A college student was tackled and handcuffed for videotaping police arresting his friend on a public sidewalk in Connecticut last month.
Kenneth Hartford, a student at Quinnipiac University, was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with an investigation.
The video shows that he was merely observing, which is his right.
New Haven police spokesman Officer Joe Avery told The Quinnipiac Chronicle that Hartford “kept interfering with officers and was asked to back off” and that he was screaming at the officers.
The video shows the unproffesionalism was actually coming from the officers.
When one of the first officers first learned he was being videotaped, he performed a mocking dance for the camera, then later told Hartford to “back away or you’re going to jail.”
Another officer tells Hartford to “put that in your fucking pocket and get the fuck out of here.”
Hartford’s friend, Ryan Lally, was charged with disturbing the peace because he was trying to enter a club with a bloody finger.
Police are refusing to release the arrest report, telling local media that they cannot do so until after the trial.
My bet is that they are not doing so because they know it will contradict what we see on the video.
The hysteria against photographers since 9/11 is not just an American thing. It’s a global epidemic that has changed the way some photographers conduct their art.
In the case of Austrialian photographer Rex Dupain, who was once renowned for his candid beach photography, it has forced him to give up that style of photography altogether.
“A lone man with a camera these days is not a good look,” he told The Australian in a well-researched article on photographers’ rights in the land down under.
Australia’s photography laws are similar if not equal to what we have in the United States. You can photograph anyone in public as long as they don’t have an expectation of privacy.
But as many photographers know, what the law states and how police act are two different things.
Dupain, who is the son of famed beach photographer Max Dupain, has been threatened with arrest several times and has even had his camera confiscated a few times.
Although photography is supposedly legal in public Australia, many national parks and municipal councils are now requiring permits to take pictures, even if it’s just for amatuer purposes.
The ongoing harassment against photographers in Australia sparked a protest in August where more than 700 photographers demonstrated in Sydney to voice their outrage.
A man who was videotaping buildings from a public sidewalk in Washington D.C. ended up detained by a group of Verizon Center security guards after he refused to show them his identification.
The guards called police, who arrived on the scene and asked for the man’s identification.
The cops then handed his personal information to the security guards in a highly questionable move.
The videographer posted his story on Fred Miranda under the username jramos, wondering if his rights were violated.
According to Miami attorney and nature photographer Michael A. Pancier, the fact that the guards detained him against his will possibly constitutes “false imprisonment.”
And the fact that the cops handed over his personal information to private security guards constitutes a possible Fourth Amendment violation, which protects us from illegal search and seizures.
“Police did not have right to take his information and give it to the guards (unless it was a police report of the incident where witness information was included),” Pancier said in an email today.
“So if they took his license and gave it to the guards and said, ‘Here, copy this information,’ it may be a technical Fourth Amendment violation by the police.”
It is unclear if jramos has any video footage of the exchange. My advice in these situations is to keep rolling, no matter what. And don’t be afraid to videotape their faces.
It’s all about keeping them honest.
We had to finalize some details in the contract before we could transfer Photography is Not a Crime to Pixiq, but now it appears as if we’re all set.
The transfer is scheduled for today at 9 a.m. I’m not sure how long it’s going to take, but if you have problems accessing the site, that is the reason why.
Once the transfer is complete, you can continue logging on to carlosmiller.com and you will simply get redirected to my new page on Pixiq.
For those of you who use a news feed, I would imagine you would have to switch it to the new site. I’m not really sure how that works.
Anyway, this is a big step for PINAC and I’m hoping for the best. I know there are some skeptics out there (and I wouldn’t expect anything less from my readers) and in all honesty, I also have some reservations.
But you have to take chances in life.
Either way, I still own all the content on PINAC, so if worse comes to worse, I will just move my site back here.
The immediate benefit of all this is that I plan to do more blogging, now that I am generating some income.