Tag Archive: Photography Is Not A Crime

Department Of Homeland Security Lies And Intimidates Over Filming And Identification Laws







” While I was filming in downtown Albany, at the Federal Building, a DHS officer came out to see what I was doing. This officer had no problem lying about the legality of filming in public. She also had no problem lying about the fact that I do not need to identify myself to a police officer who has no reasonable, articulable reason to think I am about to, have committed, or am in the process of committing a crime (the requirements for a legal detainment).”



CopBlock has more










Texas Cop Places Woman In Chokehold For Video Recording







” A Texas cop placed a woman in a chokehold because she was video recording some type of police activity in the parking lot of what appears to be a fast food restaurant after she refused to provide identification.

  It started when Corpus Christi Sergeant J.E. Lockhart stormed up to Lanessa Espinosa, who was standing a good distance away from the investigation, accusing her of interfering – after a nearby cop from another agency accused her of being a “jailhouse lawyer.”

“ There is a probable cause for us to be out here,” Lockhart said. “I want to know who you are, so I’m requesting your ID. You fail to ID, I’m going to take you into jail. And that’s law.”

“What’s my charge?

“You’re not being charged with anything.”

“Then I don’t have to show you my ID, sir.”

“ You’re involved in an investigation. You want to interfere with an investigation, you’re going to jail for interfering with a police officer in performance of his investigation. Do you understand that? DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?”

  Espinosa understood that Lockhart was out of line, so she said she was in fear for her safety and took a step back, which was when another cop placed her in a chokehold.”


PINAC has more




Florida Man Records Himself Getting Attacked By Cop For Not Rolling Down Window All The Way




Traffic Stop Beating




” A horrifying video has emerged showing St. Petersburg police forcing a man out of his car before pouncing on him, leaving him hospitalized with several injuries, all because the cop claimed he was in fear for his life.

  At least that what he says in his report, where he wrote the following:

  I exited my marked patrol cruiser and walked towards the vehicle and I noticed the driver staring at me with a blank stare as he continued revving the engine louder and louder. I thought by his actions the subject was going to attempt to hit me with his car.

  The video, however, shows it was Curtis Shannon, a young man from Florida who was probably fearing for his life during the arrest.

  It also shows that he remained professional as he tried to hand the cop his license and registration through a small opening after the cop pulled him over for what he claimed was erratic driving. “


Read it all at PINAC









Second Family Says Petersburg Police Went Too Far







” Another family has come forward claiming Petersburg Police came on their front porch and tried to stop them from shooting video of arrests happening right in front of their home.

  The family reached out to the On Your Side Investigators and shared dramatic cell phone video. The incident led to a violent confrontation.

  Cell phone video shows JaQuan Fisher, 17, standing on his own front porch recording the arrests happening on Rome Street. In the video, an officer is heard saying, “Unless you want me to take your phone from you,” before there is a struggle and video goes to black.

” I was right here. I pulled out my phone,” JaQuan said, pointing to where he was standing. 

  Petersburg Police had just busted several people at a home next door. They were handcuffing the suspects in front of Fisher’s home. He walked out onto the porch and his cousin—who was one of the people being arrested–yelled, “Start recording.” “












North Carolina Deputy Snatches Two Phones, Fails To Snatch Third, As She Handcuffs Man For No Reason








” As a drill instructor in the United States Marines, Natalie Barber learned she can get people to do what she wants by yelling at them.

  And that technique probably still works for her today as a deputy with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office.

  But it didn’t work Saturday night when she tried using it on Carlos Jaramillo, a former United States Marine combat instructor and longtime Photography is Not a Crime reader.

  Frustrated that he didn’t obey her unlawful orders to “put the phone down” as he was recording her from his front porch, she ended up snatching the phone and handcuffing the 35-year-old father in front of his wife and kids, then snatching his son’s phone when he tried recording the detainment, injuring the teen’s hand and damaging his phone.

  But she was unable to snatch a third phone belonging to his wife, which his son picked up and began recording from behind the screened door after his own phone was snatched.

  All three clips survived, proving that Barber lied in the incident report, posted below, where she accused Jaramillo of “being aggressive” and “causing commotion and distracting me from doing my job.” “


Read more at PINAC







Company Producing Spy Gear For Cops Calls Cops On PINAC For Recording Facilities From Public





” A secretive Florida company called the Harris Corporation has been supplying federal, state and local law enforcement agencies with cell phone tracking devices that allow authorities to collect information from citizens without the annoying requirement of having to obtain a warrant.

  But when PINAC correspondents Jeff Gray and Thomas Covenant pointed the cameras towards the facilities from a public sidewalk this week, company security guards called the cops.

  However, when the cops arrived, they pulled up behind Gray’s vehicle, taking notice of his license plate, and drove off, speeding right past a Harris Corporation security guard trying to flag them down.”


   The apparent special relationship between Harris Corporation and Florida law enforcement has not escaped the attention of the ACLU :


” The ACLU, which has been trying to pry open the details of this relationship for years, is still hammering away, focusing on a recent case out of Florida.

  As revealed in a recent opinion of a Florida appeals court, Tallahassee police used an unnamed device — almost certainly a stingray — to track a stolen cell phone to a suspect’s apartment. (The case’s association with stingrays was first pointed out by CNET’s Declan McCullagh in January). They then knocked on the door, asked permission to enter and, when the suspect’s girlfriend refused, forced their way inside, conducted a search, and arrested the suspect in his home. Police opted not to get warrants authorizing either their use of the stingray or the apartment search. Incredibly, this was apparently because they had signed a nondisclosure agreement with the company that gave them the device. The police seem to have interpreted the agreement to bar them even from revealing their use of stingrays to judges, who we usually rely on to provide oversight of police investigations.

  When the suspect’s lawyer tried to ask police how they tracked the phone to his client’s house, the government refused to answer. A judge eventually forced the government to explain its conduct to the lawyer, but only after closing the courtroom to the public and sealing the transcript of the proceedings so the public and the press could never read it. “


    A visit to the company website revealed no reference to the “Stingray” tracking device and as a matter of fact the search bar does an auto-correct to “string” and will not even allow the word stingray to be typed into the box . It comes as  no surprise that the watchers do not like being watched .

   Here is a screenshot of the company board of directors while you can read the corporation’s 2013 annual report here . They do approximately five billion dollars a year in business supplying the government with all manner of state of the art communications gear . The have fingers in every pie , from drones to stealth technology to satellites and ground troop communications .


Harris Corp Board Of Directors



   Here is a photo of the Stingray cellphone tracking device that Harris does not manufacture … at least according to their products and services page …






… while this image shows how the non-existent “Stingray” works …





    Bear in mind that this “non-existent” device is regularly being used to eavesdrop on unsuspecting cellphone users without benefit of a search warrant and so is just another means of law enforcement breaking the law and violating our rights and the Constitution . The police are even lying to judges regarding the existence and use of this tyrannical technology .


    If you do not believe the “Police State” is here and growing in America you are a fool .







NYPD Cop Attacks Man For Video Recording Him, Deleting His Footage, But Man Recovers Footage




” A New York City cop beat up and arrested a man for video recording him inside a subway station from 30 feet away Saturday night, walking up to him and getting in his face all while claiming the man was invading his personal space.

  Officer Rojas, shield number 23404, then deleted the video, never mentioning the camera once in his arrest report, claiming the man had physically interfered with another arrest he was making.

  But after spending 24 hours in jail, Shawn Randall Thomas managed to recover the deleted footage, proving that Rojas is not only a liar, but a bullying thug as well.

  Thomas also obtained footage from another man who had recorded Rojas with his knees on Thomas’ back as he lay face down on the sidewalk just outside the sub station, seconds after Rojas had bashed his face into the pavement, busting his lip.”


    If you’d like to voice your complaints about Officer Rojas’ behavior his superiors may be reached at: (718) 221-6600 attention Deputy Inspector Michael A. Davidson . Thank goodness for Recuva . The memory hole is a lot smaller for it .

Carlos Miller has much more at PINAC








Atlantic City Cop Ordered To Pay $250,000 From Own Pocket To Citizen He Abused




” We’ve seen so many police abuse lawsuits settled before making it to trial where cops admit no wrongdoing while guiltily dishing out thousands of taxpayer dollars that it’s surprising to see one actually make it to trial.

  And it’s absolutely flabbergasting to see it result in a cop ordered personably liable.

  The cop is none other than Sterling Wheaton of the Atlantic City Police Department, whom we became familiar with back in September when he drove up to a group of five fellow officers beating on a suspect and sicced his dog on him in an incident caught on surveillance video.

  Then we later learned that Wheaton was already named a defendant in three unrelated lawsuits alleging abuse over the five previous years, including one where he is accused of ripping the phone out of the hands of woman recording him, only for her never to see the phone again.”









Police Who Seized Woman’s Phone As ‘Evidence’ Of Bogus Crime Now Complaining About Criticism



” Photography Is Not A Crime is in the middle of another police department vs. citizen feud and this one, like the last, is based on dubious “crimes” and a police department’s disingenuous legal response to being slammed with phone calls as a result of its own actions

  The story starts out with a Louisiana woman (Theresa Richard) being arrested by Crowley Police Dept. officers for recording inside a police station. This was the latest in a long line of attempts by the CPD to silence and intimidate Richard after she filed a lawsuit against the department for false arrest and imprisonment stemming from an incident last year, when she (along with other members of her family) were accosted by police officers and accused of stealing a safe.

  Richard’s husband and brother were confronted by cops for removing a safe from [Richard’s] burned house after the fire inspector had deemed the investigation over. 

  The two men had wheeled the safe over on a dolly because the house was only down the street from where Richard lived. 

  But police arrived and accused them of stealing the safe. Richard said they also assaulted her and ordered her back inside her home. However, they ended up leaving without arresting anybody.

  Richard couldn’t get anyone at her local paper to cover the lawsuit against the CPD, so she took her story to a neighboring town’s paper. Once it was published, she purchased copies to hand out, including one which she attempted to give to the Crowley police chief. That’s when things went downhill.”




Let Crowley PD know how you feel : (337)783-1234

Read more










Southern California Cop Who Attacked Videographer Needs To Be Identified


” An Oxnard police officer attacked a man for attempting to video record an arrest last week, twisting the man’s arm behind his back and violently shoving him against a bench after the man had placed the phone in his pocket.

The cop threatened to arrest the man for refusing to hand over his phone as “evidence” before a commanding officer intervened, telling the cop he was out of line.

The man, who goes by Angel B on Youtube, said he was allowed to leave, but he never did get the name of the officer.

And that is important if we want to at least try to hold him accountable.”



  Read the post for the videographer’s written account of what transpired and if you live in or frequent the Oxnard California area please watch this video and contact PINAC if you know the identity of the offending officer . This affront to personal liberty must not go unchallenged . 






ACLU Petitioner Claims It’s Illegal To Photograph Her In Public Without Consent





” Canadian photojournalist Francis Vachon was in Massachusetts earlier this month on assignment for a travel website when he came across a pair of ACLU workers asking people to sign some kind of petition in downtown Pittsfield.

Vachon lifted his camera and snapped a photo, only for the woman in the above picture to inform him that he was breaking the law.

But Vachon, having been a regular Photography is Not a Crime reader for years, knew better as he explained on his blog:


I tell her that I am in a public place and I can do whatever I want, but then she tells me with a straight face that in Massachusetts, a law prohibit you to take a photo without first having a consent. I don’t know if she really believed that or if she was lying to me, but either way it was really weird coming from a member of the The American Civil Liberties Union


Perhaps she joined the ACLU after the civil liberties organization published its Know Your Rights: Photographers webpage along with the video below(above).”



     If you like to photograph in public , and these days we all need to watching the watchers , but are not sure of your rights you can find out more about them in these articles. The Photographer’s Right is a downloadable pamphlet in PDF form provided free of charge by the law offices of Bert P Krages


The Photographer’s Right

” The right to take photographs in the United States is being challenged more than ever. People are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples have included photographing industrial plants, bridges, buildings, trains, and bus stations. For the most part, attempts to restrict photography are based on misguided fears about the supposed dangers that unrestricted photography presents to society.

Ironically, unrestricted photography by private citizens has played an integral role in protecting the freedom, security, and well-being of all Americans. Photography in the United States has an established history of contributing to improvements in civil rights, curbing abusive child labor practices, and providing important information to crime investigators. Photography has not contributed to a decline in public safety or economic vitality in the United States. When people think back on the acts of domestic terrorism that have occurred over the last twenty years, none have depended on or even involved photography. Restrictions on photography would not have prevented any of these acts. Furthermore, the increase in people carrying small digital and cell phone cameras has resulted in the prevention of crimes and the apprehension of criminals.

As the flyer states, there are not very many legal restrictions on what can be photographed when in public view. Most attempts at restricting photography are done by lower-level security and law enforcement officials acting way beyond their authority. Note that neither the Patriot Act nor the Homeland Security Act have any provisions that restrict photography. Similarly, some businesses have a history of abusing the rights of photographers under the guise of protecting their trade secrets. These claims are almost always meritless because entities are required to keep trade secrets from public view if they want to protect them.”


   The good people at Krages’ law office also provide various other resources on the subject ,including the laws for a few other places outside the US , some of which we have included below .


Legal Handbook for Photographers-The Rights and Liabilities of Making Images

UK Photographers Rights

NSW Australia Street Photography Legal Issues

Photographer Rights in Portugal

Some other handy resources on the subject from around the web include:


Know Your Rights: Photography in Public

Taking Photos In Public Places Is Not A Crime: Analysis

Photography and The Law: Know Your Rights




    Don’t be intimidated when you wish to take a photo or video in a public place . Know your rights and film , film , film and in the process you will be protecting everyone else’s rights along with your own . Remember “Sunshine is the best disinfectant”









Pennsylvania Cops Continue To Lie To Citizens About Wiretapping Law



” Another Pennsylvania cop tried to convince a citizen that audio recording him in public is a felony, an act of intimidation that doesn’t carry the same weight as it did a couple of years ago when they would actually carry out arrests on these charges.

But the citizens are getting much smarter about these things, so the cops are just making themselves look stupid.”



Keep abreast of the issue at PINAC






Police Fatally Shoot Rottweiler; Dog’s Owner Alleges Retaliation




” A video showing a Hawthorne police officer fatally shooting a dog is drawing outrage on the Internet, and its owner claims he was targeted because of pending claims against the department.

The shooting Sunday occurred after a standoff between police and armed robbery suspects near the intersection of 137th Street and Jefferson Avenue.

Officers handcuffed bystander Leon Rosby, 52, after he walked close to the scene with an 80-pound Rottweiler on a “long leash-line,” creating “an increasingly dangerous situation,” the Hawthorne Police Department said in statement.

The 2-year-old Rottweiler, named Max, whom Rosby had put in his car before being cuffed, then jumped out of the vehicle. Officers tried to grab the dog’s leash and then opened fire, “fearing that the attacking Rottweiler would imminently bite the officer(s),” according to the department statement.

The officers fired four shots, said Michael Gulden, an attorney for Rosby. Video footage shot by a witness and posted on YouTube shows the dog writhing on the pavement as onlookers shriek. “

NYPD Cops Arrest Woman Recording Them, Apparently Stealing Wrong Memory Card (Updated)




” New York City police officers arrested a woman who was video recording them from a public sidewalk as they conducted some type of “vehicle safety checkpoint.”

The officers apparently stole a memory card from a camera, which turned out to be the wrong one, allowing us to view the video.

In the Youtube description, under the headline, “You stole the wrong SD card,” Christina Gonzalez said her boyfriend was also arrested.

We were arrested while filming an NYPD checkpoint on a bridge between a soon to be gentrified Bronx and a quickly gentrifying Harlem. We were charged with OGA, DisCon, and resisting arrest. I was holding a bag of yarn in one hand and a canvas in the other. My partner had food in his hands when he was tackled. Even though their violent actions were unjust, we did not resist. Simultaneous with our “arrests”, the checkpoint was closed down.

We were held for 25 hours.”









Phoenix Man Arrested for Photographing Sandra Day O’Connor…Courthouse Building

Via the website Photography is Not a Crime (PINAC), which documents law enforcement abuses related to taking pictures and videos, comes the story of Raymond Michael Rodden, a 33-year-old man who made the bad decision to photograph some public buildings late at night last week.

Last Thursday at 3 a.m., Rodden was unable to sleep and drove to downtown Phoenix in his boss’ car (he was staying with the guy and had permission) and snapped some shots of government buildings. Then, he told PINAC

He noticed he was being followed by a Phoenix police patrol car. Before he knew it, he was being followed by an additional two marked cars as well as an unmarked car, not to mention a cop on foot.”



Read More


Get the full story here :

Arizona Man Winds Up Jailed, Unemployed and Homeless After Photographing Courthouse

” “They wanted to know if I belonged to any extremist groups like the national socialist movement or sovereign citizens. They wanted to know what kind of books I checked out of the library.”

Darren Emfinger, the Phoenix police detective and joint task force member who has been featured in the The First 48 television show and who is refusing to return his items, can be reached at  (623) 466-1398 or on his cell phone, (602) 377-9108.

The Arizona ACLU, whom he hopes will help him in this case, can be reached at info@acluaz.org or 602.650.1854.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton can be reached at mayor.stanton@phoenix.gov or 602-262-7111.”








” Adam Pringle was cited by a San Diego police officer over the weekend for smoking on the sidewalk — an actual violation of the law in the area he was in — but it wasn’t so much this violation that he finds upsetting. Pringle was filming his citation with his smartphone and after he refused to stop when asked by police, he claims the officer attacked him.

According to Photography is Not a Crime – a weblog frequently covering the right to photograph and film law enforcement activities in public — Pringle was walking on Mission Beach boardwalk on Saturday when two police on bicycles approached him and his friends for the violation.

In the video that was posted on YouTube of the encounter, you can see an officer writing up the ticket as Pringle says offscreen that he was getting a citation for smoking on the sidewalk. From there, when the officer is about to explain to Pringle the citation, he asks that Pringle put his phone away. Pringle refused, which led to what appears to be a struggle before the screen goes dark.”

San Diego Police Accused of Attacking Man for Filming Them With Cellphone

” A separate video filmed by one of Pringle’s friends identifies one of the officers as M. Reinhold.

In this video, Reinhold said “[the other officer said] just give him the phone. Isn’t that a reasonable thing to do?”

The friend asks how the phone is a weapon and Reinhold said he didn’t know for sure at the time that Pringle’s device wasn’t.

“If you look it up online, cellphones can be converted into firearms and Tasers. Look it up online. There’s video of how to do it,” Reinhold said.

Reinhold later goes on to explain that officers have training on how cellphones can be converted into such weapons.

“So, if someone wants to stand within a couple feet of me, I’m gonna need to look at that cellphone and make sure it’s not a weapon,” he said.”

More at photographyisnotacrime.com

” UPDATE II: Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel of the National Press Photographers Association, sent the following email to the mayor:

Dear Mayor,

As the general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) I have been in contact with you police department in an ongoing attempt to help improve police relations and avoid the type of incident that occurred yesterday. See: http://www.photographyisnotacrime.com/2013/04/09/san-diego-police-attack-and-arrest-man-video-recording-them-claiming-phone-could-be-a-weapon/

I spoke at the annual meeting of the IACP held in your city last September regarding the First Amendment rights of the press and public to photograph and record. Apparently more is needed. As I have done training with other police departments around the country I renew my offer to help yours.

Please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Very truly yours,
Mickey H. Osterreicher
General Counsel
National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)”









Connecticut Cop Assaults Woman For Video Recording Him


CT Police Abuse


” The only reason I know it took place in Connecticut is because of the bus in the background that says CT Transit.He informs her he needs to the camera to be put away to allow him to conduct his “investigation.” Then a minute into the video, he grabs it from her.”