Or do you let your camera collect dust in fear of the possible repercussions of someone’s suspicions?
I wonder when the government will try to ban cameras or make people pay for security checks and licensing to own and use a camera?
Maybe someone should start an NCA (National Camera Association) to fight for the rights of camera users!
It seems a lot of us camera users need protection from morons who are quick to judge with suspicion anyone who dares to take a picture without written permission from the owner of the land you are standing on, or the owner of the land you are taking a picture of, and everyone who might be in the picture… on purpose or accidentally.
I wonder who you would ask permission from to take a picture of a few stars in the night sky? Would I need permission for each star? And, do the ET’s have to sign the forms in person or will a fax or e-mail do?
Anyway, Jack Cafferty says that “It’s Getting Ugly Out There.” That’s true, but with all the stupid people making an ever increasing number of stupid rules I think it’s also getting ridiculous out there.
Damages sought in detention of artist
The Everett Herald
By Jackson Holtz, Herald Writer
updated 12:36 p.m. ET Nov. 16, 2007
SNOHOMISH -- She was taking photos of power lines.
She was standing on public property collecting materials for her artwork.
But as she drove out of Snohomish, Shirley Scheier, a University of Washington art professor and renowned printmaker, saw flashing police lights in her rearview mirror.
"I was pulled over for what I thought was a routine traffic stop. Maybe my taillight was out," Scheier said Thursday. "It quickly escalated into a whole very surprising encounter for me."
Scheier, 54, of Seattle was frisked, handcuffed, detained and questioned for nearly an hour before police let her go.
On Thursday, she filed a lawsuit against the city of Snohomish over the Oct. 17, 2005, incident.
The artist was taking photos near the federal Bonneville Power Administration substation as part of her own artistic work, the lawsuit said. Her work explores the relationship between people and their environment, including industrialization.
Scheier filed a claim with the city seeking $50,000, a written apology and assurance she wouldn't be detained again, Snohomish city manager Larry Bauman said.
Washington Cities Insurance Authority, the city's insurance provider, rejected the August 2007 claim, contending police officers had "reasonable suspicion" to detain Scheier, according to city records.
The substation where Scheier was photographing has been identified by the department of Homeland Security as a "critical infrastructure-key asset target," the insurance company wrote in a Sept. 24 denial of the claim.
When someone sees somebody acting in a way that could be perceived as suspicious around critical infrastructure, it's important for public safety that police find out what's going on, FBI and state police said.
The Snohomish Superior Court lawsuit accuses the city, plus current and former officers, of negligence, invasion of privacy and false arrest.
The suit was brought with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. It alleges the city violated Scheier's First Amendment right to engage in "expressive activity," and her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure.
"We don't think an art professor should get frisked, handcuffed and put in the back of a squad car for taking photographs on public property in plain sight," said Doug Honig, an ACLU spokesman in Seattle. "As an artist and as a teacher, she doesn't want other people who are taking photos of landscapes and other things to be hassled and detained by law enforcement."
By Thursday afternoon, the city hadn't been served with the suit, Bauman said.
Police detention of photographers is happening more often, especially since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said Kyu Ho Youm, a First Amendment professor at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
"That is really threatening the basic fundamental characteristics of our American society," Youm said. "Everybody can take those kind of pictures. That is why this is overreaching, overstepping the boundary."
The ACLU has represented several photographers in Washington who have been harassed by law enforcement since the 2001 terrorist attacks, Honig said. The city of Seattle last week paid $8,000 to settle a claim brought by a man who was arrested after he photographed police activity in 2006.
"In today's age, people have to understand that law enforcement is always concerned when people are doing things that are perceived as unusual," FBI counterterrorism special agent in charge David Gomez said. "They could be perfectly normal, but if it's perceived as unusual, it draws the attention of law enforcement."
In 2005, Bonneville Power Administration officials tried to ask Scheier what she was doing when she was taking photos near their substation, the city's insurance agent said in the letter denying the claim.
When she left quickly without talking to them, they called 911.
Police stopped Scheier and noticed maps with circles around Sea-Tac Airport, the Westin Hotel and an area near Seattle Center, the letter said.
Scheier had the maps out to show an out-of-town visitor the locations of the airport and the Space Needle, Honig said.
"Anyone who has friends or relatives visiting has maps like that," he said.
Scheier, who has exhibited works nationwide, said she wants to make sure others aren't treated like criminals when engaged in legal conduct.
"I feel it's my obligation as a teacher and as a citizen to question this kind of overreaction on the part of police about someone using a camera," she said.
The Everett Herald
“They can shoot me dead but the moral high ground is mine!” The 10th Doctor