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OT: Photographers Being Detained By Police
Old 04-26-2006   #1
bmattock
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OT: Photographers Being Detained By Police

Personally, I would like to know what a "common sense" approach to police reaction to legal photography is. It seems to be to arrest them for, uh, not breaking the law. Yes, that's common sense. Not good sense, but common enough.

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Bill Mattocks

http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index...id=1&aid=58929

Quote:
NY1 Exclusive: Photographers Being Detained By Police
April 26, 2006

NY1 has learned that a growing number of photographers are being detained for taking pictures on city streets.

A Chinatown activist says he was held for about 20 minutes by undercover detectives while taking photos in January. He says he was shooting pictures of illegally parked cars with government placards, when he was dragged by the collar to police headquarters.

"I was handcuffed with my hands behind my back,” said Jan Lee. “He told me to kneel down, which I did, he took my camera away from me, took the cell phone away from me."

In another case, a commercial photographer says she was held by private guards for taking pictures of a homeland security vehicle.

With security high, the New York Civil Liberties Union says there's been a sharp rise in complaints about people being questioned for taking pictures.

Snapping photographs and shooting video aren't against the law, but police officials say because of security concerns, officers take a common sense approach when they see someone photographing public areas.
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Old 04-26-2006   #2
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It'll take a few years before the law enforcement people get to a happy medium.
FWIW I've found that things in The U.S. of America tend to be black or white, either too little or toomuch and it takes years before they realize there ould be a happy medium
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Old 04-26-2006   #3
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There is a distinction between being 'arrested' and being 'detained'. There seems to be a lot of detaining and questioning going on... but has there really been many arrests?
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Old 04-26-2006   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw
There is a distinction between being 'arrested' and being 'detained'. There seems to be a lot of detaining and questioning going on... but has there really been many arrests?
There is not as big a distinction as you may think. In the US, if a police officer prevents you from leaving, you have been detained.

If you are arrested, you also cannot leave - however, you are generally physically restrained, transported to a police station to be booked, advised of your Miranda rights, questioned, arraigned, have bail set, and so on.

However, a police officer can 'arrest' someone and process them on the scene, releasing them with a summons or after filling out a field interview card. Then they call it having 'detained' the person in hindsight.

As well, a person can be detained as a material witness in a crime - they could be restrained, transported, and locked up - but have not been arrested.

So the difference may well be academic.

If you are not free to leave when you wish, have you been arrested or detained? I take cold comfort from the definition if I am deprived of my freedom to depart.

When I was an Military Policeman, we 'apprehended' people who were in the military and thus under our jurisdiction. We 'detained' civilians and turned them over to civilian authorities. Both were in handcuffs sitting on my bust bench. What was the difference?

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Old 04-26-2006   #5
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True enough, since both involve a lack of ability to voluntarily leave I understand your (quite true) statement that the difference is somewhat academic. Being detained against one's will is being detained, whether a booking occurs or not! For me the difference is that if I get arrested (booked) I have to report that to my employer and deal with "consequences", but if detained/questioned I don't.

In general, however, you're right... what's the difference.

Do you think they'd hassle a person doing pencil sketches versus the same person taking photographs?
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Old 04-26-2006   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw
For me the difference is that if I get arrested (booked) I have to report that to my employer and deal with "consequences", but if detained/questioned I don't.
That would be true for me as well, I didn't think of that...

Quote:
Do you think they'd hassle a person doing pencil sketches versus the same person taking photographs?
A fine question! Also, if they arrest/detain photographers, they ought to shoot mimes on sight. There's the real crime.

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Old 04-26-2006   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
Also, if they arrest/detain photographers, they ought to shoot mimes on sight. There's the real crime.
Please state the Public Code section associated with "miming". One is required for arrest, ticketing, or use of deadly force. Wave your arms as required.
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Old 04-26-2006   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw
Please state the Public Code section associated with "miming". One is required for arrest, ticketing, or use of deadly force. Wave your arms as required.
That's the "He needed killing" law. Seldom invoked outside of Texas, but it should be vigorously enforced ever whar.

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