Scott Nathan, an award-winning commercial photographer from Los Angeles who mostly focuses on fashion and celebrities, received a first-hand taste on what happens when you photograph cops.
The above cop threatened to arrest him after he snapped this photo with his cell phone.
This is how he explained it in an email to Photography is Not a Crime:
I went to pick up a friend to go for a hike. When we pulled up, she told me to check out the building next door which had been torched by the L.A. arsonist. I started taking photos of the aftermath. The burned out cars, the building and finally, the backs of the investigators who had these black “Arson” shirts that I thought looked pretty cool.
As soon as they became aware of me, they began shouting, telling me they would arrest me & take my camera if I took any more photos. I stopped shooting & reminded them of my constitutional rights. One of the cops then charged over & stood toe to toe with me, informing me of his individual right to privacy… in public… while performing his duties… as a public servant. I didn’t feel like losing my phone & I walked back to my car. After that, one of them chased me out to the street & asked what I was doing there. I told him I was picking up a friend. He asked where I live. I said “Los Angeles”, then again started up with his right to privacy. I politely stood my ground until he walked away calling me a fucking jerk.