A New York City police officer harassed a man for taking photos in Times Square, which just happens to be one of the most photographed places on earth.
“I’ve been following you for several blocks,” the officer told Mason Resnick, a photographer and editor of the Adorama Learning Center.
“There are a lot of school groups here today, lots of children.”
The officer told Resnick that he had received “several complaints” about him.
“That inference was pretty clear,” Resnick wrote. “I was being not so subtly being accused of being a pedophile.”
Resnick, who said he’s been with shooting in Times Square with never a problem, ended up showing the officers his images, about 20 in all.
“I have a feeling you want me to put the camera away now, right?” Resnick asked the officer.
And so I did: I bagged the camera, thanked the officer, walked down to 6th Avenue (a business area where it was less likely there’d be kids around), took a deep breath, and resumed shooting.
Resnick chose to take the passive route by cooperating with the officer rather than standing up for his rights.
Personally, I would have made a bigger issue about the officer’s complete disregard for my rights and my reputation. I wouldn’t take too kindly to being insinuated as a pedophile.
It is true as Resnick states that there is a chance you’ll end up arrested if you do stand up for your rights, but there is also a chance you can educate the officer.
As it is now, the officer will go around believing he has the right to harass photographers for simply taking photos.