing something wrong…I don’t know what yet…but I’ll find it and then we’ve got you.” They’ve also been handed carte blanche to exercise every kind of intimidation over people, up to and including charges and arrest for not complying with illegal searches and interrogation without the advice or supervision of a lawyer. We’ve wound up in a situation where even the most well meaning check up on people’s activities becomes a direct intrusion on us based on the assumption of guilt before questions even get asked…and it becomes people’s prerogative to prove their innocence or else.

        And not to mention…heaven forbid you meet a cop on a bad day. You can be a sunday school pastor in a  suit and tie and do everything right…and still get tazed and clubbed for belligerence or ‘resisting arrest’ after the fact…because once they have a mad on they’ll excuse any actions they take by whatever means will keep IA off their backs…and what are their partners going to do? Turn them in and get labeled as the fink that got a fellow cop busted? Hell no. They’ll back each other up and expect the favor to be returned if they ever wind up in trouble themselves and need a buddy to cover for them.

        What needs to shift is the training paradigm…along with a heavy dose of transparency and accountability to some agency that isn’t comprised of fellow officers.

      • booka

        …so do you still have a perfect criminal record? its one thing for a cop to hurt your feelings or piss you off but if they don’t arrest you or even give you a parking ticket then were they really that terrible?

        • Simiantongue

          “…so do you still have a perfect criminal record?”

          No criminal record. Been arrested but the charges were dismissed. Probably because they made them up and it was apparent to the judge. I have this running disagreement with an officer in my town and there is a group of them that sees to it that whenever my name comes up they get involved. See, when he backed over my best friend of almost 30 years and killed him in the parking lot of a bar when he was off duty. And his fellow officers never game him a breathalyzer test even though witnesses said he appeared intoxicated when he got out and looked under his car then took off. He was suspended for 6 months with pay while it was investigated. The three witness statements were lost two years later before the investigation was supposed to be concluded. Without that evidence there was nothing. It was not even reported in police reports that he had fled the scene and was later picked up at his friends and fellow officers house. That piece of information was only in the witness statements and when those disappeared so did allegations that he fled the scene of an accident. So i’ve had this chip on my shoulder where I written letters to outside agencies to have it investigated and have been ignored for over ten years. He hates me because I “make trouble for him”. So now whenever I get pulled over or have to interact with police things don’t go so well for me. That’s part of it in a nutshell.

          But you know you’re right, I should probably just be grateful that I don’t have a criminal record. Sarcasm off.

          “its one thing for a cop to hurt your feelings or piss you off but if
          they don’t arrest you or even give you a parking ticket then were they
          really that terrible?”

          See the problem is you just don’t know anything about me or my situation. I don’t blame you really, how could you know? Myself I don’t run my mouth if I have no idea what I’m talking about. I don’t know much so I don’t comment often, I only talk about what I do know about.  See how that works? I understand you might have this inner need to try and trivialize it when people say things like I did and you disagree. It’s a coping mechanism maybe. Who knows. But you’re talking without knowing. You want to know? Just ask. Otherwise you sound like a turd.

  • Bob

    This is written with complete bias. They just mean if they are taking pictures of OIL refineries or other dangerous areas and it seems like they are scouting the area and not just taking pictures for art they need to check it out. Not like they would arrest you once they asked you and you explained to them about it.But chances are you would flip out about your rights and how cops are being assholes for just talking to you, which is when they would hassle you back because you are a scumbag. NY cops would stop and see if you were being sketchy in a subway or near tall buildings with a camera too I’m sure.

  • Dueyv9

    One man’s trash is another man’s “esthetic value”.

  • Dueyv9

    One man’s trash is another man’s “esthetic value”.

  • Simiantongue

    When is the last time you had a police officer “just talk to you”? Every encounter I’ve ever had involving a police officer turned out pretty bad, even though I was polite and have absolutely no criminal record, I’ve never even had a parking ticket. I know not every police officer out there is bad, but just what are the chances that the last five, the only five, encounters I’ve had were terrible, just terrible experiences? There is a serious problem with our law enforcement, the militarization, how they are trained, it’s not just the officers it’s a systemic problem. The average person on the street is aware of this, something is just not right.

  • Bubblegumbutt

    Ever Heard of the “ASHCAN SCHOOL? YOU GODDAMN NAZI PIG MOTHERFUCKERS?!!!! TELL EDWARD HOPPER’s GHOST about your STUUUUPID opinion, LITTLE men.

  • Bubblegumbutt

    Ever Heard of the “ASHCAN SCHOOL? YOU GODDAMN NAZI PIG MOTHERFUCKERS?!!!! TELL EDWARD HOPPER’s GHOST about your STUUUUPID opinion, LITTLE men.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    There it is in a nutshell man. The way these people are programmed…they enter into an encounter with an attitude that says “You’re doing something wrong…I don’t know what yet…but I’ll find it and then we’ve got you.” They’ve also been handed carte blanche to exercise every kind of intimidation over people, up to and including charges and arrest for not complying with illegal searches and interrogation without the advice or supervision of a lawyer. We’ve wound up in a situation where even the most well meaning check up on people’s activities becomes a direct intrusion on us based on the assumption of guilt before questions even get asked…and it becomes people’s prerogative to prove their innocence or else.

    And not to mention…heaven forbid you meet a cop on a bad day. You can be a sunday school pastor in a  suit and tie and do everything right…and still get tazed and clubbed for belligerence or ‘resisting arrest’ after the fact…because once they have a mad on they’ll excuse any actions they take by whatever means will keep IA off their backs…and what are their partners going to do? Turn them in and get labeled as the fink that got a fellow cop busted? Hell no. They’ll back each other up and expect the favor to be returned if they ever wind up in trouble themselves and need a buddy to cover for them.

    What needs to shift is the training paradigm…along with a heavy dose of transparency and accountability to some agency that isn’t comprised of fellow officers.

  • Andrew

    It was the LAPD who misspelled it!

  • booka

    …so do you still have a perfect criminal record? its one thing for a cop to hurt your feelings or piss you off but if they don’t arrest you or even give you a parking ticket then were they really that terrible?

  • Dcoy3546

    Apparently Mr. Vox hasn’t seen the new Transformers movie if he’s questioning art in the common sphere. 

  • Simiantongue

    “…so do you still have a perfect criminal record?”

    No criminal record. Been arrested but the charges were dismissed. Probably because they made them up and it was apparent to the judge. I have this running disagreement with an officer in my town and there is a group of them that sees to it that whenever my name comes up they get involved. See, when he backed over my best friend of almost 30 years and killed him in the parking lot of a bar when he was off duty. And his fellow officers never game him a breathalyzer test even though witnesses said he appeared intoxicated when he got out and looked under his car then took off. He was suspended for 6 months with pay while it was investigated. The three witness statements were lost two years later before the investigation was supposed to be concluded. Without that evidence there was nothing. It was not even reported in police reports that he had fled the scene and was later picked up at his friends and fellow officers house. That piece of information was only in the witness statements and when those disappeared so did allegations that he fled the scene of an accident. So i’ve had this chip on my shoulder where I written letters to outside agencies to have it investigated and have been ignored for over ten years. He hates me because I “make trouble for him”. So now whenever I get pulled over or have to interact with police things don’t go so well for me. That’s part of it in a nutshell.

    But you know you’re right, I should probably just be grateful that I don’t have a criminal record. Sarcasm off.

    “its one thing for a cop to hurt your feelings or piss you off but if
    they don’t arrest you or even give you a parking ticket then were they
    really that terrible?”

    See the problem is you just don’t know anything about me or my situation. I don’t blame you really, how could you know? Myself I don’t run my mouth if I have no idea what I’m talking about. I don’t know much so I don’t comment often, I only talk about what I do know about.  See how that works? I understand you might have this inner need to try and trivialize it when people say things like I did and you disagree. It’s a coping mechanism maybe. Who knows. But you’re talking without knowing. You want to know? Just ask. Otherwise you sound like a turd.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Nope…havent seen it…I’d sooner subject myself to a screening of “Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People” than a Michael Bay film.

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