A man who was videotaping buildings from a public sidewalk in Washington D.C. ended up detained by a group of Verizon Center security guards after he refused to show them his identification.
The guards called police, who arrived on the scene and asked for the man’s identification.
The cops then handed his personal information to the security guards in a highly questionable move.
The videographer posted his story on Fred Miranda under the username jramos, wondering if his rights were violated.
According to Miami attorney and nature photographer Michael A. Pancier, the fact that the guards detained him against his will possibly constitutes “false imprisonment.”
And the fact that the cops handed over his personal information to private security guards constitutes a possible Fourth Amendment violation, which protects us from illegal search and seizures.
“Police did not have right to take his information and give it to the guards (unless it was a police report of the incident where witness information was included),” Pancier said in an email today.
“So if they took his license and gave it to the guards and said, ‘Here, copy this information,’ it may be a technical Fourth Amendment violation by the police.”
It is unclear if jramos has any video footage of the exchange. My advice in these situations is to keep rolling, no matter what. And don’t be afraid to videotape their faces.
It’s all about keeping them honest.