Raymond Rodden had just left a court hearing over his previous arrest for photographing the federal courthouse when he spotted a Phoenix police officer jaywalking, so he snapped a photo.
That resulted in the cop snatching his video camera from him, then pulling out his own camera where he photographed Rodden, before handing back the video camera ten minutes later and allowing him to be on his way.
Unfortunately, the cop turned off Rodden’s camera, so we are unable to hear what took place during those ten minutes, but Rodden says they kept demanding his identification and he kept asking if he was being detained.
“They said you are being detained for taking photos,” Rodden said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Sunday afternoon.
When he wouldn’t give them his identification, they snapped his photo, apparently to add him to him to their database of suspected camera-wielding terrorists, and returned his camera, allowing him to leave.
The fact that they let him go shows they knew all along they didn’t have enough to arrest him.
In May, they arrested him for walking into an alleyway after they kept following him for taking photos of the Sandra Day O’Connor United States Building, the same building Jordan McManus was photographing last week when he drew the attention of a police helicopter and several patrol cars.
But he was found “not responsible” for that charge last Wednesday because it pertains to motor vehicles as it clearly states in the city’s municipal code.
He left the hearing and walked around downtown for about 30 minutes when he saw the cop jaywalking and snapped a photo, which came out too blurry too post anyway.
But, of course, that prompted the cop and his buddy to confront him as if he were a criminal.
The cops are identified as Officer Schultz #7707 and Officer Garcia #5413, the latter who grabbed the camera after the former who said he didn’t mind being recorded (but also didn’t mind harassing him for it either).
Contact the Phoenix Police Department, whose motto is “Policing with a Purpose,” at 602-262-6151.