Today's Washington Post has an interesting article - Freedom of photography: Police, security often clamp down despite public right (7/26/10) whereby, yet again, a uniformed officer detained someone taking photographs. Yet, a directive from the New York City police reveals what common sense tells most of us already about photographing buildings like this - "practically all such photography will have no connection to terrorism or unlawful conduct", according to the article.
While I don't know much about the photographer, Matt Urick, it seems from this report that, yet again, the police have over-reacted. Yet, the police, in trying to acknowledge the photographer had the right "Some people will figure, 'I have a right to take pictures,' and we are not arguing with that", said the President of the DC lodge of the Fraternal Order of the Police, but he then is cited as saying "An officer also has a right to his or her safety and to control the situation", and that's just such a far-reaching statement that it begs arguing. Cameras don't impinge on an officers safety, and to suggest that anyone has the right to "control the situation" is akin to the persuasive attempts by the gestapo to control situations. What "situation?" No officer can take away a constitutional right unless the excercise thereof could take away someone elses' constitutional right. The proverbial "your right to swing your fists wildly stops at the tip of my nose" comes to mind. Thus, the photographing done by this photographer was well within his rights.
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