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Jeffersonville City Attorney Larry Wilder An Indiana city attorney gets so drunk one night that he passes out inside his neighbor’s garbage can. Neighbors wake up to find the man with his feet sticking out the overturned garbage can. They call police, perhaps thinking he w

Police also have the right to take photos

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Jeffersonville City Attorney Larry Wilder


An Indiana city attorney gets so drunk one night that he passes out inside his neighbor’s garbage can. Neighbors wake up to find the man with his feet sticking out the overturned garbage can. They call police, perhaps thinking he was dead.

Police arrive on the scene and help him home, which was next door, rather than take him to jail as they could have because he is not only publicly drunk, he is passed out in the street, as you can see in the photo.

However, one of the officers snaps a photo while he slept in the garbage can and distributes it to the media.

Now there is an investigation to determine which officer took that photo of Jeffersonville City Attorney Larry Wilder.

In fact, Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan has gone as far as to offer a public apology to Wilder.

If anybody should be apologizing, it should be Wilder for creating a drunken spectacle of himself.

This is a man who supposedly represents the City of Jeffersonville, so he is a pubic figure. And as a lawyer, he should know that he didn’t exactly have an expectation of privacy by sticking his head in his neighbor’s overturned garbage can on a public street.

In a press conference, Mayor Galligan said the following:

“We are going to take appropriate action to ensure that no police officer will be comfortable abusing their authority again,” Galligan said.

The mayor went as far as to call the officers “renegade”, which prompted the local police union to accuse the mayor of “inappropriate” language.

Now the union is going to hold a press conference Wednesday morning to address the issue. The mayor was not available for comment Tuesday afternoon.

The county attorney, meanwhile, is probably sitting in a bar as the drama unfolds.

While some people might think it was unprofessional for police to distribute the photo to the media – an action they deny – imagine the allegations of police coverup if they would have remained tight-lipped about the incident.

I find it ironic that as many abuses as we’ve seen committed by police on an almost daily basis, it takes a cop to take a a simple photograph for the mayor of a city to complain about them “abusing their authority”.

So I’m siding with the officers on this one. After all, they also have the right to take photos.

And as a reporter, I’m all about them leaking it to the media if it involves a drunken public official passed out in a garbage can.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.