It’s funny that as often as I tell people to act natural in front of the camera, I never manage to do it myself.
Yesterday was no exception as I sat in front of a camera at in the studio in Miami to be interviewed on MSNBC about cops, cameras and the law.
It’s a little awkward sitting in a dark room having a conversation with a reporter you can’t even see, but is speaking into your ear as well as looking into a camera that you can’t really see either because it’s behind some type of screen.
Nevertheless, it’s good to get this issue out there as much as possible because the battle between cops and photographers is not going to slow down anytime soon.
On Tuesday, Popular Mechanics published a piece on the issue, calling for a federal law to protect photographers.
This is the sort of thing you might be tempted simply to toss in the crazy file. But, in fact, this is one of the comparatively few issues that could merit a new federal civil rights law. Under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, Congress is empowered to pass laws protecting civil rights against infringement by state and local officials, and that seems to be what’s happening here. A clear federal law would limit cases, like Maryland’s, in which local officials use their power to harass those who might keep an eye on them. Passing such a law would make us all safer.
Gizmodo, which posted an article on the subject last month, published another piece Wednesday to keep the issue fresh in the mind of its readers.