Animal Rights Activist Arrested for Video Recording Rodeo from Stands



An animal rights activist was arrested Saturday for video recording from the stands of an Oregon rodeo, the same day rodeo officials hung up a makeshift sign banning video recording.

Prior to that, video recording was permitted from the stands of the Big Loop Rodeo in Jordan Valley, according to Steve Hindi, founder of the animal rights activist group, SHARK, which stands for Showing Animals Respect and Kindness.

In fact, the SHARK volunteer arrested, Adam Fahnestock, was allowed to video record from the stands on Friday, where he recorded a roping that left a steer with a broken leg.

“On Friday, they allowed him to film, but they harassed him, ” Hindi said in a phone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Monday.

“On Saturday, they arrested him.”

Fahnestock was charged with disorderly conduct and released on Sunday after Hindi bailed him out. The footage was not deleted and Hindi said they will eventually edit it and post it online.

Lat year, Fahnestock recorded a video from the rodeo that prompted legislative action.

According to KTVB:

SHARK captured video at the 2012 Jordan Valley Big Loop the group believes shows animal cruelty. The images have caused controversy, and because of that, rodeo representatives chose not to allow cameras inside the arena anymore.

Oregon Senator Mark Hass is a Democrat out of Beaverton. Hass says he was inspired by SHARK’s video to introduce Senate Bill 835 that would put an end to the horse roping event.

The bill’s supporters call the rodeo event “horse tripping” and say it’s cruel. Opponents say horse-roping is a standard practice in animal husbandry.

The event is timed, and as cowboys ride out of the gates one lassoes the horse’s neck while other lassoes the horse’s two front legs. According to the event’s website, the event ends when the animal is secured, “when stock is roped and both horses face stock in line with ropes dallied tight.”

Senate 835 has passed in the Senate and is on its way to the House. If this legislation passes into Oregon law, it would mean that roping a horse by the legs would be illegal for entertainment, but veterinarians and ranchers would still be able to do it.

Rodeo officials also threatened to arrest Hindi on Sunday after he had entered the rodeo grounds with his camera, even though he was only taking still photos.

“They said my camera has the capability to shoot video, but so does everyone else who carries a cell phone,” he said.

In fact, he photographed a man in the stands with a camera that appears to have video recording capability, but he wasn’t harassed.




Malheur County sheriff deputies, some who are members of the rodeo board, demanded Hindi’s identification, which he refused to provide. He was then kicked out and drove off, with a pair of deputies following him for miles.

They pulled him over about ten miles away, informing him that it because he had refused to provide identification back on the rodeo grounds. He also got that exchange on video, noting that both deputies had removed their name tags.

He said he will eventually post that video with his usual narration, which you can hear below in the 2012 video that prompted legislative action. He also is still in a remote area of Oregon with a horrible internet connection.


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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  • Derek Balling

    Seems to me that if this is private property, they can make whatever rules they want to, no?

    • REALConservative

      Yes, they can.

      But the only thing they can have him arrested for is “trespassing,” and that is only if he refused to leave when asked.

    • steveo

      They have invited the public. Can they individually select African Americans and a few Puerto Ricans and uninvite them? They’ll maintain that they can. I’ll maintain that they can’t. And if a person is there newsgathering in a public setting, I don’t believe that they are able to censor it.

      • Proud GrandPa

        In this case I must disagree. A private meeting can exclude anyone even when the public is invited. There are exceptions. Is the meeting sponsored by the government? Does it take government funds? If not, they have something the US Constitution calls ‘freedom of assembly’ included in which is the freedom to exclude. The right to reject and exclude others is fundamental and a basic human right for private organizations.
        This right does not apply to the government, which by definition is for all people. I think that is only fair.
        I don’t know if the setting were closed or open, private or public. If it were truly public, then the news reporters can vid it.

      • hazy

        Bad analogy. Also the 1st amendment is not applicable in private institutions. Forum moderation online would be impossible if that were the case.

      • Phred

        Concert, theater, and sports venues routinely ban photography. It’s their event, so they can establish whatever rules they want.

      • Mikessp

        LOL. They can limit ANYONE, including the media, from gathering video. That’s why media accreditation exists. I work the olympics, world cups, nba, nfl, etc. All have credential granting rights limitations. If you want to cover THEIR event, you abide by THEIR rules.

  • steveo

    This is my SHARK guy. I have to tell you that every time I watch one of his clips, tears come to my eyes. I think I have my resume in to him, but he hasn’t responded yet. I believe this is Mr. Hindi’s organization and I have so much respect for these people I can’t explain on it right now.

    Personally, I really don’t care what your beliefs are in different kinds of activities. Whether you are a Mormon, or a Scientologist or a Muslim, it doesn’t matter to me. These shark people have a passion about animals. I try not to eat animal meat, I’m working on that seeing that there are almost 1K times many plant foods than animal foods, but that has nothing to do with the right to document activities in PUBLIC.If I want to record the Rodeo, I can:::F You. If I want to record you shooting defenseless pigeons, Fxxx You. I can record whatever is happening, because guess what, THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING. YOU CAN’T HIDE WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING in public.

    I don’t care if it’s your private property, if you invite the public, I’m not hurting you, or causing you violent activity. If you don’t want us to see what you are doing, then I’ll proceed on the time-honored hunch that people who are hiding something have reason to do so,

    By the way, this is my second favorite guy on the Net, next to Carlos Miller.

    • rick

      So, I can come into your house and record freely? If you say no then you must be hiding something!

      • Carlos_Miller

        There is a difference between someone’s house and a private venue open to the public that has board members who work for the local sheriff’s office.

        • rick

          First, Steveo’s statement was overly broad and needed a devil’s advocate to point it out.
          Second, I though private venues can make up the rules as they see fit, no matter how arbitrary or unfair they might seem. Now the catch is these rules must be applied to everyone.
          From a strict legal perspective am I right or wrong?

          • steveo

            can this public business say, we don’t allow lesbians or transvestites? or women who are menstruating, give that a try,

          • rick

            What do consumer protection laws say? They say no! One florist who denied a gay couple services is finding this out in court.

            While a consumer’s physical makeup (sexuality, skin color, disease state, etc) cannot be discriminated against the law may allow the consumer’s ACTIVITIES to be limited in a privately owned venue.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            And the First Amendment protects the free exercise of religion. The florist counter-sued for the state violating her religious rights. Make sure you get both sides out there.

          • aikimoe

            As rick pointed out, it’s illegal to dictate who can come to your event. It is not illegal to dictate what people can do at your event.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            In most states, sexual orientation is not a protected class, and they can be excluded. Of course, how you ID one may be difficult.

          • hazy

            I’m going to say that is probably not true. Private venues can enforce their rules at their own discretion.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            No, they can discriminate all they want, so long as it is not on the basis of the individual’s membership of a protected class.

        • Mikessp

          Of course there is, but once admission is charged, you enter into a contract. You purchase entry and agree to conditions of entry. Try filming at a Miami Heat, Marlins or at Daytona, Carlos, and see how quickly you are removed when found.

          Cite what laws allow you to do as you denote.

        • Seth Levy

          Yeah there is a difference but that difference doesn’t apply to this situation. The venue was 100% in their right to kick this guy out, in fact they should have put him on a ban list after the arrest on Saturday.

      • steveo

        come to my house any time you want, it’s pretty boring and anyway we aren’t talking about where somebody lives, we are talking about where the public goes to see things. If you can see it in public, you should be able to record it. That’s all I’m saying.

    • Mikessp

      Idiot. Thanks for offering your opinion as fact.

    • Flashing Scotsman

      Sorry, Steveo. Usually I am in complete agreement with you, but not this time. When you record video of an event that the promoter is charging people to see, you are stealing his property. If everything is available for free on the internet, why would anyone ever go pay cash money to see an event? You have NO right to record any event on private property without the property owner’s permission.

      Many events that I have my booth at, taking people for rides on giant rocking horses, issue a ticket at the gate, which a person retains half of. On the back of it, there is a statement that the patron is entering into an agreement to allow anyone on the property to record their likeness and use it in any way they see fit. That changes things. I have had people try to stop me from taking pictures or recording video of them during their ride. I point out the statement on the ticket. They claim to have not read that, so it is invalid. Wrong.

      It goes both ways, though. I have no right to stop anyone from shooting photos or video of anyone else riding the horses, either. I have given up that right when I signed the contract to appear at the event.

      The placing of the sign is public notice. If you violate that rule, you can be asked to leave. If you DO leave immediately, no harm, no foul. If you don’t, then at that point you ARE in violation of trespassing laws.

      Whether or not you or I agree with that person’s mission in life has nothing to do with it.

  • rick

    Are the rodeo grounds private or public property? Was the videographer singled out for his activity? In the age of cell phone videos I’m guessing the answer to the second question is yes.

    The real ‘shit meet fan’ moment will be his video showing the police pulling him over without cause.

    • Difdi

      If they removed the identifying marks they’re required to have, how do you know they’re really police, not impersonators? A deputy being the subject of a citizen’s arrest for impersonating an officer is probably going to be something that follows him the rest of his career.

    • steveo

      businesses that invite the public to view events have no right to censor the recordings of those activities. There is only one reason that they are censoring and that is because they believe that some people will find what they do is offensive.

      I even believe this with courtrooms and public businesses. If you don’t want me to record, you must be hiding something. Even the SCOTUS, I’m totally against their ban on recording, but hold it back because they allow audio recording.

      Steve Hindi would make us all look like pikers. He’s been arrested so many times (probably more than Martin Luther King, Jr) , I’m not sure what the count is. And every time he is lawfully present and he is recording activity in public. The pigeon killers have shot his “remotely activated recording flying devices” (we call them drones) so many times, he probably doesn’t know how many. I wonder where he gets all the money for his passion.

      • aikimoe

        If you go to a concert, there are very plain and very legal restrictions on recording. I know it’s not how you think the law should be, but it’s how the law is.

      • hazy

        If they have the ability to refuse you service and demand you leave then they have the right to prevent you from photographing the interior as terms of your admission.

        What they should not be able to do is coerce police to arrest you when no demand to leave was issued and their only problem was “you recorded”.

      • Mikessp

        You, sir, are completely incorrect. 100% totally incorrect. Cite any laws that allow one to videotape on private property or at a private event on rented public property. ANY. You won’t, as it doesn’t exist. Have you ever been to a major sporting event? A concert?

        Your opinion does not = fact.

      • Seth Levy

        My property, my rules. Don’t like it? Fuck you.

      • ExCop-Lawyer

        Steveo, I like your posts and enjoy reading them, but in this case you are absolutely incorrect. You can’t go into a movie theater and record the movie. You can’t go to a concert and record the event.

        What you are proposing is depriving property owners of their own constitutional rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, by taking private property for public use.

        Hindi has also lost numerous cases, including cases where his organization trespassed to attempt to get video. C.f. S.H.A.R.K. v. Metro Parks Serving Summit County, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40027 (N.D. Ohio 2006)(SHARK had no right to place cameras on public property that was not open to the general public). In those cases he is not lawfully present.

        There is also doubt in some of the cases whether the small drones were “shot down” or merely flown into the ground. Further, the property owner controls the airspace above his property (other than for use by aircraft over 500 feet AGL), and flying a drone into that area could be considered trespassing. It is arguable that the property owners are legally entitled to “shoot down” the drones in those cases.

    • Steve Steves
  • rick

    Mr. Fahnestock should collect all available video from this rodeo. If he finds members of the crowd continued to video record on Saturday and Sunday he can show that he was unfairly singled out for his activity.
    During any civil suit they can ask members of the police, “in addition to Mr. Fahnestock how many other people were arrested for disorderly conduct that weekend? How many were video recording?”

    • Seth Levy

      Yeah… good luck with that. So if you get kicked out of a concert for video recording but then find other concert footage that was recorded after you being kicked out on Youtube the next day, do you think you can sue the venue? Nope!

  • Haeshu

    I hope he keeps this up to stop animal cruelty.

  • ericfreerock

    It’s private property, they should be able to set whatever rules they want. McDonalds is open to the public by then can still kick you out for not wearing shoes. Though in this case the most they should have done is kick him out and that’s about it. He could have just recorded from that nice patch of what appears to be public property right on the other side of that fence. If we was doing that then I’d have a problem with what the rodeo did, since he was on the property being justly used by the rodeo it is at that point the rodeo’s de facto private property for the time they’ve been given permission to use it. Their property their rules, break the rules and you can be told to leave.

    • REALConservative

      Is that what happened? Did they ask him to leave?

  • $22798478

    My problem with this story is the cops illegally pulling this man over. They had NO probable cause and violated this mans rights. Title 42 1983 claim ! I’m pretty sure he would win this.

    As for him being pulled over, were there any tickets written, or did they just want his ID ?

    TITLE 42 1983 CLAIM ! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Good Gawd do I hate cops !

    • Mikessp

      Neither of us know if they had probable cause, as we’ve only heard one side of the story. He was obviously asked to stop filming. He was filming, originally, as he admits, which was against the rules as a paid entrant. He was caught filming. At that point he was very likely asked to leave and if he didn’t leave promptly, he was trespassing. The officers had the right to arrest him for this trespass at the time, or even days later.

      So many people here are so uninformed it’s frankly embarrassing. Learn your rights and know the law. You have NO right to film at a private event and police don’t have to immediately arrest you for a crime at the time of commission.

      • $22798478

        Mike I get that. If it’s private property then sure the owner of the property can make their own rules. One can’t be charged with trespassing if one hasn’t been warned to leave and not come back. You can’t just say I don’t want you here so your trespassing,…”Officer arrest him”. Doesn’t work that way. Now if were talking private property like a farm and signs were posted and the owner caught you on their property then yup,……in Oregon you can be arrested. These corrupt cops were so annoyed with contempt of cop that they followed him waiting on guidance from whomever. I’d want a copy of the in-car radio transmissions to hear what was being said for the 10-15 minutes that this man was followed. If their cell phones are paid for by the police then I’d want those phone records also to see if they were communicating with someone within the department.

    • Steve Wilson

      No tickets or warnings were written.

      • $22798478

        There ya go,…..exactly whats wrong with “THE POLICE STATE”. They had NO PROBABLE CAUSE and all’s they wanted was this mans information, Was the pull over recorded ? Did they know they were being recorded ?

        File a lawsuit !

  • Ian Battles

    If they didn’t give anyone else a problem about cameras, this looks very bad for the rodeo staff.

    • Seth Levy

      Why? Did anyone else have a history of intentionally violating their rules?

  • Seth Levy

    Sorry Carlos, not a photographer’s rights issue. Maybe an animal cruelty issue but that isn’t the point of this blog. It is private property and the guy had a history of violating their policy on Saturday, hence their asking him not to attend with a camera on Sunday. They were within their rights to treat him the way they did.

    • REALConservative

      The “issue” has somewhat of a different flavor if they only targeted him and ignored other people who allegedly violated their “policy,” and especially if they involved law enforcement to harass him on issues unrelated to trespassing or taking photographs.

      I don’t happen to think that the SHARK people are entirely rational, but I feel the same way about many of the Occupiers; that said, I still don’t want the door opened to mistreatment.

      • Seth Levy

        They did not ignore other people to spite him. They targeted him because of his history of videotaping after being asked to stop.

  • Proud GrandPa

    The link to the lawmaker’s shows are reasonable political compromise to the animal cruelty issue. Ban only the leg crippling and continue to allow rodeo roping. That satisfies me by protecting horses from needless pain and allows sports fun to continue by roping horses.
    I don’t care much about the arrest of the photographer in this instance. That is pretty well discussed here.