Friday, March 26, 2010
War on Photography
Sometimes things just fall into your lap. Here's a photo of events outside my coffee shop this morning shortly after I arrived. An old guy tripped and fell on his face. As several customers pitched in to treat his wounds and comfort him I called 911. We watched a city EMT unit drive past and wave and then a couple of police cars had to be waved down. Ten minutes later help arrived. I think he's going to be alright since his vital signs seemed pretty good.
As I took photos a female police officer suggested I wasn't welcome to do so. I firmly pushed back telling her that as long as I wasn't interfering I had the legal right to continue taking pictures. I then asked if she knew the law. Without answering the question directly she said her comments were based on morality--the morality of imagining what someone else may not want anyone to see--at which I suggested her job was legal in nature and perhaps removing the uniform would be a more appropriate way to address the moral issues. A reporter from the Palo Alto Daily Post was having coffee at that time of the accident and immediately went into reporting mode. After the confrontation with the police officer she then interviewed me about events. I suspect this may have some news value for tomorrow's edition.
Here's a handy guide to your photography rights.
Posted by Robert Holmgren at 8:49 AM