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USA Today: On photography, cops need to get a clue - Photography is NOT A CRIME!

by Glenn Harlan Reynolds | USA Today

Last week, Buzzfeed reporter Benny Johnson went to work on a list of the seven ugliest federal buildings in Washington, D.C. But what he found was even uglier than the buildings: ignorant, heavy-handed law enforcement officers who told him — wrongly — that he couldn't photograph the ugly architecture.

Johnson repeatedly confirmed with the media-relations folks at these agencies that it was OK for him to photograph the buildings — as it is for any member of the public — but word hadn't filtered down to the guys with guns.

Johnson writes: "After I took this photo of a public walkway in front of the (Department of Energy) building, four armed guards surrounded me and my bike. I was ordered off my bicycle and told to hand over my camera. 'Where is your identification? Why are you taking photos of our building?' an officer asked me. I explained my role as a reporter and asked what rules I had broken. 'You are suspicious, and we are in a post-9/11 world,' he said. The four officers surrounded me right here, directly in front of the building entrance."

Here's the thing: They had no authority to do this.

It's legal in America to take pictures of public buildings — and pretty much everything and everyone else in public. That's something that law enforcement agencies routinely take advantage of in arguing that people have no "reasonable expectation of privacy" when they're out and about and being surveilled by the government.

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wolfe's picture

yes and no.

While there is of course no law on the books prohibiting photography. It is in fact a crime to say something a cop doesn't like, or look funny, or be bald if they find it offensive.

You are allowed to roam free at their pleasure only.

They are the law and what they say is the law. Don't believe me? Just ask one.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Guy I know got arrested for this...

A guy I know was taking pictures of the sky outside a casino. Police came and complained. After they left, he continued to take pictures. Shortly thereafter, we get a call to bail him out of jail. Not sure on the actual charges, but it's always seemed crazy to me.

I'm not sure if there was actually something to hide, or if it's just police state intimidation tactics...

Glenn Harlan Reynolds wears a tinfoil hat.

It's 2014, not 1984...
Or is it?

Glenn Harlan Reynolds is a conspiracy theorist.

The more this gets out, the better,


"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

This stuff is starting to make it out into the MSM

That is a good thing.

This, too:


The Diamond Dog is a real cool cat. | Reporting on the world from an altitude of 420.

What is this all about?

Some kind of bizarroworld? It's like some sort of infinite link to this story. :)