A man was photographing his son inside a shopping mall in the United Kingdom when a security guard accused him of being a pedophile.
The man asserted his rights to photograph his own son before photographing the guard and walking away with his child.
Within minutes, police tracked him down – using a mall security camera nonetheless – and threatened to arrest him, even after learning that the child was the man’s son.
The incident occurred earlier this month in Sunderland, England. The photographer, whose name is Kevin, documented the incident on his blog:
As the discussion is getting a bit heated he threatens to arrest me, saying that I’m causing a breach of the peace. Well come on, what do you expect, I’ve been accused of being a paedophile and had the Police set on me for taking a picture of my own son in a public place – can’t you work out why I’m getting a bit annoyed.
The cop threatened to delete his photos, then demanded Kevin’s name and address before leaving him alone.
Kevin remains defiant. And rightfully so.
Now I know that there are those who will say that I brought it on myself and I should have just kowtowed to the security guard when he told me not to take pictures. However I disagree – I believe I had every right to take a photograph of my son in a public place and frankly I’m sick of having my civil liberties eroded little by little.
The fact that the cop threatened to arrest Kevin for “breach of the peace” even after discovering that all he was doing was photographing his own son is not surprising because police in the UK last December jailed a man for eight hours after he photographed Christmas lights in a busy commercial area.
Bob Patefield was charged with “anti-social behavior” because he refused to provide police with his personal information. The Guardian newspaper has a video but unfortunately, they don’t allow anyone to embed it, which is very lame and self-defeating of them.