San Diego photojournalist J.C. Playford, who has been arrested, handcuffed, detained and harassed numerous times over the years for video recording in public, was once again handcuffed and detained.
This time, on suspicion of being a pedophile after a presumptuous mother accused him of video recording her son on a public beach Sunday afternoon.
Not that there is a law against that, but Playford was actually video recording her dog who had become unleashed, attacked one dog, then attempted to attack a second dog on Cardiff Beach where only leashed dogs are allowed.
“I told her, ‘one would think that after that, somebody would take their dog off the beach,’” he explained in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime .
“She turned to me and said, “how do I know you’re not a pervert?’”
The woman alerted authorities, who then proceeded to harass him, demanding he provide his identification.
When he only provided his name and pointed to his press badge, refusing to provide his date of birth, they ended up handcuffing him for an hour in which they searched through his video camera, realizing that he had not recorded anything perverted regarding the child.
Nevertheless, he was cited for obstructing and ordered off the beach for the remainder of the day.
Meanwhile, the woman with the aggressive dog who falsely accused him was allowed to remain.
At one point in the second video, one of the cops tells him it is illegal to video record children on a public beach without the consent of their parents, referring to California Penal Code 647, which states nothing about recording children on public beaches but about secretly recording people who have an expectation of privacy.
“They humiliated me,” Playford said. “They mocked me and called me a pedophile while I was in handcuffs surrounded by people.”