Minneapolis Police Arrest Man for Photographing Arrest

The photo that prompted Minneapolis police to arrest Paul Leason (Photo by Paul Leason)


When Paul Leason spotted a group of Minneapolis police officers making an arrest, he pulled out his camera and began taking photos from a public sidewalk.

One of the officers spotted him and ordered him to keep walking.

Leason, 23, a member of Cop Block, knew his rights and asserted them, which as we all know, is the quickest way to land in jail.

One officer told him to “get the fuck out of here.”

Leason responded by saying “fuck the police.”

Next thing he knew, he was surrounded by three cops who kept calling him “faggot.”

This is how he explained it in an email to Photography is Not a Crime:

I felt as if they were trying to make me fight them. I remained calm but did voice my opinion that what they were doing was wrong. I tried to record the conversation when one of them smacked the phone out of my hand. I was then put into a headlock, handcuffed and arrested. My friend tried to calm the officers down but one of them shoved him into the ditch.

The incident took place on October 13 as Leason participated in an event called Zombie Pub Crawl, which meant there was a multitude of other people standing or strolling on the same sidewalk witnessing the initial arrest.

But Leason was the only one who decided to take pictures.

Leason was charged with disorderly conduct, spending six hours in jail.

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During the initial hearing, an officer testified that they feared Leason was going to hit them; that old “fearing for their life” routine that makes them come across as terrified pansies.

The court offered him a plea deal where the disorderly conduct charge would remain on his record in exchange for $350, which he didn’t accept.

So now the case is pending with no definite trial date set.

They also kept his wallet and other important items.

They took my wallet and I never saw it again. It was a weekend wallet with my ID, American Express, debit card, permit to carry card and $10.53 cash. Cash and ID were returned to me when I was released but never anything else. I have the number to call but gave up after sitting on hold for an hour. I had extras of the permit to carry and my ID already because I figured if something like this happened I would want spares. They came in handy. I had a friend along who witnessed the whole event. He tried to get the officers to calm down and was pushed into the grass. They also ID’ed him

The bloody palm print of the man that Minneapolis were arresting when Paul Leason came along and started taking photos. (Photo by Paul Leason)

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.

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