Photography is Not a Crime, It's a First Amendment Right

Discussion in 'Digital Point & Shoot Camera' started by Neil Jones, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Neil Jones

    Neil Jones Guest

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  2. Neil Jones

    Guest Guest

    Guest, Mar 29, 2009
    #2
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  3. Neil Jones

    ray Guest

    Hell of a stretch to get from freedom of speech and press to your right
    to photograph any damned thing you want.
     
    ray, Mar 29, 2009
    #3
  4. Neil Jones

    tony cooper Guest

    My son has a friend (a former class-mate) who is an undercover cop
    working drug enforcement. During an arrest awhile back, some
    bystander snapped some shots of the "perps" (1) being manhandled onto
    the ground. My son's friend took the camera and reformatted the SD
    card.(2)

    The photographer squealed that he was photographing "police
    brutality". The cop defended his action by saying that, as an
    undercover cop, he should be able to protect his identity.

    Both sides have a point. Police brutality should be exposed, (pun
    intended) but arrestees don't always go along quietly. Undercover
    drug agents are at risk if their identity is known.

    (1) Love that cop talk!
    (2) The cop is a pretty good amateur photographer and can work his way
    around the Menu of any camera.
     
    tony cooper, Mar 29, 2009
    #4
  5. Neil Jones

    Guest Guest

    the cop was very clearly in the wrong. he does *not* have the right to
    reformat the card, destroying not just photos of himself but everything
    else that was on it. at a minimum, that's destruction of property and
    given that he manhandled the perps, i suspect he did the same to the
    bystander.
    his identity is made known the moment he flashed his badge. after
    that, there is nothing to protect. he's also in public and is subject
    to being photographed. and rest assured that word gets around what the
    undercover cops look like, photos or not.
    that's wonderful, but he broke the law. hopefully the bystander has a
    good lawyer and also knows how to run an undelete utility.
     
    Guest, Mar 29, 2009
    #5
  6. Neil Jones

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Criminal vandalism.
    Nope. No such right.
    The rights of citizens override the wants of government employees.
     
    Ray Fischer, Mar 29, 2009
    #6
  7. Neil Jones

    ray Guest

    'in the publice eye' is a big restriction there - that's the difference.
     
    ray, Mar 29, 2009
    #7
  8. Neil Jones

    tony cooper Guest

    That's a matter of judgement. I disagree.
    The bystander has no "right" to take the photographs. A "right" is
    something granted to you by law. Our "rights" descend from the
    Constitution and the laws passed later that are in alignment with our
    Constitutional rights.

    There is no extant law that gives you a right to take photographs. We
    depend on the lack of a law prohibiting the taking of photographs to
    allow us to do so. There are laws regarding interference with a
    police officer.

    Don't give me the 1st Amendment story. That's the right of free
    press and gives the press the right to publish a photograph. There
    are many laws that restrict photography. Free speech doesn't apply.
    You say "manhandled the perps" and he'd say "exerted the necessary
    force". Considering that these were drug buyers and sellers, and not
    exactly shining examples of our community and upright citizens, I
    suspect the policemen's version is accurate.
    That's not the identity issue in question. What the undercover drug
    cop wants to avoid is the distribution of his photograph where he can
    be recognized by other drug dealers and users. A photograph of an
    undercover cop circulated around would limit his effectiveness as a
    cop, and quite possibly put him in danger.
    You're throwing shit against the wall with a statement like that.
    What law was broken?
     
    tony cooper, Mar 30, 2009
    #8
  9. Neil Jones

    tony cooper Guest

    He's part of a drug task force that does make arrests. As I
    understand it, they hang out in places where drug deals are made, and
    make arrests on-the-spot. He's not "planted" in some gang like you
    see in the TV shows.
     
    tony cooper, Mar 30, 2009
    #9
  10. Neil Jones

    Nicko Guest

    I know it's kind of off-topic, but how hard is it to recover the files
    from a reformatted SD card?
     
    Nicko, Mar 30, 2009
    #10
  11. Neil Jones

    Dudley Hanks Guest


    The Boys in Blue, or out of it, have to walk a tight line between getting
    the job done, and respecting the perps' civil rights. With everything on
    the line, things can get out of control. It's up to photographers to find
    their own line between not getting in the way and exposing obvious abuses
    of authority.

    Given that those perps could just as easily be targeting my kids, I prefer
    to give the benefit of the doubt to the cops. But, if I'd have been there
    for Rodney King, my camera would have been pretty busy...

    Take Care,
    Dudley
     
    Dudley Hanks, Mar 30, 2009
    #11
  12. Neil Jones

    tony cooper Guest

    I have no idea. If the bystander had the same amount of knowledge on
    the subject as I do, he shrugged let it go.
     
    tony cooper, Mar 30, 2009
    #12
  13. Neil Jones

    Bob Larter Guest

    It's pretty easy, as long as you haven't taken any new photos since it
    was formatted.
     
    Bob Larter, Mar 30, 2009
    #13
  14. Neil Jones

    Get lost Guest

    It is a right as any form of legal expression is.
     
    Get lost, Mar 30, 2009
    #14
  15. Neil Jones

    J. Clarke Guest

    Do the world a favor and move to China. You'll be happier, we'll be
    happier, and who knows, maybe the Chinese will be happier.
     
    J. Clarke, Mar 30, 2009
    #15
  16. Neil Jones

    Guest Guest

    based on your description of the events, it's very clear the cop is in
    the wrong. of course, there more to the story. i'm sure the
    bystander's version is a little different than how you described it.
    he absolutely does have a right to take photos, assuming he is legally
    where he is standing, i.e., on public or quasi-public property and not
    trespassing, with no prohibition posted, which if it's in on a public
    street would be the case. nothing you said suggests otherwise.
    there is no law prohibiting photography in a public area. anything in
    plain view where there's no expectation of privacy (e.g., a bathroom)
    is fair game.

    and how was he interfering with a police officer? if he ran up to the
    cop and stuck the camera in his face, that's one thing but i *highly*
    doubt that's what he did. he undoubtedly took a snapshot from across
    the street, nowhere near the action. that's not interfering.
    i'm not saying it's a first amendment issue, i'm saying the cop
    assaulted an innocent bystander and destroyed his property.
    *you* said manhandled. neither of us were there. based on *your*
    description of the events, i am speculating that since the cop was
    pissed he was being photographed, that he might give the bystander a
    rough time too. i doubt he walked over and said 'hi, please let me
    reformat your memory card.'

    and there are always two sides to every story, with the truth somewhere
    in the middle.
    perhaps, but once he makes himself known as a cop, his identity *is*
    known. photographs might not be distributed but a description will be,
    and if he is seen in the area, thugs will point him out to other thugs.

    destruction of property, at a minimum. you can argue that the cop
    could ask for photos of himself to be deleted (and asking to do so is
    fine but the bystander need not comply). anything past that is
    illegal, particularly deleting *unrelated* photos that happened to be
    on the card.
     
    Guest, Mar 30, 2009
    #16
  17. Neil Jones

    Guest Guest

    trivial.
     
    Guest, Mar 30, 2009
    #17
  18. Neil Jones

    tony cooper Guest

     
    tony cooper, Mar 30, 2009
    #18
  19. Neil Jones

    tony cooper Guest

    I read that article, and the link that it provided, and nowhere did I
    read that "Photography...is a First Amendment Right". That's a
    headline that Digg seems to have dug up. The articles deal with
    police abuse.

    I may be using "undercover" incorrectly, but I have no police
    background. If an officer is in civilian clothes, with no police ID
    showing, I would consider that to be "undercover".

    The person in question did not mention - on way or the other - if
    non-task force member were present. He did not mention - one way or
    the other - if he was the one who actually made the arrest. He
    mentioned only that he was present, that he objected to the photograph
    being taken, and what he did. It was a rather casual conversation. My
    son and I were having lunch, we ran into him and he joined us at the
    table, and we talked mostly about photography.

    He didn't tell it in "war story" narrative. I see no reason to doubt
    him. I've known him - if only peripherally - since he was in high
    school with my son. It's not like we're buddies, but he was around
    the house quite a bit when he was in high school. He's now nearing
    40.
     
    tony cooper, Mar 30, 2009
    #19
  20. Fairly easy. Formatting doesn't destroy the data, it merely recreates
    the adminstrative layers of the file system like free sector list, root
    directory, etc. The actual data blocks are not or only minimally
    affected unless/until new data is written.

    Any decent file recovery program should be able to recover most of the
    data. However it is hit-and-miss. If a file is not continuous (i.e. it
    is fragmented) then recovery becomes significantly harder, because the
    files need to be reassembled from bits and pieces, just like numerous
    jigsaw puzzles thrown together into a big bucket and you have to
    reassemble them without knowing what they are supposed to look like the
    end.

    jue
     
    Jürgen Exner, Mar 30, 2009
    #20
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