Home / PINAC News / Feds Aggressively and Illegally Harass Man over Photography; Seattle Police Does Nothing

Feds Aggressively and Illegally Harass Man over Photography; Seattle Police Does Nothing

One day after an Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agent snatched a camera out of a man’s hands and deleted a photo before returning it to him, Phil Mocek returned to the federal building in downtown Seattle with a video camera.

This time, he was aggressively confronted by a Federal Protective Services officer named Housam who kept sticking his cell phone in Mocek’s face in a manner that would have gotten Mocek arrested if had done the same to the cop.

But considering Mocek had called Seattle police on the ATF agent on Wednesday and they didn’t do a thing, Housam obviously believes he can get away with anything.

Now Mocek is really pissed off, which means we should expect him to either file a lawsuit, organize a protest or probably both as anybody who has read this site long enough can attest to.

I’ve reached out to Mocek for comment on the incidents that took place yesterday and today, but he hasn’t responded yet.

However, the Associated Press has already picked up on the initial incident:

Phil Mocek says he was walking to work Wednesday morning when he took a picture of what appeared to be unmarked or personal vehicles parked in a row of spots reserved for law enforcement.

Soon afterward, a white truck pulled up next to him. A man got out, grabbed his camera and started going through the pictures, as an officer from the Federal Protective Service and a private security guard watched.

Mocek called 911, and two Seattle police officers arrived but refused to take a report. Department spokeswoman Renee Witt says that was their judgment.

Mocek says the man who took the camera eventually identified himself as an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. He returned the camera, but Mocek says one of the images on it had been deleted.

Here are some numbers to call.

ATF’s Seattle field office: (206) 204-9866

Federal Protective Service national hotline (couldn’t find the regional number): 1-877-4FPS-411 (1-877-437-7411)

Seattle Police Department: (206) 386-1850

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FPS Housam

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.