I Almost Got Arrested

Well… I did get pulled over tonight, from within a parking lot because I was taking pictures.

Apparently, it is against the law to take pictures of anything, but especially what I was taking pictures of, at night.

Total bullshit. Wanna know what got me pulled over and my plates/license ran through the system?

I took this picture.

Yup. A picture of a bank at night. I wasn’t even zooming in on anything. Just a picture.

They told me to not take anymore pics, it was a warning that you cannot take pictures of buildings, especially banks, at night. Only, that isn’t a law and I have every right to take these pictures.

He was nice enough but this whole, “photography is a crime” thing is really getting old.

9 thoughts on “I Almost Got Arrested

  1. Hummmm, well, at least the picture is good. Nice angle :). Does that happen to you often? If I were say a news reporter at maybe channel 8 or the Trib or something, that would be a story I might find interesting. Its a civil rights issue worthy of some publicity. That would be especially true if you were on a public street or sidewalk at the time (I’m guessing the bank has no trust-passing signs posted even though rarely enforced except for stuff like this).

  2. I’ve been approached by the police while taking photos twice. Both times I had to explain that it is not a crime to take photos on a public street. The second time it happened, the officer got really hostile and said that business owners have a right to their privacy. My response? Then they should build a 12-foot fence around their building so the public can’t see it… otherwise, I can take all the photos I want. He got mad at the logic of it all, said “you better watch yourself” and stomped off. WTF?!?

    Dave2s last blog post…Tenfold

  3. Great pic. It looks like something out of a movie where people are planning to rob a bank 😉 My friend Mike said he like it too and doesn’t necessarily agree with the cop, but he would like you to consider that maybe the bank has Amish or Native American roots and by taking its pic you stole part of its soul, thus meaning the officer was just doing his moral duty…Mike is special.

    I concur with Lori Garrett though, the whole situation would make an interesting article or features segment on the news, especially given the number of photog & journo students in this town that have all sorts of projects to complete in this vein.

    Karens last blog post…All sorts of growing up

  4. Oh God, I could go on for hours about cops harassing me while I’m shooting the most ridiculous things… Once I was shooting a sunset from the top of a parking garage and I got harassed up and down. Another time I got stopped for walking around at 4am with a camera… Now that I have a minor warrant out for an unpaid helmet violation on my bad ass motor scooter, I never carry my ID with me while I shoot photos. Today I was shooting photos of Caleb on some train tracks outside of town, and I got so paranoid a cop might show up that I hid my wallet in my truck and parked the truck a ways away.

    I bet someone was getting robbed on Worley while they harassed you.

    Seriously, fuck cops. Ugh!

  5. Now that just pisses me off, both as a freedom-loving American and as a fellow photographer.

    This might be useful to you, and I’ll dig around because I remember seeing another one someplace, I think maybe it was a feature on Lifehacker.

    (P.S. the picture is great!)

    Iron Fists last blog post…ten

  6. Justin,

    Just randomly hit your blog looking for Topaz “stuff”. I frequently shoot night scenes as well, as I am a neon afficianodo. Anyway, with all the hysteria about “tare-rists” lurking behind every corner I bought a copy of “Legal Handbook for Photographers.” The link is to his website where he has a downloadable PDF of your bill of rights as a photographer. You might keep a copy with you; I do:

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