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San Diego Photojournalist Detained for Taking "Inappropriate Pictures" from Sidewalk


J.C. Playford, the San Diego photojournalist who was detained on a beach this month after a mother falsely accused him of video recording her son, was detained again over the weekend, this time on suspicion that he was taking “inappropriate pictures” in the heart of downtown.

When Playford asked the officer as to what constitutes inappropriate photography from a public sidewalk, the officer demanded to see his identification.

When Playford attempted to provide his press pass, which is issued by the San Diego Police Department, the officer still wasn’t happy because it did not include Playford’s date of birth.

The officer, however, had already acknowledged that Playford was not breaking the law. He said he merely needed Playford’s information to document that he had talked to him.

Meanwhile, the person who supposedly made the complaint, not only remained unidentified, but was never required to provide further details on Playford’s alleged inappropriate photography.

Of course, there is also the possibility there was no report it’s not like Southern Californians are unaccustomed to seeing videographers on public streets.

More cops ended up surrounding him but Playford stood his ground and finally the cops backed off.

In May, Playford was also detained at a U.S. Customs checkpoint near the Mexican border for shooting video as well as detained and handcuffed outside a nuclear power plant as you can see in the videos below.

Several readers in the past have accused Playford of being an asshole in dealing with cops, but as you can see, he has good reason to be an asshole.


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.