An Orlando police officer tried his best to intimidate a man from photographing paramedics tending to another man being carted onto an ambulance.

The cop told Brian Green that he was in violation of the federal HIPAA law – which has nothing to do with public photography – before ordering him to delete the images.

Green started video recording the encounter, asking the officer for his name and badge number. The cop responded by providing his badge number, 16758, but covering his name tag with his arm.

Green believes it may be Lt. Anderson but he is not positive.

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Orlando cop attempts to intimidate photographer (Photo by Brian Green)


The cop then proceeded to stand in Green’s way, preventing him from taking anymore photos of the victim, who apparently had a bottle smashed over his head.

When it became evident that Green wasn’t buying the cop’s bluff, the cop called over the lieutenant of the fire department to explain the HIPAA law, which made it even more obvious that he was lying.

The paramedic continued the lies by telling Green that the victim, whom was being treated in full view of the public, could turn around and sue him for any photos that get published.

The HIPAA law applies mainly to the protection of private medical records in regards to insurance companies.

It does not override the First Amendment, which protects the right to take photographs or video in public – even if someone is being treated by paramedics.

Unfortunately, this is an issue that keeps coming up, so there is obviously a lack of training how to deal with citizens who photograph these situations.


Brian Green photography

Orlando paramedics treat man who apparently had bottle smashed over his head (Photo by Brian Green)


Insisting on having the final word, the cop finished the exchange by threatening to arrest Green for blocking the sidewalk.

Green said that moments before this incident, he had a pleasant exchange about photographers’ rights with another Orlando police officer just a few blocks away as he explained in the following Facebook message:

Funny thing about the situation was 5 minutes prior to this I was talking to a cop one block over about photographers rights and such and he was very well informed and a good conversation and then the thing came over his radio about the guy with his head so I said what street should we go to for the action and he said one up, and that’s when it all when to chaos but all and all I’m really happy with the photos.

Green, an Orlando street photographer who frequently travels the country, has been written about on PINAC in the past. Check out his website here.