As they were carrying out a victim from a house on Halloween night, paramedics in Ohio spotted a man across the street taking photos, so they started ordering him to put that camera away.
But Nicolas Tanner, a 28-year-old photojournalism graduate student at Ohio University, knew the law, so he asserted his rights.
That prompted paramedics to threaten to call police. And that prompted Tanner to dare them to call police, thinking police would arrive and correct the paramedics on the law.
At least four officers arrived on horseback and surrounded Tanner, shoving Tanner around with their horses and pinning him in between them, acknowledging that he had the right to take photos but that they were merely exercising their right to block his shot.
Tanner moved away from the cops and into a crowd of bystanders with the cops on horseback following, still trying to get in the way of his shot.
Finally, one of them hopped off his horse and chased him down, arresting him on charges of obstruction of official business and resisting arrest.
Tanner spent 12 hours in jail and all he has to show for it are two photos.
“They said I was obstructing the paramedics’ ability to do their job by standing between the gurney and the ambulance blocking the path but I wasn’t doing that,” he said in an interview with Photography is Not a Crime Tuesday night.
Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, sent Athens Police Chief Thomas D. Pyle II a letter protesting the arrest, but prosecutors are set on pursuing this matter.
The Student Press Law Center wrote about the incident here.