Friday, April 25, 2008

Photos Verboten!

“You can’t photograph that.”

Here we go again. Another person clueless about the law.

I tell the Guy-With-ID-Badge-Pinned-To-His-Shirt-Pocket that I’m within my rights. I’m standing on a public sidewalk and the subject of my photos is in plain view on the other side of the fence.

The Guy takes out his cell phone. “Let me check with someone. You should get permission.”

I snap off two more shots. I tell him I don’t need permission. If he doesn’t like it, then call the police.

Then I begin to leave.

“You’re not going to wait for me?”

No, I reply over my shoulder, I have to be somewhere.

“Well, you had enough time to stop to take a few shots.”

Who is this clown? My mother?

I don’t know who he is because he never pointed to his ID or explained what authority he held to prevent me from photographing a building being demolished.

What does the Georgia-Pacific paper mill have to hide? OSHA violations? Or maybe they’re trying to secretly relocate the skeleton of Jimmy Hoffa or some other notable missing person.

So what, you might say. Why should I be concerned that someone unjustly hassles you when you want to take a photograph? You’re just too sensitive about your civil rights.

Don’t come crying to me when you find yourself trapped in a police state.

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