Tucson Security Guard Detains Citizen for Photographing Federal Building

A private security guard named V. Valdez attempted to detain a citizen who had photographed a federal building in Tucson last month.

Valdez was convinced that it was illegal to photograph federal buildings despite a court settlement in 2010 that confirmed what many of us already knew; that if you can see it from a public sidewalk, then you can photograph it.

But despite his training, Valdez wasn’t going to let little distractions like that keep him from detaining a citizen “for further investigation” and demanding to his identification as he attempted to intimidate the citizen from leaving while he called for Federal Protective Service officers on his walkie-talkie.

The citizen is a Tucson Cop Block member, so he was pretty knowledgeable about his rights. He ended up walking away without further incident, leaving us with an embarrassing video of Valdez.

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.

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  • $22798478

    WOW,…….this security loser is a TOOL !

  • http://www.dan-vidal.com/ Pod

    A very brave security guard, this guy was. Arizona is open-carry, plus it’s also “Constitutional Carry”, which means you don’t need a permit for most types of handguns at all. Debate all you want about the gun laws in this country, the fact of the matter is, that in certain states, it’s best to be very polite when approaching a stranger, even if you are security guard or other sort of rent-a-cop. The interesting thing is, in most jurisdictions, the rent-a-cops have less rights in terms of carrying a weapon (while on the job) than a normal civilian does. I know in FL if you have a “G” license for security you can only carry two or three types of weapons while working. It’s like a .38, a 9mm and a shotgun, anything other than that, you are violating your license.

    So yeah, what a dumbass. I admire anyone’s dedication to their job, no matter how brainless it is, but for $12/hr or whatever this guy makes, I’d be quite happy to “observe and report”. Carlos, it’s like I told that poor sap when we all went to the Herald building over the summer – sit down and shut up, hassling us on public property isn’t worth ten dollars an hour. I’d radio it in and let the real cops decide what to do.

    • Gordon Freeman

      So, there isn’t a difference between ‘brave’ and ‘ignorant’? Good to know.

      • Difdi

        Ignorance is bliss.

  • steveo

    This is starting to remind me of Rocky and Bullwinkle. “Hey Rock, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat. What again, That trick never works. This time for sure.”

    • Boomer

      “Nothing up my sleeve! [rrrripp] And PRESTO! [angry rhino] Don’t know my own strength!”

  • LastManOutTheDoor

    “Not post certified? No guard card?” Had to go look those things up for Arizona, the guy really knew his stuff. When the guard twice blocked the videographer’s path he came very close to violating the videographer’s rights since he had zero legal authority to do so. He better get a clue before he screws up again and becomes unemployed.

  • Phil

    Good job!

  • Christopher McKenna

    Whatever happened to a hearty “f*ck you?”

    • Difdi

      Or an upraised finger. Hey, the courts keep affirming that it’s protected speech when directed at cops. Security guards have even less lawful ability to demand politeness than cops do.

  • Jude I⚡caяiot

    This guy looks like a clown because he is one.

  • hass

    Just some poor underpaid slob trying to do his job and put food on the table — his superiors should be held responsible for providing inadequate training.

    • Clark

      Both of them should be held responsible. The Neuremberg defense doesn’t work!

      • hass

        LOL — come on now, this isn’t exactly a war crimes trial. You don’t have to listen to him or do as he says, but there’s no need to demonize the guy. You should feel sorry for him.

        • http://twitter.com/kylejack Name

          The most compassionate thing that can be done for him is giving him a lesson in what rights the public has. That’s what was done here.

        • Clark

          The “Neuremberg defense” is the shorthand way of saying “people can be held accountable for their actions despite orders.” Sorry that that’s a wee bit over your head. Anyone who blatantly violates the Constitution deserves to be demonized. The only “sorrow” I feel is that he isn’t being held for life in a naval base in Cuba.

  • Philip Kaminski

    Send that Chollo piece of shit back to Mexico, like the shit eater spic he is!

    • http://twitter.com/kylejack Name

      No need for racism.

    • blujimbo

      The owner of this blog is Latino. Got any racist comments for Carlos? Idiota.

    • COPBlock Tucson

      What a fu*ktard.

      • Gordon Freeman

        Which one. I’d hate to hate the wrong Latino…

  • Chris

    I’m sorry, stop asking “am I being detained” and walk away.

    • Copblock Tucson

      One, I was playing it up for the camera to see just how idiotic he is. Also, you can’t see but he was armed and on a powertrip so the last thing I needed was to get into a physical fight with him. I wanted to show his with words that I was intimidated and knew my rights.

  • enhager

    Didn’t you work at the Tucson Citizen newspaper Carlos?

  • FuckEm

    Mr. Douchebag, you are not an officer of the law. You’re a civilian that’s accosting me. I’m going to give you one chance to stop attacking me before I defend myself.