Harassed by Police for photography on playground. (Memory card confiscated and harassed by police)

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by vverna83, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. I was shooting in a playground in a public park which to the best of my knowledge is still legal. My parter
    and I were enjoying the day, talking to parents, shooting pictures of kids at play. No one seemed to have
    a problem. We decided to move on and about 30 seconds after we drive off the police pull us over and
    start grilling us. They take our cameras and leave us sitting in the car for a good 25 minutes-half an hour
    we are then informed that our cameras are being confinscated because we have images of children and an
    investigation will be opened.

    We get directions to the police station which turned out to be WRONG sending us through 3 miles of the
    worst area of Detroit when we realized hey we're headed in the wrong direction. We turn around and
    arrive at the police station; before we even reach the front desk a detective comes at us "let me save you
    some time if i EVER SEE YOU TAKING PICTURES AROUND CHILDREN AGAIN I WILL PIN SOMETHING ON YOU
    AND *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* YOU OVER."

    We did get our cameras back but they refused to return our memory cards "pending investigation."

    To the best of my knowledge my partner and I were well within our rights I beleive the general rule is
    "Anyone in a public place can be photographed without their consent except when they have a reasonable
    expectation of privacy" (Bert P Krages, Rights and Remedies when Confronted for Photography 2004)

    Am I wrong? Has anyone had similar problems? What course of action would you recommend? (i dont
    want to sue or anything i jus want to make sure i dont end up in any legal hot water or be labeled a sex
    offender or something along those lines.)
     
  2. I recently attended a nature preserve that had a newly opened really fantastic play area for children.

    My wife nad I went to the exit area of a rope bridge and I wanted to photograph the children coming off the the bridge. The group`s teacher went nuts. You would think I was tying them up and drowning them.

    My wife, who is a teacher, informed me this is a big NO NO. Rules at her school too.

    My granddaughter and classmates have had some man photographing the kids on the school playground. The local police got real serious about it.

    I think the problem is the pics are used to advertise children who may be kidnapped and sold. The dirty deeds of a few reflect on rules being imposed on all. All sad the way are freedoms are going, but IF that is what pics are used for, we will have to forgo it.
     
  3. "Am I wrong? Has anyone had similar problems? What course of action would you recommend? (i dont want to sue or anything i jus want to make sure i dont end up in any legal hot water or be labeled a sex offender or something along those lines."

    You need to be talking to your attorney(s), not us. If you were in a public space and not committing a crime, and what happened to you per your accounting is factual, you should be pissed off. Call yer goon. It's his job to sort it out. Might want to contact local press as well.

    Next time, do not give up your camera. Let them beat it off you if they want, but do not volunteer a thing, not even if they threaten to book you - let 'em. Go peacefully.

    C.
     
  4. Vincent, get an attorney.

    Ronald, that's BS. The 'rules of the school' have no bearing on YOU in a public setting. Now, the 'nature preserve' may have rules governing photography, and you have to abide by them - it is up to us to know the rules of private property - and parks, etc also - when we go out to shoot. However, if it was public property, then their 'school rules' don't mean jack to you.

    And no, I will not forgo my rights. Photos of kids who may be kidnapped and sold? Are you kidding? Name ONE TIME that has happened in the US. ONE TIME. ONE EXAMPLE of someone posting a photo of a child as an advertisement who was then kidnapped and sold.

    That's flat-out unacceptable.
     
  5. "I think the problem is the pics are used to advertise children who may be kidnapped and sold. The dirty deeds of a few reflect on rules being imposed on all. All sad the way are freedoms are going, but IF that is what pics are used for, we will have to forgo it."
    Fook. That. Where does it end? I take a photo of a bank, bank gets robbed, I'm responsible for having posted a clear image of the bank on-line which provoked a crook to find it thinking to himself, "Ooh, what a hot little bank... I wanna violate him...."?
    Utterly ridiculous. Totally fallacious - banning photographing of kids-not-yours in the public space will NOT stop child-pornography, kidnapping, murder, rape, etc. Won't even dent it.
    C.
     
  6. Thanks to those who have replyed thus far, I've left a message with my Laywer already and
    expect to hear back sometime tomorrow.

    I'm sure you understand I was shaken up and very very angry when I finally returned home
    today as I stated before I was operating with the knowledge of Mr.Krages pamphlet and
    common sense when it comes to photography in public. The ultimate irony is if anyone
    had asked us to not photograph their children I would have happily obliged, all the parents
    I talked to during the day were perfectly fine with the situation.

    We'll see what the laywer says tomorrow.
     
  7. Careful - you might be declared an enemy combatant.
     
  8. The reality is that a lot of parents object, absent their consent, to their children being photographed.

    Your position, Vincent, is that that they consent unless they catch you at it and object.

    Are you serious?

    For those of you who don't understand this, and especially those of you who are American and have a tendency to lecture the rest of us about freedom, the fact of the matter is that there are big signs in every Manhattan public playground area that prohibits adults from entering unless they are accompanied by children.

    I would be very interested in hearing on this subject from someone who disagrees with that bylaw and especially from someone who says that he has actually vioilated it.

    In my view, it is truly extraordinary that every time this issue comes up, participants in this part of photo.net, and the Americans in particular, immediately turn the discussion into a debate about the American constitution.
     
  9. Sounds as though you are in the Detroit Metro Area. You should consider communicating with the ACLU of Michigan as well.
    Your counsel should be able to determine what, if anything, is being "investigated" and on what basis your memory cards have been seized.
    Reports such as yours, while they are by no means daily occurrences, are cause for concern.
    Please let us know how this turns out.
     
  10. In case what I am saying is not crystal clear:

    Not every issue in life is a legal issue; and

    Parents who happen to have guardianship over their kids don't necessarily appreciate their kids being photographed by every self-appointed street photographer on the planet.

    I want to add something else. There are cultures, such as in the Middle East, that take serious objection to Americans doing whatever the hell they want photographically on the basis that their laws, as photographers (if not parents) perceive them ought to apply universally.
     
  11. Mr. Edge,
    There are no signs or notices prohibiting photography of any kind at this location.


    Michael S,

    Thank you for the suggesting, pending my lawers advice.... we'll see what happens.
     
  12. Well, Robert, I was typing as you were posting, but I'll plead 'guilty' to being one of the Americans here who truly believes that the U.S. Constitution has a First Amendment and a Fourth Amendment, and that both of them have genuine meaning.

    Sure don't mean to be one of those misguided photo.net "lecturers" you're complaining about, but that's my position and I'm unlikely to abandon it anytime soon. :)
     
  13. Hey Vincent, go ahead, turn this into a legal issue and take it all the way to the US Supreme Court. I mean, it has to be right up there with the major political issues facing the US, right?
     
  14. Robert - he's in Detroit, not in the Middle East. I don't care how they do it in the ME.
    Not appreciating something does not warrant having another individual harrassed by law enforcement. Period. The individuals I photograph who are in the process of being arrested for whatever reason have no more leg to stand on than the parent who objects picture-takers at the park.
    If the poster is on the level, then the cops have some explaining to do. They should enforce laws on the books, nothing more, nothing less.
    C.
     
  15. Michael, yes they have meaning. But you know, there is such as thing as perspective. Running off to the ACLU about this, given that there are real-life human rights issues in the US (as there are in every country), strikes me as kind of silly. I don't know, I guess I'd just like to think that the ACLU has better things to do with its time.
     
  16. Civil rights issues ARE major issues, ARE human rights issues. If yer not a US citizen, then what is your beef? You've no dog in this fight. As to what the ACLU or any other legal group has time for is up to them.
     
  17. Here are a couple of issues that the ACLU is concerned with that are perhaps more important. Whether the US is going to join the rest of the civilized world (leaving its co-religionists, such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea and Chinea) and abolish the death penalty. Or, whether the US is going to join Europe and other English-speaking countries like the UK and Canada in letting gay people serve openly in the military. Or whether people are going to get a universal right to medical care.

    As someone who has spent many years in the US and elsewhere, I find that a lot of what Americans say on this site about freedom, much of it based on the idea that there couldn't possibly be anyone here is not either American or working under an inferior legal system, and the immediate resort to "call your lawyer", just plain bizarre.
     
  18. Nelson,

    You are assuming a lot, wrongly, about my status in the US.
     
  19. Alot of Detroit is made up now from folks from the Middle East. I went into a Kmart a few years back on US24/Telegraph and about 95% of the folks inside were from the Middle East. Detroit is considered the Arab capital of North America by many folks, with about 400,000 folks there.
     
  20. The fact is, a lot of parents, probably the majority, probably even a vast majority, don't want strangers photographing their kids.

    Sure, you can respond to this by treating it as nothing but a legal issue about your rights. If you wanted to take it far enough, I guess you could even sue a parent for damaging you or your camera while preventing you from taking a photograph of his kid.

    But you know, maybe that isn't the most intelligent response, however legally correct it may be (unless one happens to be in a playground in New York).
     
  21. My suggestion to call counsel was due to my not being an attorney. My remark about your nationality was based on your "and especially those of you who are American and have a tendency to lecture the rest of us about freedom" comment which I felt meant you were not a US citizen. Makes no difference to me either way. If you are an American, then you have a leg to stand on with me. If not, what you think about American's concepts of freedom matters little.

    As for your take on the ACLU agenda, I think there are plenty of issues for the ACLU to tackle, and they take on what they decide to pursue. You seem to think the ACLU just falls face-forward onto any case shoved under its nose. Not so.

    Such an issue as the one put forth for our consideration is to my mind of the utmost importance, for it has much to do with our ability to address other, larger, more severe social problems. Freedom of speech and expression are paramount in my opinion; allowing either to be destroyed by paranoia would be tragic.

    C.
     
  22. Kelly,

    Interesting. Go to Amman and start exercising your First Amendment Rights by photographing veiled women without permission. Or for that matter, go to Jerusalem and photograph an Arab kid. Watch while he places his arm over his face, and feel proud of yourself. I'm speaking from experience.
     
  23. "The fact is, a lot of parents, probably the majority, probably even a vast majority, don't want strangers photographing their kids."

    Then let them build private playgrounds for their cherubic young and hole themselves up in enclaves for the paranoid.
     
  24. "Interesting. Go to Amman and start exercising your First Amendment Rights"

    Yer out of yer mind, buddy. Here, I'm gonna down another 20mg of Adderall just for you.

    C.
     
  25. if i EVER SEE YOU TAKING PICTURES AROUND CHILDREN AGAIN I WILL PIN SOMETHING ON YOU AND *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* YOU OVER."
    Sounds like an entirely professional and well adjusted officer of the peace to me.
     
  26. Yeh, right?
     
  27. "Yer out of yer mind, buddy."

    Thanks. I was there two months before the invasion of Iraq. The city was full of journalists and photographers waiting for the Iraqi government to grant them visas. These are the kinds of journalists and photographers who work for major media in war zones and can afford to hand out in places like the Amman Hilton. You may think that I am out of my mind, but the fact is, the photographers that I met were acutely aware of the culture and they respected it.
     
  28. Call me old fashioned, but I do believe that as a general matter, a seizure of personal property by law enforcement should take place only upon probable cause that a crime has been committed.

    And I believe that in the U.S., it is and should remain permissible, with darn few exceptions, to take photos of persons in public places where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy (e.g., *not* public bathrooms).

    For me these are serious concerns.

    Is this one incident as serious as the kinds of things you mention in the first paragraph of your 10:22 post, Robert ? Of course not. But the person who posted the question, whose property was allegedly seized and who was allegedly threatened with (possibly groundless) arrest and prosecution if he repeats his (apparently lawful) conduct has asked for suggestions, and mine were offered with sincerity.
     
  29. Keep shooting!<p>
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  30. "You may think that I am out of my mind, but the fact is, the photographers that I met were acutely aware of the culture and they respected it."

    No, I think yer out of yer gourd for bringing the ME into this discussion about police in this country. It's pretty clear to me, but if you cannot see the absurdity of your arguments, well... can't help ya, pal. I don't wanna hurt yer feelings, so I'll leave you to it.
     
  31. Michael,

    Any right thinking person in a common law jurisdiction would agree with you as a matter of principle. But it is also worth considering the question of perspective, whether every legal right should be treagted as a right in all circumstances and whether every potential legal issue should be treated as a legal issue resulting in a call to a lawyer.

    The funny thing is, I was in a situation the other day where I told a mother, a stranger, that I wanted to photograph her child. She objected. I know that I didn't have to ask her. Furthermore, having asked her, there is an argument that I could have done it anyway. But you know, that is a legal analysis, not a real life analysis.

    I gather that you are a lawyer. So am I. Take that as you will.
     
  32. Thing is, you have to tread carefully around children these days. Teachers are not even
    allowed to physically touch students in certain instances. People read and watch a lot of
    sensational news, and though it's blown out of proportion, some of it is valid. Things have
    gotten complicated, and the parent/child and especially mother/child bond is something
    you
    cannot take lightly. At all. It's quite possible that even if you were talking to parents
    somebody
    else thought something was fishy and complained. They could care less about a
    photographer's rights if they are even aware such a thing exists. As far as the cop, there
    are
    just people who think that bullying is the easiest route to take and maybe it was
    something he needed to feed his ego. You're the only one who knows the situation well
    enough to know what to do. Calm down, sleep on it, and then decide the proper course of
    action. There are all kinds of things that can come up worthy of a lawsuit, but
    sometimes it's not worth the hassle.
     
  33. Nelson, I raised the Middle East because Mr. Flanigan did. And you know what, I think that it was useful that he did, because it helps get the discussion beyond the narrow confines of law applicablre in Detroit. I guess that I think that a broader discussion is useful, especially a discussion that goes beyond strictly legal considerations.
     
  34. No, you raised the ME in your post without provocation.

    "I want to add something else. There are cultures, such as in the Middle East, that take serious objection to Americans doing whatever the hell they want photographically on the basis that their laws, as photographers (if not parents) perceive them ought to apply universally." - robert edge, Mar 25, 2007; 10:01 p.m.
     
  35. Nelson, you're right. I mentioned it as an example, and that no doubt triggered Mr. Flanigan's response, and my elaboration. I'm so sorry. Can we perhaps get beyond high-school debating and maybe talk about the issue? Which is, from my point of view, whether the legal response, even assuming that we are talking only about common law jurisdictions and ignoring a lot of other people who participate in Photo.net, is the only, or maybe even right, way to deal with this question?
     
  36. "it is truly extraordinary that every time this issue comes up, participants in this part of photo.net, and the Americans in particular, immediately turn the discussion into a debate about the American constitution."

    Um, that's because it IS a matter that involves the U.S. constitution.


    "In case what I am saying is not crystal clear: Not every issue in life is a legal issue"

    Um, this one is. You know police intervention and all.

    "I want to add something else. There are cultures, such as in the Middle East, that take serious objection to Americans doing whatever the hell they want photographically on the basis that their laws, as photographers (if not parents) perceive them ought to apply universally."

    Um, were talking about photography inside the U.S. You know, the territory where the constitution is the law of the land.

    "go ahead, turn this into a legal issue"

    Um, the police turned it in to a "legal issue" according to the post.

    "there is such as thing as perspective. Running off to the ACLU about this, given that there are real-life human rights issues in the US (as there are in every country), strikes me as kind of silly. I don't know, I guess I'd just like to think that the ACLU has better things to do with its time."

    Um, this stuff ARE real life issues and 'civil liberties'. Such as police banning legal conduct because they want to. We have, like, laws around here and stuff.

    "the immediate resort to "call your lawyer", just plain bizarre."

    Um, seeking help someone who is an actual legal expert for handling 'legal' matters is, like, what lawyers are for.

    "I guess you could even sue a parent for damaging you or your camera while preventing you from taking a photograph of his kid."

    "Um, yes. And guess what? Those events are actual crimes. You know, stuff for police to respond to as opposed to stuff that's not a crime.

    "Go to Amman and start exercising your First Amendment Rights by photographing veiled women without permission. Or for that matter, go to Jerusalem and photograph an Arab kid. Watch while he places his arm over his face, and feel proud of yourself. I'm speaking from experience."

    Um, we are talking about the what is permissible in the U.S.

    "the photographers that I met were acutely aware of the culture and they respected it."

    Um, here, we have a culture where laws are not made up by police. Please respect that.
     
  37. Nelson,

    I'll tell you a funny thing about Jordan. If you rent a car, you don't need insurance. Why? Because if you have an accident and someone gets hurt or killed, there is no legal system, as you understand it, that will adjudicate the claim.

    On the other hand, a lot of people are deeply offended if you take their photograph. By that, I mean take their photograph period, with or without permission. On the other hand, there are people who don't have a problem with it. Every person who goes to Jordan has a choice about this, to ignore people's views on this or to respect them. Either way, the question is not going to wind up in the courts. So it isn't a legal question, which of course makes it a question that one has to actually decide for oneself.
     
  38. Rights which are neglected tend to become eroded. One asserts their rights, or encroachments become the norm instead of the exception. That much, I believe.

    I also believe that not every battle has to be fought to the hilt; in fact, doing so will wear you out in time.

    But the struggle for freedom is eternal. In the US, we enjoy a fuller measure of it than most in the world, and for that, I am grateful. That does not mean that I will simply shrug every time what I perceive as my liberties are encroached upon.

    I am a conservative, I tend towards libertarianism, and although I have come in time to believe that the demands of society do outweigh some individual rights, I feel that picking our way through these exceptions ought to be done with extreme care - not just for the perceived danger we are 'protecting' ourselves from, but also for posterity, with an understanding that each successive generation of Americans will be 'less free' than the last in some manner.

    I grit my teeth when I see Reverend Fred Phelps' crew with their "God Hates Fags" placards, protesting the funerals of dead US servicemen and servicewomen. It hurts me to think of people burning crosses or defacing the flag. But I have to keep uppermost in my mind the fact that these acts are exercises in freedom of expression. When the extremes, the most objectionable and loathsome among us are allowed to speak freely, I feel that my right to speak my mind is also protected.

    Photography *is* expression, no different than speech, poetry, prose, sculpture, cartooning, and so on. Photography serves many purposes that are beneficial to society, including being a powerful tool of the media, who supposedly occupy a sanctified place as a watchdog of the people, among other functions.

    And although it sounds petty and small to demand my right to take a photograph of a child whose parents object - this is simply the point of the spear. This is where the test is made on a daily basis. Do we or do we not have the right to take photographs in public?

    We know that there are exceptions. As US citizens, we do not take our rights with us when we leave the country - we must obey the rules and laws of the nations we visit - including the Middle East. We must obey our own laws as well, many of which prohibit photography, or which place constraints on such activities. If we feel strongly that a law is unconstitutional, then there are several proper venues for making a challenge. One is to petition one's lawmakers to effect a change in law. Another is to intentionally break the law, submit to arrest and prosecution, and attempt through the judicial system to prove the law unconstitutional. But otherwise, one must obey the law or suffer the consequences.

    My concern has been, and remains, the approach to this issue that appears to submit to laws that do not exist.

    That is, a parent objects to a child being photographed, and we capitulate. That is all well and good for oneself. But those among us who practice this also seem quite content to pass that prohibition on to all photographers. It does not fash them at all that 'feelings' are not laws.

    I respect the fears of parents, even the ones I consider unreasonable. And depending on the circumstances, I may shrug and move on without objection when asked to stop taking photographs by a parent.

    But I will not, I cannot, give in to demands that I delete my photos, show them to a 'concerned parent', identify myself, tell them what purpose I am going to put the photographs to, and so on. Nor will I willingly surrender my property to a law enforcement officer without a valid search warrant being served on me. If it is to be search incident to lawful apprehension, then let's get on with the arrest. Let's make it all nice and legal - you arrest me and take my stuff, and then yes, we let the lawyers sort it all out.

    If this seems a trivial pursuit - well, all I can say is, you ought to see me foam at the mouth when it is suggested that I ought to have the number of firearms I can own limited in some way, or registered with the state. This is nothing compared to that. I like *all* my rights, thanks.

    Perhaps it is not meet for everyone to rave and rant about rights. Perhaps it is enough that a certain lunatic fringe keep pushing at the edges, making sure the tent stays up for everyone who finds it all very tedious and not worth the trouble. No problem, I enjoy the animating contest of liberty. The revolution never ended, and I'm a slip kid at 46.

    I think that's my last screed for the night. Take care, all.
     
  39. Thanks for the continuing discussion and I think it's a worthwhile discussion to have.

    For the record I'm not going to sue for ''damages'' or anything like that I just want to make
    sure that nothing happens as far as anything going on any kind of record that could cause
    problems for me in the future.

    Let me state my opinions on some of the issues being raised, the "americans that think
    they can do whatever they want" issue. When in Rome do as the Romans do, if you are
    abroad you should aquaint yourself with the culture and the laws that apply. In AMERICA
    the law says that execpt for military installations and a few other government buildings
    anyone can take a picture of anything they darn well please as long as the subject isn't in a
    ''private area.'' If an american travels to India that american needs to abide by the laws in
    India.

    My stupidity comes into play when I wrong fully beleived that the police officers that
    confronted me cared about the laws they are supposed to be enforcing and openly
    cooperated with them. I wrongfully thought ''this is a pretty simple situation and i'll be on
    my way in 5 minutes'' I guess I was naive, from now on if i'm ever in this situation again
    I'm just gonna have to assume the worse and make sure all the hoops are jumped through
    on the police officers part. (search warrents ect.)

    I'd like to point out to those that think our rights as PEOPLE (not just americans) to go
    about our business with out harassment are not things you should start making
    exceptions too. Anyone who says that "times are changing and this is the way things are
    now" Please please PLEASE think about that real hard for a while and ask yourself what
    you think is going too far. Then browse some articles in newspapers from the UK. Just
    last week two brothers were sent to jail for animal creulety because their dog was
    overweight. (I'll see if i can find a link, it was ''The Sun'' if anyone else wants to look)
     
  40. It's unfortunate though that if someone had a problem with Vincent they didn't tell him
    themselves, as
    opposed to running to the police, just as you don't wish him to run to a lawyer. Assuming
    that's what happened of course.
     
  41. I agree that most if not all parents, myself included, no NOT want strangers photographing their kids. That's why I try not to take pcitures of other's children unnecessarily.

    To me, this falls under the 'good manners & common sense' approach. E.g, it is not illegal to smoke outside. However, I feel that people who do smoke in close proximity to others without any consideration are rude.

    With photos, if you know that something is going to stir trouble, don't do it.
     
  42. "Then browse some articles in newspapers from the UK. Just last week two brothers were sent to jail for animal creulety because their dog was overweight."

    As we all know, the UK, compared to the US, is a totalitarian state. God knows what we would do without the most perfect nation in the world showing the light to the rest of us.
     
  43. "With photos, if you know that something is going to stir trouble, don't do it."

    I'm a born lever-puller. Oh, and sorry, I thought I was done for the night. My bad.
     
  44. "God knows what we would do without the most perfect nation in the world showing the light to the rest of us."

    You're welcome.
     
  45. "As we all know, the UK, compared to the US, is a totalitarian state. God knows what we
    would do without the most perfect nation in the world showing the light to the rest of us."

    Yes and that's what happens when people start to willfully surrender their rights if anyone
    wishes to deny this I would suggest they spend some time at the local library in the ''history''
    section.
     
  46. Boy life was a lot simpler being a kid back in the day. As a parent I also kept an eagle eye on my boys. Here are a couple of pics that took seconds to shoot, never saw them again, and they are probably older then some of you now! :)
    00KV4v-35701684.jpg
     
  47. I'm cetainly no expert but I'd bet that in most cities ones property cannot be seized without a search warrant or at least being charged with suspicion of whatever crime they think you are committing. I also think you did the right thing by contacting an attorney. If everyone who has had this unfortunate occurance just rolled over then it would happen with much more frequency.

    I'm also reminded of the Middle Eastern woman here in the US who would not uncover her face for a drivers license picture several years ago. She of course tried to sue and while I don't know the outcome I think the laws shouldn't be enforced for some and not others especially for driving which is a privilage and not a right (as she apparently thought.)
     
  48. Vincent, you did nothing legaly wrong. I shoot kids without parental permission in public frequently and you don't need anyone's permission. The police violated your civil rights AND committed theft. Anybody who thinks this kind of illegal activity by police in the USA should be tolerated is a fool. You probably have a 1983 Civil Rights Action. Call ACLU first. If that doesn't work out , do some research and find an atorney who has handled civil rights violations. John Elder, Esq
     
  49. "...you did nothing legaly wrong..."

    Allegedly. We don't know the police side of the story. We don't know why the images were taken. What kind of images, we also don't know.

    Apart from legal issues, there's could be a moral angle to this story. Even if completely legal and innocent. E.g, can I play loud music during the hours I can do so legally? Yes I can. Are the neighbours going to be happy about my perfectly legal activies? No they aren't.

    Same can be applied to photography. Is takaing pictures of other people's children legal? Sure it is. Are the parents [and the police who represent the parents in this case] are going to encouragne such perfectly legal activities? I don't think so.
     
  50. " which to the best of my knowledge..."

    If your really want to pursue this then contact a local newspaper. If they don't help
    you, no one will.
     
  51. "...Is takaing pictures of other people's children legal? Sure it is. Are the parents [and the police who represent the parents in this case] are going to encouragne such perfectly legal activities? I don't think so..."

    Well, when something is legal, and a group of people illegally infringe upon a person's right to excersise this legal endeavor, I believe that, that is illegal. They don't have to encourage it, but, they themselves can not engage in illegal activities to stop it. When you condone the use of illegal activities to stop legal activities...in the end.....the one with the biggest gun wins.
     
  52. Thanks Mr. Elder

    Ronaldo,
    The pictures were of children playing on the parks playscapes some shots were group
    some were solo with a few portraits (meaning the child smiling at the camera with an
    uncluttered background) thrown in. None of them TO MY KNOWLEDGE contained anything
    that could be constrewed as inappropriate or revealing in any way I add the to my
    knowledge because when you have 15 kids spinning around on one of those centrifical
    force rides (the wheel that kids sit on and is spun) shooting motor drive at 5 frames per
    second I suppose it is possible. I don't recall any girls wearing skirts though so it really
    should be a non issue.

    A number of the parents there WERE encouraging my photography as i was asked if it
    would be possible for me to provide a parent with a copy on more than one occasion.

    Your ''moral angle'' example sounds similar to a situation along the lines of my mothers
    nehibor across the street that has called the police because my mother parked the car on
    the street on my mothers side of the street but the nehibor didn't want the car parked ''in
    front of her house'' If your wondering about the conclusion the officer told the woman to
    not bother them with the issue again.

    To put it simply. If someone is doing something that they have every legal right to do
    perhaps try talking to the person and work out your differences. The police deal with
    LEGAL issues (at least in a perfect world they are supposed to) not petty ''i dont want, or i
    think it should work this way''
     
  53. I'd still like to know whether any of the "I have a constitutional right to do as I please" crowd is prepared to say that he or she disagrees with the New York by-law, as stated in prominent signs at every children's play area, that an adult cannot enter the area unaccompanied by a child and, if so, whether anyone has violated that law or intends to do so. By the way, outside the US, I have never heard about such a law and I have never seen such a sign.
     
  54. Here's another question that I raised, and that has also not been addresed. If a parent objects to you taking a photograph of his or her child, and you do it anyway, is the parent liable criminally for assault and civily damages, if he or she takes a swing at you, or trashes your camera, to stop you from photographing their ten year old?
     
  55. And here's a variation on the second scenario. A parent sees you take a photograph of his or her child surreptitiously and demands the film, as in the entire roll. Do you acquiesce, or do you say that you have a legal right to do what you are doing? If the parent then takes the film by force, do you have a right to sue him or her? If so, for how much? Punitive damages? Millions? How much should a jury award you against a parent for refusing to let you exercise your legal right to photograph his or her 10 year old child?
     
  56. I think the problem is the pics are used to advertise children who may be kidnapped and sold.
    What sort of alternative fantasy/nightmare universe are you living in? That's just about the most absurd suggestion I've ever heard.
    There are cultures, such as in the Middle East, that take serious objection to Americans doing whatever the hell they want photographically on the basis that their laws, as photographers (if not parents) perceive them ought to apply universally.
    There are cultures in the Middle East where a lot of things are true. Who give a flying f___?
    If a parent objects to you taking a photograph of his or her child, and you do it anyway, is the parent liable criminally for assault and civily damages, if he or she takes a swing at you, or trashes your camera, to stop you from photographing their ten year old?
    Without any question, yes.
    As for your question about the play areas, there is likely a law that establishes them. There is
     
  57. ...no law that says you can't photograph people of any age in public, nor would it be constitutional if there were. Personally I expect the police to enforce laws that actually exist rather than making them up as they go along.
     
  58. As far as the New York situation as described I would obey the sign unless there was a
    medical emergency and my assistance would be helpful.

    Second question regarding angry parent attacking a photographer, YES as I understand it
    that is battery and destruction of private property. You can't just go club some guy (or
    girl) because they are doing something that upsets you.

    Variation- Kindly inform them that you will gladly destroy the frame during processing if
    they wish and reassure them that their childs photograph will never be published per their
    request. If they take the film by force then they are breaking the law (theft) and you have
    every right to sue. Being this is america and people have sued and won millions for
    clumsy things such as spilling hot beverages on themselves i suppose the sky (or the
    accused persons bank accounts) are the limits on what damages you could receive.
     
  59. Hey Vincent, go ahead, turn this into a legal issue...
    Gee, it seems to me that being taken in by the POLICE, and having them steal your private property, is pretty much a LEGAL ISSUE any way you look at it. The police, unless I'm mistaken, are normally engaged in LAW enforcement. Sheesh.
     
  60. it

    it

    My biz is photographing kids, so I often shoot in parks, playgrounds etc. People in this day and age are hyper-sensitive to this type of activity. How can you not be aware of that?!? I often check with the person in charge of the park to introduce myself and give them my mailer with samples of my images. I also take care not to get other kids in my shots.
    <p>
    I reckon you're lucky, you could've ended up with your camera stuffed somewhere mighty uncomfortable.
     
  61. "There are cultures in the Middle East where a lot of things are true. Who give a flying f___?"

    That just about says it all.
     
  62. "... If someone is doing something that they have every legal right to do perhaps try talking to the person and work out your differences..."

    Most people avoid confrontation. Hnnce they'd rather call the cops. This issue boild down to what is known in commercial world "fair use policy". Yes, you have legal rights. But if you abuse them by doing what a reasonable person is likely to object to, be prepared to cop the consequences. Count yourself lucky that the parents called the cops instead of taking the law in their own hands.
     
  63. That just about says it all.
    Yes, it most certainly does. And I'll say it again: who give a flying f___ what they think in the Middle East about anything? If you do, then you're an idiot.
     
  64. Specifically, there are places in the middle east where women can't leave their houses without their husband's permission. Places where people have their hands chopped off for petty theft and are hanged for being homosexuals or beheaded for being the wrong religion. So why should anyone particularly care about any sentence that starts with "there are cultures, such as in the Middle East..."?
     
  65. Ocean, I'm not going there.

    I'm more interested in what people think about the questions that I raised, because they are where the rubber hits the road.
     
  66. Or rather, they are where the rubber hits the road if one insists on treating this as a legal issue rather than an issue of civility.
     
  67. The question in this instance really has to do with inappropriate behavior by the police
    though, and whether he should just let that slide.. You seem to want to ignore that aspect of
    it.
     
  68. The option not to treat it as a legal issue was foreclosed by the police. Complain to them.
     
  69. "...he or she takes a swing at you, or trashes your camera, to stop..."....."...If the parent then takes the film by force,...."

    The initiation, or the threat of the initiation, of the use of physical force against another person is wrong.........legally and morally. It is at the core of all human rights. It is the reason why human rights are so crucial. There is no middle ground on this issue. The first person to use physical force, or threaten the use of physical force, is wrong......always.
     
  70. I will preface this with the fact that I am the father of a teenage girl. Of course there are nut jobs out there and we must protect our kids from them as best we can. A photograph of my daughter sitting on a park bench or riding a rollercoaster or whatever in public is less dangerous to her than going to school full of teenage boys.

    I tend not to photograph kids that are not mine. But at the same time if I am shooting a park, or a streetscape or any other public venue and I happen to capture someones kid(s) in the frame and the parent objects then I am sorry but they have no right to demand a damn thing. If they are nice about it and politely ask I probably would just delete it and reshoot but if they were hostile I would refuse. Honestly have never has anyone complain.

    I wonder how many of these parents who get all upset when some stanger with a camera is withing 100 yards of their kids look carefully and destroy any pictures that they happened to snap of their kids where any other kids happen to be in frame? My guess is NONE.


    The more aggregious part of the original post is the actions of the police.

    "let me save you some time if i EVER SEE YOU TAKING PICTURES AROUND CHILDREN AGAIN I WILL PIN SOMETHING ON YOU AND *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* YOU OVER."

    This kind of behavior should not be tolerated from a public servent. Report the officer's action to his supervisor (head of detectives?) and copy the department's internal affairs department and citizens oversight board if detroit has one. Of course proving the allegation will be next to impossible but if he spoke to you this way perhaps others have reported him as well and multiple complaints cannot be dismissed as easily.

    Also report the entire event to your local paper and TV stations.

    I hope it all works out for you.
     
  71. "Or rather, they are where the rubber hits the road if one insists on treating this as a legal issue rather than an issue of civility." - robert edge, Mar 26, 2007; 02:07 a.m.
    Oh, is this merely about civility?, manners?, maintaining comportment?
    Oh dear, oh my, oh whatever will we do without manners! Egad! Polly! I'm offended, old boy! Do you hear me! Offended, put off, tweaked, razzed, undone, bent, my good will and social bearing listing in a see of syph'd plebs! Mein Gott! So viele schmutzige Zigeuner! Aus hier heraus! Betrachten Sie nicht meine Kinder! Wo ist die Polizei? Jemand rufen die Polizei an! Diese Person ist regelwidrig!
    Civility, humph! What does civility have to do with a free society? Little - that is the answer - when civility becomes the sole measure of that society and the basis for laws; oddly enough, the more "civility" the less freedom, that's generally the routine.
    Those who cry out for civility in these issues aren't out to be polite, only to enforce their narrow-gaged concept of civility. We have a saying in the States: Freedom for me but not for thee. Man, I hate those types.
    Civility should be enforced on a forums community, perhaps. On an entire society of freemen - no way. So pardon my Irish, but fook ewe an' yair civility.
    C.
     
  72. I reckon you're lucky, you could've ended up with your camera stuffed somewhere mighty uncomfortable. Ian .photo.net patron, Mar 26, 2007; 01:49 a.m.
    Mwakmwakmwakmwakmwakmwakmwak, lucky, mwakmwakmwakmwakmwak, camera, mwakmwakmwakmwakmwak mighty... whatever.
     
  73. "Here's another question that I raised, and that has also not been addresed. If a parent objects to you taking a photograph of his or her child, and you do it anyway, is the parent liable criminally for assault and civily damages, if he or she takes a swing at you, or trashes your camera, to stop you from photographing their ten year old?"

    If you bothered to read the responses above you would have found that this issue HAS been addressed.
     
  74. Civility is merely civility, police misconduct is something entirely different.

    The police's job is to enforce the law as written, no more, no less. It's not supposed to matter at all whether the like who you are or what you're doing. Their own personal feelings should theoretically have nothing to do with it.

    But sometimes you get a cop where it's all about his Superman fantasies, saving the world from anything he deems wrong, the law be damned. Sadly, complaining about a cop you don't have on videotape is pretty much useless.

    I often wonder what percentage of people who go absolutely nuts over stuff like this had something ugly happen when they were young, and have a chip on their shoulder ever after, social workers especially.

    We had a well-publicized case of a deranged social worker on a witchhunt here in San Diego a few years ago: Jim Wade's testimony before the Senate
     
  75. contact a local newspaper. If they don't help you, no one will​
    Haha, are you kidding? Who do you think whipped up all the hysteria in the first place? Newspapers paranoid about "citizen journalists" destroying their business. Go to the ACLU, at least they're neutral.
     
  76. Any bets your photos have already been downloaded and the card destroyed? I recetnly saw what others have seen photographing groups of kids in public areas, the chaperons are overly protective to the point of not talking with you first but reporting you to the police. I didn't fully realize this until recently photographing on the University of Washingto campus, specificially the Burke Museum when I saw a group of kids crossing the street going to the musuem. Reviewing the images, the adults were clearly "concerned" if not worse, but being on the UW campus there wasn't much they could do about it.
    Suggestion? Next time when you finish a shoot, switch cards to a near empty one and keep the full ones separate from the camera so if any authorities illegally confiscate the camera, you have the images to prove your side of the story. And photographs any ordinance signs about access and use of the park.
    Good luck.
     
  77. "Go to the ACLU, at least they're neutral.Go to the ACLU, at least they're neutral.Go to
    the ACLU, at least they're neutral."


    As one who has had occasion to call the ACLU, I can tell you that they are a joke!
     
  78. I don't think you are wrong and would get an attorney. I think there is a time and place to photograph kids. I think the police have to understand why you are taking the pictures. If I ever photograph a child be sure there's no question about why I'm doing it...
    00KVNi-35707484.jpg
     
  79. I agree that this sounds like a legal issue and should be dealt with as such. I also believe our civil liberites are important and must be defended. I like the comparison made to smoking in public. Is it obnoxious - perhaps, illegal-no. If we got rid of all the uncivilized people there would be very few of us left behind. And I agree that since this happened in America it is not necessary to include the social mores of other countries in this discussion.

    As a side note:
    Personally I wonder how many of these complaining parents are the same ones that in a few years will let their 13 year old kids dress like total sluts at school? After all, if they're that worried about other people's morals, you think they'd do a better job teaching them at home.
     
  80. Good old American cops.
     
  81. And good old American hysteria.
     
  82. It seems to me that what we need is more people taking photographs of children in parks. That way the perverts would be reluctant to be there because they might also be photographed.

    Also on the matter of Adults not entering a playground without a child in tow, who says people with kids can't be perverts as well and use their kids to get close to other peoples kids?

    It seems to me that most if not all of these restrictions are put in place by people who really do not think very clearly. In the end it's not worth the hassel to take photographs of other peoples children (probably not even your own).
     
  83. Dennis, I completely agree with ALL of your points.
     
  84. I don't think anyone can fault the parents for calling the cops. It's the conduct of the responding officers that needs to be looked into. They certainly had the right to question your activities but to treat you as they did and to seize your equipment was out of line. I don't think it'd be too difficult to find a attorney who would take this case pro bono.
     
  85. <img src="http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/0465014909.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg">
    <p>
    this is a good read, touches on a lot of the issues discussed here
     
  86. I really wonder how easy it is to get redress against the cops in a case like this. When cops
    acts the way these cops did it is because they know they can get away with it. It might be
    easier on the soul to ask the local druid to cast a spell.
     
  87. People should remember only one side of the story is being told here...
     
  88. robert edge: please stop name dropping all the different cultures and countries you have adventurously traveled. photographing veiled women and purchasing car insurance in jordan have NOTHING to do with this discussion.

    i believe you said in one post you are a lawyer? if i'm wrong i'm sorry, but your responses are typical of the 'lawyer stereotype' - muddle the facts with mundane information and get loud.

    do stick with the issue of vincent being treated horribly by someone of the law, his rights violated, and having personal property taken from him. (illegaly?)
     
  89. Paranoids are everywhere today, unfortunately.
     
  90. "Pervs are everywhere today, unfortunately."
    Mwakmwakmwak PERVERTS! mwakmwakmwakmwak EVERYWHERE! - go read some data, puhleeze.
    Your damned kids are under attack by corporate interests every day, grooming them to become wage slaves by the millions, to be sexy sluts for some Madison Ave ad-whore. Your own mind has been bent by media proclaiming PERVERTS EVERYWHERE! Beginning to wonder if anybody has a mind of their own these days.
    C.
     
  91. claudia,

    To whom are you asking this?

    If you are referring to Vincent Verna, if we take his story at face value, he was MHOB and the police confiscated his cameras and associated paraphernalia and required him to drive to the police station to get it back. When he appeared, he was read the riot act by a police officer and although he got the cameras back, he did not get his memory cards back. Additionally, he was threatened with being charged with a 'trumped up' crime if he ever photographed children again.

    Now, as many here have said - we only have Vincent's word for this all having happened. If it did not, or if the truth is substantially different from Vincent's version of the story, then indeed, this may all be a tempest in a teapot.

    If, however, the story is substantially true - I do not think he is over-reacting at all. Think about it - a police officer confiscates your possessions, then gives some of them back grudgingly, but refuses to give them all back - without charging you with any crime. Then he threatens to make up false charges if you do something that is perfectly legal (take photos of children).

    Do you actually think this should be ignored?

    My initial advice to Vincent still holds - I suggest he contact an attorney and get to the bottom of this. If the police are going around taking people's property without justification (or legal basis), that's a problem. If they are threatening to make up false criminal charges to prevent people from doing legal things that they don't happen to like, that's even worse. A phone call from an attorney should serve to set the wheels in motion to find out what happened. How is that over-reacting?
     
  92. I cannot remember why someone was talking about hiring cars in Jordan, but you definitely do need insurance. I hired cars several times there and you would have to be daft not to get insurance.
     
  93. Sorry, claudia. "You" gets a little generic over multiple thread participants. One never knows to whom you are responding unless by chance it appears directly below that person's statement. In your case, it did, but I didn't quite grok that. Sorry.

    In any case, I do agree with CE that the common perception that there our culture is awash in perverts is essentially incorrect. It is a lot more reported now - and that's a good thing - but the fear-mongers would have us cowering in our homes, since every priest, every athletic coach, every school teacher, and every scout leader is undoubtedly drooling after our children - and so is everyone online. Parents should worry - and care about their children's safety. But the media should not blow everything out of proportion.

    And the part of that which really bothers me is the constant refrain from those who wish to be protected from all of life's dangers. "If it saves the life of one innocent child, it is worth it to give up that liberty." Urgh.
     
  94. The other day, Mike Dixon addressed another statement that similarly hinted at an explosion in the number of predators. This is what he said:
    Mike Dixon prolific poster, Mar 24, 2007; 04:07 a.m.
    [Beginning with a quote from an earlier post]"i mean with all the perverts out there today,. . ."
    It would be much more accurate to say "with all the paranoia about perverts out there today." The overwhelming majority of child abductions are committed by family members (generally parents involved in a custody dispute), and the overwhelming majority of child sexual abuse is committed by family members or people known by the family. Random guys with cameras make good candidates for media attention and public outrage, but they represent a very, very, very small percentage of people committing crimes against children

    .
    I strongly agree with Mike's post.
     
  95. I like Dennis' idea, "It seems to me that what we need is more people taking photographs of
    children in parks. That way the perverts would be reluctant to be there because they might
    also be photographed." Why not say you're photographing the adults and others to ensure
    the safe environment of the children. You're providing a public service to the city and the
    parents, documenting everyone there at that time free of charge. How can they call that
    illegal? Wouldn't everyone love that, even the elected officials and media, "Photographer helps
    make playgrounds safe."
     
  96. Presuming your lawyer approves the idea, file a complaint against the officers and detective with the Internal Affairs Department of Detroit PD.

    Good luck,
     
  97. "Do you think you may be over-reacting just a leeeetle? I do." - claudia smith, Mar 26, 2007; 03:14 p.m.
    Negatory. Nyet. Nein. Non. Uh-uh. You stated "Pervs are everywhere today, unfortunately." which is not even close to valid and reeks of the same paranoia that landed the OP in hot water to begin with. I think I was pretty fair in my comments, suggesting your... OUR... MY... kids are up *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* Creek without a paddle or, in too many instances, a stable, logical, grounded hand to guide them through, and the threat isn't perverts but those of the media and government that prey on our young people (and old) using fear and loathing in order to fuel consumerism and obedience/dependence, and corporations in need of low-dollar minions to staff ever-increasing service-sector staffing needs, all in the name of unparalleled profit.
    ""Pervs are everywhere today, unfortunately."
    Your words. Verbatim. And positively not accurate.
    The S&D forum is the last forum I cruise (perv pun there, didjya like it?) with regularity on photo.net, due largely to the fact that the subject matter greatly interests me and that I generally find Jeff Spirer to be a decent moderator. I've banged heads on pnet in the past, finally grew sick of the anonymous mods deleting without explanation and reason too often, cranked up my own forums, and away we went. I've never been able to attract enough attention there for others with similar S&D interests, so I continue to contribute here, off and on.
    That said, it pisses me off to no end when these discussions get sideways in the lane on behalf of folks who toss out inane, fallacious arguments and expect others to bite their tongues, others with a vested interest in public-space photography and concerned about the erosion of photographers' rights, in the USA, and elsewhere. This thread is not the first time we've seen statements like yours ("Pervs are everywhere today, unfortunately."), nor is this the first time we've seen folks who post these pitiful remarks attempt to sidestep the inevitable reaction to their comments, complaining in the process at the unfair treatment they're receiving. If people insist on chucking defenseless BS into the discussion, expect it to get challenged, chewed up, spit out.
    The USA has many faults, but one of the shining champions of our nation and society is the idea that all men are created equal, and all have the right to life, liberty, and happiness; that we are all endowed with the right to free speech and expression, no matter how heinous - I think Bill touched on something similar, but not going to backtrack to find out: The speech and expression of the most hateful is protected in order that my voice be free to sound out in protest.
    The right to free speech and expression, as I understand them, trump your or any others' need to feel secure from any imaginable threat.
    Perverts - what defines a pervert anyhow? I'm probably on that NO-BOARD list come to think of it... perverts are not the problem.
    What people think and feel is not criminal. The act is the issue, and what we should be concerned with, and unfortunately the best way to handle that end of it is on a case-by-case basis, not by blanket-partying the population with legislation criminalizing certain, non-harmful behaviors in the public space.
    My taking photographs is not a threat. I'm only interested in recording light as I see it. Sometimes the light reflecting from children at play is appealing to me and my camera. Still, not a threat.
    Does it make you or some other uncomfortable? Perhaps.
    Do I care? No.
    Does that make me rude or otherwise lacking civility? Again, perhaps, but as defined by who?; and why should I care about being considered rude or uncivilized, especially by people who lack fundamental understanding and appreciation for the Constitution and its protections against such attacks on our movements, our activities, our speech, our expression.
    My concern - note, not yet fear - is that our society, rocked by political and social issues, is hellbent down the same path taken by the UK. I don't need to elaborate on the surveilance matter there, or other issues pertaining to civil rights. Worse yet, the idea of our society becoming as restrictive as many in other parts of the world - where ANY protest, is met with a rifle butt. Where personal speech and expression is deemed blasphemy or heresy, or as being offensive to the State and punished accordingly.
    That dog won't hunt. Nossir.
    C.
     
  98. Yer free to have the opinion that "Pervs are everywhere today, unfortunately."

    I'm free to point out that it's BS.

    Other cultures are not this culture. They do not factor into this equation.

    I have term papers due. Toodles.

    C.
     
  99. CE - your posts make no sense at all.
     
  100. Thank you, Ronaldo.
     
  101. Pretty convincing argument CE, you've got my vote.

    20 years ago you could photograph children in a park or playground without thinking twice about it. The freedoms have already been eroded. We live in a time when the lowest common denominator is king, and people too often decide to suspect the worst instead of trusting in good.
     
  102. They'd stone the dogshit outta Norman Rockwell these days. It's pretty sad.
     
  103. Ronaldo, I have to say that if I were the original poster and was telling the story as I witnessed it, your inferences that I was making the whole thing up would be very offensive to me. You seem to think this sort of story just doesn't happen. I know better.
     
  104. "They'd stone the dogshit outta Norman Rockwell these days. It's pretty sad."

    Think about Gigi. "Thank heaven, for leeeetle girls!"
     
  105. "CE - your posts make no sense at all".
     
  106. CE...........your Mar 26, 2007; 06:31 p.m. post makes perfect sense.
     
  107. steve_g|2

    steve_g|2 Posting to strangers is just a hobby of mine.

    CE, I've not been on this forum in a year or so but it's still the same.
     
  108. This is a case for ACLU. Do you have that detective's name? I'd ensure his feet don't touch the ground between here and dismissal.

    This is just another aspect of the hysteria whipped up to distract from the monstrosities perpetrated by those who claim to act in our interest.

    The world is increasingly falling into the hands of those with very small minds.
     
  109. And here is my 2c. . . I come originally from South Africa but am now residing in the UK. I still get the knee jerk reaction of wanting to shut down anyone with an opinion that doesn't agree with mine esp when they are quite agressive about it. That is what happens when everything you read see or hear is controlled by the government and you are brought up to believe that is the way things should be (pre 1995). To me even the UK is unbelievably free even when big brother is watching through hundreds of cameras. Every one of you have been able to express your opinion on this forum valid or not, that to me is amazing. You are excersising your right to free expression and it is one that I believe you should defend. So yeah report those cops, take whatever legal action you think necessary. Life is becoming way to controlled by paranoia. . . .
     
  110. Nedine: thank you for your insights. Not sure life is controlled so much by paranoia, not directly at any rate. The paranoia is symptomatic, brought on by the sickness of not thinking for ourselves. I've never been outside of the USA, so I can only address our plight, here.
    One thing I do know is that Americans increasingly are being led to believe they're genuii without having to prove it. It's slick, it's cunning, it's the wolf in sheep's clothing, and it lends itself to attribution, as in folks allowing themselves to be baited down a bad road and not being able to admit they were duped when they finally awaken and realize they've been had, refusing to hold themselves accountable.
    Perhaps OT, but I think germane to my current post: I spend time digging through the combat videos on LiveLeak, watching both US/Allied forces deploy against the partisans, and watching partisan videos of their counterattacks and offensive moves. I note both sides employing music, and in the case of the partisans, some use of political/religious statements either read aloud or scrolled in text.
    Both sides' videos trouble me in some regards, but the one affecting me most seems to be the video of US troops. I don't know who's post-editing the videos to lay sound over them, but many of these videos end up looking like bad commercials for violent combat video games, complete with hard rock music.
    It is a curious thing, and yet, when I consider the marketing for actual RP/FPS games such as, oh, Rainbow Six, etc., it makes perfect sense. We have thousands of troops engaged in the field who grew up super-saturated by this sort of element; their friends and family back home - presumably those who are reworking the clips - are also part and parcel of the violent game culture.
    My bringing this up is not meant to be a condemnation of those who edit the clips, nor is it an attack on the gaming industry. I love a good sniper match of Unreal Tournament now and again, my damned self, so I'm not immune to the sickness.
    Humans will always have need of bogeymen. African slaves, homosexuals, women seeking equal opportunities, Hispanics immigrating legally or otherwise, H1B seekers... somebody will always have to carry the badge of persona non grata, here, and elsewhere. Failure to think critically leaves one open to manipulation by opportunistic entities. Again, the media, the government, the local Fred Phelps...I don't want to see something as innocent as public photography become a lynchable offense, not even a behavior deemed socially unacceptable with practicioners openly harrassed by all.
    And a note on police: I live in a conservative region of the country. Gawd is King and so on. I've been shooting on the street here for nearly 4 years and have captured a bit of everything in front of my lens. The police have always been fair to me, even when I was working closely with a 24mm lens while an arrest was in progress, though I have no press credentials and am affiliated with no organization.
    I do not fear them.
    C.
     
  111. Sorry..I've been far too busy following the Anna Nicole Smith story to participate in some silly debate about civil liberties, but C.E. seems to make sense.
     
  112. This is a case for the ACLU. It is most likely that anything stated verbally by any of the cops
    will be denied. Did the cops give you anything in writing. They were keeping memory cards
    did you get anything like a receipt. If you got the cops' names it might help. Even if you
    cannot make anything stick against them there may have been other complains against them.
    If indeed everything happened as you said, the worst thing to do is to do nothing.

    So, Brad, what's the other side of this story?
     
  113. It' s late in Japan. Second sentence should read: They kept your memory cards. Did you get
    anything like a receipt from them?
     
  114. "So, Brad, what's the other side of this story?"

    Some of you people are living in a dream world!

    http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=&q=boy+kidnapped&ie=UTF-8
     
  115. http://www.thekansascitychannel.com/news/11264218/detail.html
     
  116. This just happened!

    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070316/NATION/
    703160367/1020
     
  117. Bad Link...


    "A 6-year-old boy who vanished a week ago while playing near his trailer home was
    found slain Thursday, and police said they would probably charge a registered sex
    offender and three other neighbors with murder.

    The partially concealed body of Christopher Michael Barrios was discovered by a state
    ranger about three miles from the youngster's home, authorities said...."
     
  118. Yes, Robert. Children get kidnapped. It happens, and it is tragic. I don't think anyone has denied that crimes like this happen. I think what is denied is that there are perverts and pedophiles and kidnappers lurking behind every camera lens.

    Your google queries don't show me that any photographers kidnapped any children. Nor does it show me that any kidnappers referred to photographs they had seen to find their victims.

    So I fail to see how kidnapping of children would be affected in the slightest by banning photography of children.

    Showing that children get kidnapped does not show how photography of children is related to that sad fact.
     
  119. " Your google queries don't show me that any photographers kidnapped any
    children"


    No, but it does show why some people are hyper vigilant these days.
     
  120. If the goal of hyper-vigilant parents is to keep their children from being kidnapped, they would achieve just as much by banning smoking as by banning photography of children - since neither have any connection whatsoever to the kidnapping of children, neither would have any affect at all, other than to restrict the rights of others.

    "Hyper vigilant" is an explanation. It is not an excuse, nor is it a license to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens so that they can feel better.
     
  121. WW - I have been told that I was "on my way to the morgue" by a cop. I am well
    aware of police stepping over their boundaries.
     
  122. robert, when was the last time you saw 'positive news' on the news or in the newspaper? of course you will be able to show us examples of the negatives. re: the 5 year old. who lets their 5 year old play outside un attended? maybe some common sense is needed? better parenting education?

    how about this: BREAKING NEWS STORY: 12 year old plays in park with friends...has good time.

    when people are fed the negative story day in and day out, of course they will think negatively.

    your links do nothing but spread fear, and they have nothing to do with photographers. this woman who tried kidnapping the boy was alone and just walking around. maybe we should try and ban solo walks?
     
  123. " the 5 year old. who lets their 5 year old play outside un attended"

    When I was growing up everyone did! This incident didn't happen in a vacuum, like
    Brad said, there is two sides to every story.
     
  124. there are..

    Kids, the big bad wolf is out there, don't trust anyone without a camera. :)
     
  125. there are two sides to every story, and true we are not hearing the other side, but behind this particular incident there is that over riding concern that CE brought up...

    ..."...What people think and feel is not criminal. The act is the issue, and what we should be concerned with, and unfortunately the best way to handle that end of it is on a case-by-case basis, not by blanket-partying the population with legislation criminalizing certain, non-harmful behaviors in the public space..."

    that is unfortunately what is happenning with street photography. You raise a camera, and you are judged right then and there. You are immediately thought to be thinking the worse possible scenario that the public can dream up. Jeez, if they do want to make "thought" a crime, THEY are the criminals. They thought it up. 99.999999% of photographers don't even have those thoughts in their head. It's the light! It's the daily life of things. Like someone said above, we take pictures of whatever is in front of us that looks interesting, some happen to be kids. As a matter of fact, if you ever want to photograph human nature untouched by societies touch, it's kids that show just how much of a joy it is to be human.

    I raised two kids, I now have two grandchildren......i take pics of them all the time. If their friends are over, I take pics of them. If I see a kid doing something interesting on the street, I take a pic of them. I've never been hassled.....not once......and a quick description of me would be "Grizzly Adams". If someone is taking pics of my grandkids these days, I just pay attention. But, honestly, no more attention than I do any other stranger that approaches them. That concern is prudent. But to think that just because they have a cam in their hands, they are "up to something"....that's being paranoid.

    Now, if they did do something, camera or not, believe me.......I'd probably earn my quick look description of "grizzly adams"........but, like CE said.....it's the action that I judge. Just like I said above, the person is wrong if the ininiate physical force against another person.........that is when they are wrong.

    I cannot stress this anymore. You DON'T want even the whiff of thought control to enter into the USA's legal system. Because if it does, some day YOUR pasttime will be considered illegal......I guarantee it.
     
  126. http://www.queenscourier.com/articles/2007/03/09/news/cover_story/
    news01.txt

    I'm outa here, enjoy the day folks! :)
     
  127. when was the last time you saw 'positive news' on the news
    In the US, watch the public broadcast system PBS and contribute cash to it to keep it going. Interesting informative intelligent positive news all over the place- the way it ought to be- along with the serious political problems we face.
     
  128. http://www.queenscourier.com/articles/2007/03/09/news/cover_story/news01.txt
     
  129. Most people don't even know what 'street photography' is. If it doesn't fit into
    some neat little compartmentalized category they understand or if it is not officially
    sanctioned they are prone to be
    suspicious. We may be in for a day when to photograph in public you need a license just like
    you need a license to drive a car. Best thing for now is to be smart, be fast when you have to,
    and act like you own the
    street and someone wants you to be there.
     
  130. Borat...

    "Did you enjoy our fast food?
    I like very much U.S. fast-food chain named ?Garbage.? They serve their food from
    convenient waist-high containers locate on most American streets. They has outlets
    all across country, the menu constant change, and the food is free! My second
    favorite is the one run by a red-headed clown who resemble Gogol, the famous
    Kazakh sex criminal. It very convenient, particular because the playpen have glass
    windows, allowing you to take beautiful photograph of the young childrens inside."

    :)
     
  131. "...act like you own the street and someone wants you to be there..."

    heh...words to live by.
     
  132. A little dose of actual facts, to distract us from the much-more entertaining news story freakouts:

    http://www.securitymanagement.com/library/NIJ_Abduction0303.pdf

    "During the study year, there were an estimated 115 stereotypical kidnappings, defined as abductions perpetrated by a stranger or slight acquaintance and involving a child who was transported 50 or more
    miles, detained overnight, held for ransom or with the intent to keep the child permanently, or killed."

    While 115 is a horrifying number, consider that is out of nearly 300 million citizens, 74 million of which are technically children.

    http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/196465.pdf

    "Contrary to the common assumption that abduction is a principal reason why children become missing, the NISMART?2 findings indicate that only a small minority of missing children were abducted, and most
    of these children were abducted by family members (9 percent of all caretaker missing children). Close to 3 percent of caretaker missing children were abducted by a nonfamily perpetrator; among these, an
    extremely small number (90) were victims of stereotypical kidnapping."

    I realize that this stuff is dull, boring, uninteresting. We'd all much rather respond to the rising hysteria that children are being abducted left and right, and that sinister street photographers who snap photos of children and post them on websites for perverts to track down and kidnap the child later are lurking in every city park, but apparently...it just isn't true.

    Imagine that, the media telling us lies. I'm shocked.

    Now perhaps we can all calm down just a tiny bit. No, the world ain't safe, and your kids need to be watched because there ARE bad people out there, but there is no need to take the cameras away from the street photographers just yet.
     
  133. I still trust cops more than I trust some stranger with a camera. Get over it. Let him file a complaint and get on with his life. And I'll be happy to ship all the death row inmates to some country club overseas. Haven't noticed anyone really wants them though.
     
  134. OT: Cops are so named because of their former Copper badges.
     
  135. OT: "The Patty Wagon was first used by the British when they would transport Irish
    prisoners in the wagons and they would refer to them as "patties", short for St
    Patricks."
     
  136. 'Paddywagon', not "Patty Wagon." Pádraig is Irish for Patrick and the diminutive is Paddy. The term was coined in the USA, and was the wagon used to transport drunks en masse. Common stereotypes of the time labeled Ireland as a land of drunkards; thus, a Paddywagon was supposed to be used to haul besotted Irishmen.
     
  137. "'Paddywagon', not "Patty Wagon" WW - You are correct, that has always been my understanding of the term as well.
    00KWol-35727484.jpg
     
  138. Paddy Wagon...

    http://www.ebluce.com/eblucecollection/
     
  139. oops...

    http://www.ebluce.com/eblucecollection/archive/transportation/paddywagon1.html.
     
  140. It is kinda fitting that this thread ends up on the paddy wagon. What would you think
    if you were Irish and being thrown into one? Think your going to get a fair trial? Ahh,
    the good old days! :)

    (Others also say that they were called paddy wagons because of all the Irish cops)
     
  141. Wow this thread really blew up in the last day! Thanks for everyones input both positive
    and negative.

    After speaking with my lawyer I've decided to move on with life; I'm a senior in university
    and crammed with projects, my financial situation is such that some 5 year olds probably
    have more savings than I do and most of all I just want to put it behind me. I'd rather just
    buy a new CF card than spend thousands of dollars in lawyers fees to find myself turned
    into the next ''example'' by Detroits crooked administration. These are the same police
    who threw a news reporter through a plate glass window for asking questions.

    Luckily I've also had the pleasure of meeting around a dozen officers who understand the
    rights of photographers and I'm hoping that from today foreward every officer that I meet
    is as professional as they have been.
     
  142. Thought I'd share this quote with everyone here this is from a member on another internet
    forum and it gave me a good laugh.

    "Everybody grab your children and run. There's a prowler on the loose and he's shooting your
    kids with a Canon."
     
  143. Totally OT: Obama has irish roots. At one time some people feared that the Irish
    would become the dominate race world wide. :)

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/article2356774.ece
     
  144. vincent, by not doing anything, you do others next in line a great dis-service. while i understand that funds stop you from hiring a lawyer, i would really advise you to file a formal complaint with the police department and to make a few phone calls to a local paper.

    if you let this just go away, that same cop will use the same attitude again and again.
     
  145. Matt, I will be filing a complaint with the Cheif of Police and the Internal Investigations
    Department. I won't however be persuing anything in the courts.
     
  146. Vincent, do not overlook conveying your story to your local newspaper. Even a simple
    letter to the editor would be better then nothing.
     
  147. "the fact of the matter is that there are big signs in every Manhattan public playground area that prohibits adults from entering unless they are accompanied by children."

    You New York types are a sick bunch.
     
  148. But it IS perfectly legal to stand outside the playground area with a 70-200 and take pictures
    of the kids.... of course those probably wouldn't be very interesting pictures so I doubt a
    serious photog would even bother.
     
  149. " prohibits adults from entering unless they are accompanied by children."

    Remember when it was exactly the opposite?
     
  150. >>> But it IS perfectly legal to stand outside the playground area with a 70-200 and take
    pictures of the kids

    And you do understand that you may even be more likely to be *questioned* by the police
    shooting under such circumstances, right?
     
  151. I deeply admire the people with the character (and the money) to exercise their rights in the face of inappropriate behavior by police or other authorities. I had my own much less traumatic experience with the railroad police recently.

    While I can understand how parents can be afraid and paranoid, that doesn't give them the right to assault anyone -- and it doesn't give the police the right to make up the laws. But making them see that will probably involve a lawsuit with a big enough payout to get the authority's attention. Sad but often true.

    I am an amateur landscape photographer mostly and work hard to exclude people from my pictures. Even so I've had at least one guy running at me and screaming because I was taking a picture of the side of his apartment building (it was my complex and I was just walking around for exercise). Whether you have the right to take a picture or not, most people will respect someone's desire not to have a picture taken if it's just presented calmly and reasonably (at least for non-news photographers).

    If the department has a public affairs department, maybe they would be something to try. If not, I hope your lawyer rakes them over the coals. It's probably the only way that the policy of the precinct involved will change.
     
  152. Strange why people should worry so much about people photgraphing their kids in a public place when the figures show that the majority of child abuse cases involve people known to the child.
    A study in three states found 96 percent of reported rape survivors under age 12 knew the attacker. Four percent of the offenders were strangers, 20 percent were fathers 16 percent were relatives and 50 percent were acquaintances or friends. Among women 18 or older, 12 percent were raped by a family member, 33 percent by a stranger and 55 percent by an acquaintance. http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/PUBLICATIONS/factsheet/fsabuse1.htm
    Perhaps on this evidence we should lock up fathers as a matter of course, just in case.
     
  153. If someone wants to photograph my children they can come up to me and ask. If they don't ask I will approach them politely and ask them not to do it.

    Where your camera ends up is totally dependant on your response and whether you think your rights are more valuable to you than the safety of my children is to me. I am not the police. It is not my obligation to protect your rights. It is my obligation to protect my children. You can say that children aren't kidnapped and killed by photographers- that isn't the point. They are kidnapped and killed by people with an inappropriate preoccupation with children...
    maybe like some adult male spending his afternoon on a playground. The fact that a child molester has a camera or not is irrelevent. If you were carrying a pipe wrench should I feel better because plumbers don't kidnap children as a rule? Here's what we DO KNOW. Child Molesters like pictures of kids. It is their porn. Here's a sinle guy with a camera at a playground. What part of that doesn't raise red flags?

    Take pictures of your own children. Your free speech does not include my children who made no conscious decision to be photographed.

    You have all kinds of rights. You also have responsibilities with those rights and the onus is on you to use good judgement in certain instances. Sometimes you just have to be smarter than that. You have all the rights in the world to go inside of a crackhouse and take pictures. Just don't be surprised when you get shot, stabbed, or beaten to death by the crack dealers running the place.

    Tell the ACLU? They are the protectors of child molesters everywhere.

    For the record, I have no reason to believe you are a child molester. I also have no reason to believe you aren't. Whether or not the cops treated you fairly has nothing to do with the fact you made people at the park worried enough to call the cops.
     
  154. "Tell the ACLU? They are the protectors of child molesters everywhere."

    Oh, brother.... here's another one.

    "Where your camera ends up is totally dependant on your response and whether you think your rights are more valuable to you than the safety of my children is to me. I am not the police. It is not my obligation to protect your rights. It is my obligation to protect my children."

    More of the same old yaddayaddayadda. Another lardass weightlifter come to tell me he's 6'5 and 20-stone, eats coal for breakfast lunch and dinner. What makes you think yer just gonna shove anything up my anywhere? And...Protect your children from what? Cameras? If you don't understand how the law works, then you deserve what you get for exercising your "obligation to protect" your brats.

    "You also have responsibilities with those rights and the onus is on you to use good judgement in certain instances."

    No, John. The "onus" is next to your anus, and on you it apparently quivers like a schoolgirl at the sight of camera. Essentially, you are stating that any who dares exercise their rights in the public space - provided that right conflicts with your desires - is subject to immediate punishment at your hands. Yer a fool.

    The smart move would be to hustle your paranoid asses out of the park so that sane people might feel comfortable using it. We don't like you there.

    The law will remind you of that in both criminal and civil court, btw. You can't just launch into an attack because you feel skeered. Dubya, is thatchoo?

    You ruin our days everywhere we go with your paranoia and shrieking like some mutant from Invasion of the Body-Snatchers. Calling for the cops because some stranger took a photo of kids at play, because it reminded him of happier times in his life, or because it simply made for a nice photo - meanwhile, yer brother's fingering your five yr old when yer not looking. But hey, all pedophiles hang out in the park and shoot Leicas and are responsible for 99.9% of whatever child abductions occur. And you should know, because you read it... where... freerepublic? Some other neo-dirtbag fright-mag?

    Yeh, you better hide, come to think of it. Too dangerous out there in the world. All the...vermin... the filth of humanity.

    Just knowing that loose cannons like yourself and others hang out in parks - big brave badasses who spook at the sight of a stranger with a camera and commence to beating *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* out of said stranger - well, that scares me to death. Gee, Wally, what happened to America? Where'd all the hair-triggered chickenshits come from?

    C.
     
  155. And since turnabout is fair play, you should assume that us dirtbag shutterbugs are armed with pepper-spray... .357s... RPGs... whatever... have fun with it.... and we are aware that guys like you think it's cool to attack guys like us, you know, just 'cuz yer vagina spasmed when I came near... so assume that we too feel that same "right" to defense absent cause and will simply whip out the pepper spray and start tagging yer big ass the moment you do so much as fart while we're nearby. After all, everybody knows that big guys with bad nerves and hair-triggers intent on protecting their cubs tend to fart before charging. I know, I read it somewhere.
     
  156. I also wager these "complaints" don't come about half as often if the photographer is a female.
     
  157. If someone wants to photograph my children they can come up to me and ask. If they don't ask I will approach them politely and ask them not to do it.
    That's a perfectly reasonable response.
    Where your camera ends up is totally dependant on your response and whether you think your rights are more valuable to you than the safety of my children is to me.
    That, in my opinion, is not reasonable. Nor is it terribly smart. Frankly, if you ask me not to take photos of your children, I will probably honor your request. I understand your fear, and I've no desire to provoke confrontations with parents. Of course, if you decide to take it up a notch, you might want to be sure that you won't be doing yourself a disservice.
    I am not the police. It is not my obligation to protect your rights. It is my obligation to protect my children.
    You won't be able to do that well if you're in jail for assaulting photographers.
    Take pictures of your own children.
    We do. And other things. Amazingly, I don't generally consider it important to check in with you before I decide what or whom to photograph.
    Your free speech does not include my children who made no conscious decision to be photographed.
    Actually, it does. You might want to read up on that 'free speech' thing. A bunch of guys wearing black robes have pretty much said you're wrong. You can ask them.
    You have all the rights in the world to go inside of a crackhouse and take pictures.
    Actually, *that* would most likely be illegal, unless you invited us in.
    Tell the ACLU? They are the protectors of child molesters everywhere.
    Only in their spare time. Most of the time, they are very busy protecting neo-nazis and white supremacists. Or so I've heard.
    Honestly, John, you're either flaming for no particular reason other than to see what kind of reaction you get, or you really have no idea how the law works. I understand your desire to protect your children, all parents should have that kind of concern. But you as much as admit that you don't care what the facts are, you don't care what the law says, you're going to do what you want to do - and that's ok, because you're protecting your kids. May I just say - it was this attitude that otherwise decent people used to keep 'certain people' out of their neighborhoods twenty years ago. Think about it.
     
  158. Bill's right... I mean, yer not the only guy, John, who has kids and loves them with all his heart. I love my daughter, and my step-son, though no longer with his mother... not for the now, at least. If any moved to harm either of those three people, I would give my life to protect them. But will I flip a lid at every little thing I perceive to be a threat? No, and it would be foolish to do so.

    I find it odd that so many in this country continue to seek out bogeymen to destroy among the general population, while ignoring the larger threat manifested in corrupt politicians, administrators, corporate heads, and so on. Not just odd, but willfully blind.

    The truth of course, to my mind, seems to be that it's far easier to focus one's anger and fear on one's fellow man than it is to accept the task of contending with rancid elements of the aforementioned - politicians, administrators, corporate heads.

    C.
     
  159. I've got the baseball game on and they're showing little kids in the crowd. Close
    up no less. Must be either a left wing conspiracy or the network is just plain perverted.
     
  160. Everyone should be blinded at birth, so no-one can look at anything objectionable.
     
  161. <blockquote>Where your camera ends up is totally dependant on your response and whether you think your rights are more valuable to you than the safety of my children is to me.<blockquote>What makes you think anyone wants to take photos of your kids? Here's a clue, your children might be special to you, but to everyone else on the planet (that's 6 billion people) they just look like any other kids. The photographer is probably pissed off that your precious kids keep running into the shot he's trying to make. But you won't see a photographer come up to you and say keep your kids under control because photographers have basic manners, whereas you're just looking for a fight. Here's another free clue: you don't want to take a beating in front of your kids. Especially you don't want your kids to know their father got beaten and humiliated because they were bad.
     
  162. Ha, a kid is dying in the world every minute from hunger, disease, war.... Hey, as long as someone is not taking photos of your little Jimmy eating a doughnut.....that what matters.
    00KZqq-35793084.jpg
     
  163. Vincent, I'm just answering your original post, too tired to read the entire debate....
    I live in France (Paris), and a few years back, I had new lenses I wanted to test, so I went to the nearest park. I had a Canon 70-200 f/4 (a white one, clearly visible), and shot some birds and anything of interest. But I was not far from a playground.
    Within minutes, the park guards (not affiliated to police, they are just civil servants with no law enforcement rights), approached me and asked politely what I was shooting. I understood their concerned, and in the same time felt a little shocked that I could be assimilated to a pervert !
    I just replied I was testing my new lenses, shooting nothing special. We all stayed very polite, chat for 5 min, they were sastified with the answer and went away....
    Everyone is innoncent till proven guilty (at least, in democratic countries), but in many cases, it seems to be the contrary. It's also said at the beginning of the book of law that "no one shall be ignorent of the law".. easier said than done, most of the cops don't know anything about photography and image rights... If you know (or at least believe strongly) that you did nothing illegal, stay polite, but ferm....
    Good luck next time !
     
  164. I'd still like to know whether any of the "I have a constitutional right to do as I please" crowd is prepared to say that he or she disagrees with the New York by-law, as stated in prominent signs at every children's play area, that an adult cannot enter the area unaccompanied by a child and, if so, whether anyone has violated that law or intends to do so.
    Where I a citizen of the state of NY and my tax dollars had been used to create the public accomodation that is a public playground, I would be very irrate, and I would likely enter a park if the mood struck me fully prepared to take my case to court.
    However, since I am not a citizen of the state of NY, I don't plan on living there anytime soon, then I really don't care.
    Moreover, your assertion here seems to be that since it would be the civil thing to do to not take pictures without asking first, that it is therefore excusable for the police to violate one's rights.
    I'm sorry, but that is where we part company. I agree with you that it is in fact the civil thing to do to ask before taking a shot of kids. I'm a parent myself.
    However, I also happen to know that if I take my kids to a public park that the park is in fact public.
    If the account is correct and the police did act in the way they did, then it is a big deal. A civil society remains so only so long as the rule of law is in fact respected. That includes limits of authority being respected by those in authority.
    Is it as important as some other issues? No. But it is a violation rights -- and it was the police, not the poster, who made this a legal issue (again presuming the account is correct).
     
  165. There's indeed a positive side of your ordeal: "Count yourself lucky that the parents called the cops instead of taking the law in their own hands." Below, that photo, that shows a woman accusing me publicly of abusing and sexually harassing her and other children. The way i was accused gave me no room to proof her wrong, and many people (under which a lot of young children) could now have their doubts. For you, you were arrested, and the person(s) that called the cops will look rather foolish when your memory card shows them wrong. "Whether or not the cops treated you fairly has nothing to do with the fact you made people at the park worried enough to call the cops" I was NOT taking pictures, my camera was in my bag, i just walked by. "Worried people" can hurt you just as much as their own fears dwell.
    00KckR-35859084.JPG
     
  166. It took me awhile to find the NY law referred to in this thread.

    *** QUOTE ***

    ?1-05 Regulated Uses:
    (s) Exclusive Areas

    Areas within the parks designated by the Commissioner for exclusive use shall include:

    (1) Exclusive Childrens Playgrounds: Adults allowed in playground areas only when accompanied by a child under the age of twelve (12).

    *** END QUOTE ***

    First I had heard of it - and I've never seen such a sign. But I don't live in NY, don't visit all that often.

    I think it is a tad absurd, but I've come to expect such nonsense on both ends of the US. Like some potential kidnapper is going to read the sign, go "Oh, no, I guess I'll have to go somewhere else to kidnap a child!" and go find an unprotected park. Puh-leeze. Does anybody really think that works?

    Would I break such a law? No. I respect the law, and would only engage in civil disobedience if I had the time, money, desire, and energy to be arrested, prosecuted, and attempt to have the law ruled unconstitutional. I don't care what NY does. So I'd obey such a law, sigh at the silliness of those of a certain belief system that thinks such laws prevent crimes, and walk away to wherever freedom can still be found.
     
  167. Come on, let's all be realistic here. You have no press credentials. You don't have a kid in the park. We here know you mean no harm, just a photography enthusiast. And yes, kids are some of the most fun subjects to photograph because they haven't become self conscious yet.

    But to everyone else, there's just no way to tell if you are a threat or not. Legal, illegal... I'm not so sure I'd be completely fine with a guy in a park taking pictures of my kids.
     
  168. Come on, let's all be realistic here.
    I try to be.
    You have no press credentials.
    a) How do you know what I have? I've certainly had press credentials for various events I've covered. b) People tend to think that there is some 'permission slip' that 'news' photographers get, which 'ordinary' photographers don't. While news agencies may issue credentials to their employees to identify them to others, they have no legal standing and no legal meaning. They're not 'required' by anyone, for anything. I have 'credentials' from my employer. No one outside my employer is obligated to recognize them for anything.
    You don't have a kid in the park.
    So what? I don't own any statues in the park, but I can take photographs of 'em.
    We here know you mean no harm, just a photography enthusiast. And yes, kids are some of the most fun subjects to photograph because they haven't become self conscious yet.
    Glad to hear you ascribe no evil motives to me. If you read the thread, others here feel that's not true.
    But to everyone else, there's just no way to tell if you are a threat or not. Legal, illegal... I'm not so sure I'd be completely fine with a guy in a park taking pictures of my kids.
    And my point is - and sorry, this is harsh - I don't care if you're ok with my taking photos of your kid or not. You don't get a say. You have no rights when it comes to stopping a photographer from taking a photo of your child in a public setting. Your only recourse is to remove your child from public view.
    There are only two responses in this thread.
    The first is that photographers don't or shouldn't have the right to take photos of people who object to it.
    The second is that photographers may have the right, but should not do it as a matter of courtesy or public safety.
    I summarily reject the first - it isn't true, it hasn't been true, and to the best of my knowledge, it won't be true. Lots of folks are getting wrapped around the axle on that, but no one can point to a law that forbids photography of children in public - the NY law on adults not entering exclusive children's areas in public parsk notwithstanding.
    The second response (courtesy), I am willing to accede to in most circumstances, if requested. But *I* will choose when and if I will agree not to take a photograph. No one will demand it of me and get a positive response.
    So in the end - of those who don't want photos taken of children without permission, I am either a criminal or just plain rude. I'm ok with either definition - because they're both wrong from my point of view.
     
  169. i take great interest in this subject and just wanted to voice that i back wigwam up 100%
     
  170. But *I* will choose when and if I will agree not to take a photograph. No one will demand it of me and get a positive response.
    Unfortunately, in the real world, if the guy making the demands is bigger than you or aggressive enough, most of us are going to go along with what the demand is whether we really want to or not. The law isn't very useful at the moment when your physical safety is in jeopardy.
     
  171. Of course one must make decisions based upon the level of threat one perceives.

    Two thoughts - first, I've always operated under the scientific theory that I can run faster scared than you can mad. Second, I am always amazed at people who demand that I obey the law and stop taking photos without permission.

    When informed that there is no such law, they choose to break the law themselves to threaten me with assault. I guess what they're really saying is "I want you to do what I want you to do, the law be damned." Amazing, but if they want to be arrested that much, I have no trouble assisting them.
     
  172. Have to be careful with the "law" arguments, because bad laws are put in place quite often. This really isn't a matter of law at all, but one of inalienable rights as manifest in the Constitution of the United States of America.

    The key here is justice. Is it just for a law or person to restrict my right to freedom of expression, speech, and pursuit of happiness in the public space?

    I say no.

    C.
     
  173. Add to that protection from unlawful arrest/search/seizure, etc.
     
  174. I use 'law' as opposed to 'rights' in this sense because I will generally obey even a law that I believe to be unconstitutional. The exception would be if I were willing to be arrested, prosecuted, and attempt to prove the law unconstitutional in court. I do not have that luxury in my present circumstances, but I do not rule it out as a response; I applaud those who have the time, ability, and desire to 'take it all the way' to prove the law wrong when they believe it to be so. I have finally, in my middle age, learned that I cannot fight every battle, but must pick and choose my moments.
     
  175. I find this discussion interesting, especially in light of that guy that's been on the news lately because he's got a web site set up where he displays photographs of children he's taken in public arenas and then goes on to describe their "cuteness" factor, and what he'd like to do with them (hold them on his lap, cuddle them, etc.), and on other parts of the site, outlines for other pedophiles where they can go to be around children, how to avoid the cops, etc. ... and yet nothing can be done to this guy because he has somehow managed to stay legal. Creepy as can be, but legal.

    As a father, I get why people would be uncomfortable if someone were to just show up at the playground and start taking pictures of our kids. The images can't be legally published without a proper release, but I would then come to wonder why some stranger would want pictures of my daughter for his personal use. But on the same token, I find it hard to believe that the cops can't do anything to the guy in the situation on the news and yet they think they have a leg to stand on in harrassing the OP in his situation, at least based on the OP's description of events. And I agree with the sentiments that once you're in a public place, you can take pictures of whatever or whomever you want.
     
  176. "I agree with the sentiments that once you're in a public place, you can take pictures of whatever or whomever you want."

    In the USA those aren't sentiments, they are the law.
     
  177. David, I had not heard of this guy. Do you have a link to the news story?

    I 'get' why parents are uncomfortable also. I've never doubted it. And I have no burning desire to make people upset or angry - I'm not 'in their faces' about my rights to take photos.

    I have noted that the same 'uncomfortable' feeling that parents get when a stranger photographs their child is the same 'uncomfortable' feeling their parents or grandparents might have gotten if a person of a certain color or religion moved into their neighborhood a generation ago. If it would have been wrong for the last generation to run off a neighbor whose skin color made them uncomfortable, then it is wrong for a parent to run off a photographer whose photography makes him uncomfortable.
     
  178. "In the USA those aren't sentiments, they are the law."

    Um, I was referring to those who, on this board, had voiced the sentiment that they agree with that law.
     
  179. Wigwam - http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,262700,00.html

    Fox News is the main outlet reporting on it, but I did a search and found several other outlets that at least did a drive-by on it.
     
  180. David, thanks. No, I had NOT heard of this guy. What a sicko! As you say, he appears to flaunt his rights - and also as you said, the police say that he's not breaking the law. An example from the extreme edges, like Reverend Phelps or the KKK and so on. Ugly, ugly, but that's what the edges are in a free society. It squicks me to shrug and move on - but I don't know what else we as a society can do.
     
  181. Of course by the end of this I've forgotten 80% of what I wanted to respond to..ah well.

    I will say this - it's amazing how different the laws are in the US to here in Canada!

    I have a link too:
    http://digital-photography-school.com/blog/photographers-rights-and-photography-privacy-advice/

    Canada - things are a tad more strict here!
    http://ambientlight.ca/laws.shtml
     
  182. Wow! I'm new to the site and still exploring. Great discussion, aside from the occasional snitty comments.

    Posting from New Zealand, and having come from the UK, I can't comment on the American issues being thrown up. All I can say that I know of friends in both countries who have been advised that photographing children in public places wasn't welcome. It wasn't enshrined in law that photographs couldn't be taken, it was requested that they weren't. In one instant it was the childs grandfather at the boys first swimming lesson. Entirely innocent, but you know what? He respected that other parents might not feel comfortable with their children in bathing gear winding up on a strangers video camera. Whilst you can discuss for eternity your right to photgraph children in public places, the sad fact remains that the next photographer happening along may have some really unsavoury intentions. I'd kick my rights to the kerb in an instant if sticking to my guns meant some mother was left with a nagging doubt that her child had been compromised somewhow.

    That said, the reaction of the police officers was outrageous, extreme and would surely have abused the rights of the photographer full stop. That's not law enforcement, that's getting carried away.
     
  183. David, what's the difference between you posting your own pics of your kids on the
    internet
    (as you have in your pnet folder)
    where they're accessible to anyone with a computer and a photographer taking pics of
    them
    in a park?
     
  184. So many red herrings, so much retoric, so little reason. So lets bring it back to the basics.

    Were any laws broken by the photographer? NO.

    Did the police break the law when they took the camera and memory cards. YES.

    On a totally seperate, but related issue. The only time I have had anybody complain about my taking pictures of kids, and I called the cops, it was found out that the person that was doing all the shouting was actually the non-custodial parent who had "kidnapped" his kids.

    Something else to think about - and I don't have the citations handy - but many of the child molestation complaints that involve family members (usually the husband/father) are laid during a nasty divorce battle, and are later found to be unsubstatiated.
     
  185. Ray -

    If I choose to take a photo of my child and if I choose to post it on the Internet, that's by my choice and as the parent, I have the legal right to do so. If I were to choose NOT to post them on the web, that's also my choice. And because it's my right and my choice, other photographers don't have the right to take photos of my child and publish them without me signing a release allowing them to do so.

    If a photographer were take a photo of my daughter for their private collection, they are legally allowed to do so. I never denied that. I only noted that I understand why it would make parents uncomfortable because it would make me uncomfortable. Pedophiles are a reality, and if some stranger is taking photographs of my child, that's the first thought in my mind, that it's some creep wanting to use my child's image for his own sexual gratification.

    However, my discomfort doesn't change that we're in a public place and thus that photographer wouldn't be breaking any laws. And if I decided to take the law in my own hands and assault the photographer because I didn't like him taking pictures of my kid, it would indeed be me going to jail, not him.
     
  186. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    And because it's my right and my choice, other photographers don't have the right to take photos of my child and publish them without me signing a release allowing them to do so.
    No, it's still their right and their choice, depending on the type of "publishing." The right to take and display a picture of your child doesn't belong exclusively to you.
     
  187. "Pedophiles are a reality, and if some stranger is taking photographs of my child, that's the first thought in my mind, that it's some creep wanting to use my child's image for his own sexual gratification."

    I understand your fear and your concern. But if I may, a few questions designed to provoke thought...

    1) How does this fear jibe with the fact (according to FBI statistics) that most child molestation is done by family members, not strangers?

    2) Same question as above, but regarding child abductions (kidnap). Most done by family members.

    3) A pervert who sees your child's photo on the internet would have the same sick reaction whether YOU posted it, or some STRANGER posted it, wouldn't they? So how is it different?

    A little more unusual question - one which I often ask but never get an answer to on this type of thread:

    * In what way is a person harmed by what another does to a photograph of the first person?

    We live in a modern world, we know that photographs don't steal souls. But presumably, we're "OK" if a photographer-stranger takes a photo of our child and just 'enjoys' it, and not OK if the stranger gains some sick fulfillment from the photo. Why? How is the child whose photo it is harmed in any way by either use? I grok that the mental image conjured up by the thought of the trenchcoated weirdo hunched over his private stash of little kid photos is squicky - but I'm trying to get past that and ask honestly - what 'harm' is done - to anyone?

    If we decide that yes, some pyschic damage is done when a person looks at a photograph 'the wrong way', then are we not setting outselves up in the role of examining people's private thoughts and motives before allowing them to take a photograph?

    That's what parents are really asking when they ask a photographer "What is this photograph for?" What they really want (I presume) is to be assured that the photographer is not going to do something awful to it. But they never seem to take that next step and ask themselves - why? What does it matter?

    Sports Illustrated does a swimsuit issue every year, do they not? I am sure some guys just like photos of pretty girls in swimsuits. And I am sure some do something they ought not to. In what way are the models harmed by ANYONE who looks at the photos, regardless of what, erm, 'desires' they might have?

    I have also pointed out before that we are a heavily surveilled society. Cameras watch us day and night, pointed at us by ATM machines and security cameras and traffic signals, and so on - some recorded, some not - some monitored and some not. And who is to say what is happening at the receiving end of those cameras? What the operator/monitor is doing that perhaps they ought not do? Do we demand that the cameras turn away when our children walk by? Do we insist on reviewing all footage recorded to make sure our children are not being revealed indelicately? Do we call the police and insist that the cameras be turned off, or the film confiscated?

    You may see where I am going with this - and I am sorry to belabor the point. For those who are not following my logic, it is this in summary:

    We lash out at the anonymous photographer-stranger because they represent a perceived threat to our children that we can see. We do not stop to think that our own web-published photos could be put to evil use without our knowledge or consent - or that we have no way of knowing what use a stranger might put to their own photos of our children. Nor do we stop to consider that our children are not damaged in any way by what how a person gazes at a photograph of them. We seem to dismiss the fact that the FBI says our family members, whom we trust, are far more likely to kidnap or molest our children than some random stranger. And ultimately, the fact that we and our children are being scrutinized and photographed by anonymous sources every day, who could well be putting the resulting images to the same nefarious uses - we don't reach out to control them, because we don't think about them. Only the threat we perceive that is front of our eyes. Even if it makes no logical sense.

     
  188. >>> and I am sorry to belabor the point

    Puhleaze...

    Seriously though, and only if you have time, could you expand just a little a bit more? We
    really are interested...
     
  189. You always have the option of not reading the thread.
     
  190. Personally I think Wigwam is very good at clarifying his thoughts & examining things from many different angles. Something quite a few of you cannot do, unfortunately. This also being the very thing that makes these boards an interesting read in it's own respect though.

    Now if Wigwam would leave something for me to say! I swear I'm two steps behind him whereever I go & he's already voiced my thoughts. (I guess I have my own frustrations at you sir!)

    How many of you have photos of your own children taken with complete innocence that you wonder if you could be questioned about if the cops ever found them? I do. I have photos of my own 3yr old son playing in my studio & mocking poses wearing just his undies & a pair of my heels. Hilarious blackmail to me. Virtual kiddie porn if presented on it's own. No stranger could ever come up with anything as terrible as that by snapping random pix of him.
     
  191. How is that sort of shot even remotely pornographic? Illicit? Gawdalmightydamn, 3/4 of Americans would be up *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* Creek if that's the case.

    Now if you'll excuse me... I've got a date with my Nikon, a bottle of olive oil, and a fresh young copy of Jesus Camp.
     
  192. I suppose you would have to see the pix. They are quite the poses. He's often around my half clothed models. He's learned the postures. Some pix I take just to give him to impress his buddies & give me a giggle. Here's a quick snap when he snuck into the frame for an undie promo. (Ignore the damn technical details. It's humour nothing more.)
    00Ke0P-35883084.jpg
     
  193. >>> Something quite a few of you cannot do, unfortunately.

    Yeah, we're the ones actually out shooting, rather than talking about it...
     
  194. I'm glad to hear that. I'd love to be out myself today! Bloody weather.
     
  195. Matt F. hit it, much to the consternation of the incivil who seriously think this is an ALCU matter; instead it's just the result of exceedingly poor judgement on Vincent's part.Taking pictures of other people's kids in a public park is a recipe for just this kind of grief, if not worse.Find another subject to shoot and get over it.
     
  196. This is the way civil liberties end - not with a bang, but a whimper.
     
  197. In November 2006, I went to the local "Holiday Magic" Parade in Royal Oak, MI. I took a lot of photos - as did lots of other people. There was press there, of course, with still and TV cameras. I shot photos of the parade and the participants - whatever caught my eye.
    This family didn't mind me taking their photo:
    [​IMG]
    And this lady did. She stuck her hand in front of her child's face, and then demanded to know if I had taken a photo. She went on in a screechy tone to inform me that I needed her permission to take photographs of her child, and if I had taken any photos of her child, I needed to show them to her immediately and delete them in front of her. I walked away. Her husband did nothing. She did not follow me, but she was steaming mad.
    [​IMG]
    Please note that I am under no obligation to obscure the identities of her husband and child. They were in public - as public as you can get, sitting on a street curb at a public parade. Her demands were invalid, her argument that I needed her permission was specious. I could have told her to go pound sand, and too bad for her. But I didn't; I just walked away, I did not take any more photos of her precious snotgoblin, and to this day I protect their identities, although I am under no obligation to do so.
    But according to some here, if she had complained to a cop and he had tackled me, confiscated my camera, refused to return my memory cards, and threatened me with false arrest on a trumped-up charge, then it would be my fault - because I should have known better. I was the one being "incivil."
    I have a little trouble following that logic.
     
  198. If anything, you should be arrested for bland photos.

    I don't get why you would post this with blanked faces if you really believe in the civil right.
    Aside from the fact it doesn't look like a very interesting shot.
     
  199. It's funny though- how some people like the lady in the top pic looks to have absolutely no
    problem with the camera- while others completely lose their marbles. That's how it is on the
    street. Takes all kinds.
     
  200. Ray, I posted it with blanked faces because I *am* willing accede to requests not to reveal identities. As I've said all along, I understand and sympathize with parents who fear strangers with cameras and what nefarious uses a photograph of their progeny could be put to, yadda, yadda. I'm not a bad guy or a meanie.

    Now, if a cop told me that I'd be arrested if I posted this, then you bet it would be revealed - I'd beg to be arrested. I am free to censor myself. People are free to ask me to censor myself, and I'll generally go along with the gag. My government(s) are not free to censor me or to prohibit my freedom of expression. There is a difference. I'm sorry you don't seem to be getting that.

    Sorry you find the shots uninteresting. My intent was to inform, not necessarily entertain. Besides, I like them.
     
  201. I don't recall irritating the $hit out of people being a constitutional matter.A childish sense of entitlement coupled with a personal conceit about photographic talent seem the problems.I saw a persistent kiddie shooter's D100 pitched into Lake Ontario last summer when he wouldn't stop snapping kids at a splash pad after repeated admonitions.Think he bought his own misery.
     
  202. I don't recall irritating the $hit out of people being a constitutional matter.
    I don't suspect that it is.
    A childish sense of entitlement coupled with a personal conceit about photographic talent seem the problems.
    I just want to make sure I'm clear on this. If I were a *good* photographer, then it would be OK, is that it? I mean, you brought it up, it must mean something. Or are you just being insulting for fun?
    I saw a persistent kiddie shooter's D100 pitched into Lake Ontario last summer when he wouldn't stop snapping kids at a splash pad after repeated admonitions.Think he bought his own misery.
    I think you witnessed a lawless act of theft and destruction of private property that should have gotten the actor arrested, as well as sued for damages. A real pity if it did not.
    Continual giving away of our rights will buy us all the misery we can handle. But good luck to you.
     
  203. I saw a persistent kiddie shooter's D100 pitched into Lake Ontario last summer when he wouldn't stop snapping kids at a splash pad after repeated admonitions.Think he bought his own misery.
    Cool. A pnet hero condones childish entitlement to lawlessness and violence.
     
  204. Pot shots at the messenger sorta fits the tone of this thread. For context's sake, Toronto's been the scene of some gruesome child abductions and murders over the past decade that sensitized parents to aggressive and persistent strangers' interest in their kids.The shooter was waved off, warned, and then finally confronted.Wigwam might wonder what anyone with so intense an interest in shooting kids was up to that afternoon. I did. Pros generally know the legal landscape and none I know would waste the time or risk an avoidable confrontation just to make a point over something this inconsequential. Their priorities--and mine--just seem different than yours.
     
  205. gary, not sure what you thread you're reading as you say the 'shooter was waved off, warned, and then finally confronted.'

    it doesn't take much effort to read vincent's 2nd line:

    'My parter and I were enjoying the day, talking to parents, shooting pictures of kids at play. No one seemed to have a problem. We decided to move on and about 30 seconds after we drive off the police pull us over and start grilling us.'
     
  206. Most kids that vanish in the USA are due to marriages, relatives, not total strangers grabbing them. Its almost always some inbreeding, pseudo marriages, breakdown squabbles about where the kids should live, who raises them. It maybe is the folks who dont want to be photographed are wanted, are mafia, their kids wanted, folks are illegal; couples cheating on each other, parents seeing their kids when there is a restraining order on them.<BR><BR> The total stanger gambit is a smoke screen by many who have an interest in paranoia; usually in a money way. When a kid dissappear the folks searched are relatives, folks claiming the kid is theirs. <BR><BR>In shooting school sports images once we had a parent that didnt want his kid's photos taken . So the kid was photoshopped out of the teams photos, a the game shots too. Since I do retouching and have a yellow page advert for retouching; I went the extra mile and created the Jackassery the retarded parents wanted; their kid didnt exist on the team. Parents love their selfish ways; insuring that their kids are not in high school annuals.<BR><BR> With pride they are creating paranoid kids who will fear a total stranger with a camera more than a freight train crossing, driving drunk. Part of the USA is rotten, folks worry about the wrong things and have little if any sense of scale.
     
  207. Kelly, I've always enjoyed reading your posts- you've always something interesting and
    insightful to
    say.
     
  208. Late to the conversation here but obviously the police handled this very poorly. But if I were a police officer observing people, particularly men, taking photographs of children who are obviously not in thier personal care I'd at least investigate what they were doing. As a photographer I think civil rights protections are extremely important. As a parent, if I saw a stranger taking pictures of my kids I'd sure as hell find out what it was all about. In this world we live in to NOT be acutely aware and concerned about a threat, any threat, to your children you are absolutely a negligent parent.
     
  209. Matt, I was discussing the TO incident I witnessed, not Vincent's. The TO camera-tossing affair wasn't amusing, trust me.Plainly, though, someone present among the group Vincent chatted up wasn't as kindly disposed or simply didn't trust them. Sorry, Kelly, but I don't buy your simplistic rejection of the "bogey man" thesis, simply because it's been proven otherwise with disturbing frequency in Toronto where kids have been killed by strangers--not whacko estranged common law spouses or relatives.
     
  210. Yer right, Hero Gary. None will be safe until every last one is safe from every imaginable threat. To that end, ANY caught photographing people unrelated to them should be arrested, strip-searched, their computers seized and analyzed, complete background checks initiated, their mugshots taken along with a DNA sample, and entered into a database for future scrutiny should anything bad happen. Eureka! I can see the beauty in paranoia now! Let me be the first to do my part in securing absolute safety for absolutely none.
     
  211. BTW, where can I buy one of those dandy hero signs? That's pimp as hell.
     
  212. I totally agree with wigwam. After reading about the guy taking pics in the target parking lot
    in south windsor, CT, I wanted to go to that target store lot and take pics with my 560mm
    and film camera. I would take only pics of the building, but the cops wouldnt know that until
    the film was developed. BTW, there are no signs on that lot prohibiting photography. My
    lawer advised otherwise, because an arrest, although false, would still violate my probation.
    So I will wait a few more months. When talking to an expectant mother about photographing
    kids in public, she said no way to take pics of her kids. I then asker her if it was ok for her to
    take pics of her kid and someone elses, she said that was different. All our rights are going
    down the tubes, and most are cheering it on. Very Sad
     
  213. KF - "the retarded parents wanted"

    Poor choice of words...
     
  214. We are talking about people rights here, people with "developmental disabilities" have
    the right to be treated with respect.
     
  215. "peoples rights",

    it just surprises me that people can be so unintentionally insensitive sometimes...
     
  216. KF, sorry for singling you out. It was just like back in the 70's when Ida Casey taught
    me that women were not "chicks!" :)
     
  217. Two issues very much in play in Canada are prior consent and privacy--both ignored or unknown among most of the posters on this predictable thread. Check out the Jan. 2007 issue of PhotoLife for a concise discussion of Canadian legal decisions on these issues.
     
  218. Who cares about Canadian law? The OP had his encounter in Detroit. Last time I checked, on the US side of the Lake. What happen(s)(ed) in Canada is no more germane to this thread than Edge's comments about what is acceptable in the ME.
     
  219. Blinkered are we, CE? You might be interested to know that Canada's federal and provincial privacy laws protect citizens from corporate and governmental intrusions to an arguably greater degree than your's do.But then I wouldn't want to tear you away from the view through your knot hole.
     
  220. Gary, don't take the piss.<p>My point is that Canadian laws have no bearing on our USA situations. I shouldn't have to explain this to you. Yours is at least the third pointer to law/custom/norms outside the USA, none of which have anything to do with the questions/issues presented herein.<p>If you have a specific point to make regarding US-vs-Canadian protections or lack thereof, please cite language and reason for making the point. Otherwise, why bother? <p>
    My concern remains that of how to handle increasing paranoia in the USA, or, how to help assuage concerns on our soil while retaining our right to free expression/speech/etc. I'm not ignorant of the law, nor do I seek to harrass concerned parents or others in the public space, and by that same token will not stand for being denied my rights based solely on paranoia and "concerns" that bad things happen, sometimes at the hands of folks who appreciate photography.
    <p>
    Still wanna know how you got that hero-worship tag.<p>
    C.
     
  221. If you take a photo in Canadia a Mountie will come over and ask you "what's it all aboot, eh?"

    Unless you have a mullet, in which case he'll know you're a true Canadian, eh.
     
  222. Actually, I am interested in hearing about other countries' laws (and also their customs, norms, and practices). Pointing out the differences among places is a worthwhile aspect of the discussion.

    But like Ray, I don't warm up at all to the "serves him right" notion when it endorses violent thuggery. Seems to me that's a recipe for more crimes, not fewer crimes.
     
  223. How it goes in other countries is of interest to me as well, though it has nothing to do with the OP's post. Another thread, perhaps, would be a good idea, one discussing and weighing the various conditions for public photography. But this thread? Off-topic.

    I'm not ignorant of conditions elsewhere. I argue my position, believe me, from the standpoint of one who knows how things are in other cultures and does not wish to see my rights as a citizen of the USA further eroded to the point of those living under far worse entities.

    Example: I cannot imagine what it must be like to live in the UK where the EYE can follow you hither and thither. Nor can I contend with what it must be like to live in a super-stratified nation such as India with it's caste-system, or under the bootheel of Islamic fundamentlism allowing for stoning, hanging, imprisonment for "offending" the government, or crimes against chastity, etc.

    That said, it is the responsibility of US citizens to protect their rights/freedoms/liberties just as it is the duty of citizens of the UK and elsewhere to win/protect their own. I will oppose it here, where I can make a difference in my own life.

    Any interested in how they do it elsewhere can freely mine that information, at least, here they can. But to prop up how other nations handle the issue presented herein as an argument pro/con US liberties is pointless. My opinion, of course.

    C.
     
  224. I have a question for those who are keen to "protect" their children in a public place by preventing (with or without violence) a photograph of them being taken: could someone please explain how that photo actually harms the child in question?

    Just as an aside, I've taken lots of pictures of people - men, women, very few children though - and I don't think that act has actually hurt any of them.

    I really can't see any way in which an absence of photography prevents harm to children, and I'd love to be enlightened.
     
  225. So as not to be too rigid on this complex issue..

    How the photographer behaves is, I would think, part of the equation. We have to balance
    people's rights. I think there must be laws against stalking that could relate to this, aren't
    there? In other words, a court might have to decide at which point the photographer's
    behavior infringed on reasonable privacy or constituted harrassment of people in a public
    place. I wouldn't think
    anyone
    should be allowed to follow a family around, for example, for extended periods of time
    against their wishes. The problem of rights against the photographer would seem to have
    to
    do with the suspicion against him when his behavior is within reason. Reasonable
    behavior or
    unreasonable behavior- determining what that is, if I may say- reasonably- isn't that the
    question?
     
  226. "The problem of rights against the photographer would seem to have to do with the suspicion against him when his behavior is within reason. "

    This is what I don't understand. I take pictures of men and women - no one suspects me of abusing them. I take pictures of dogs and horses, and chickens, likewise. Why is someone who takes pictures of birds a nature-lover but someone who takes pictures of children automatially a pedophile? What's so special about pictures of children?
     
  227. Gary; I lived in Deroit for decades and knew in kindergarden that Canada was another country; and Toronto was in Canada and had different rules and laws. The bulk of kidnapings of kids in the USA are by relatives, NOT the unknown simplistic Toronto bogeys. Its abit wrong to distort facts; the real enemy is paranoid poor informed parents who are creating another generation of more paranoid kids. Folks who dont want photos shot at events often are wanted, are cheating on their wives, are out with a mistress, or are not legally susposed to vist their kid that day at to legal issues; divorce rulings. There is a whole bunch of deadbeat dads and moms, many mucking out of child support payments. Its easy to paint the photo problem with shooting in public like its a paranoid stranger being the bad guy; when one ignores 99.5 percent of the data. The cameras not allowed is usually a smoke screen for bigger issues, a parent doesnt want to be found with their kid they grabbed from another state. Its about laughable; one sees wanted faxes for missing kids; the prime suspects are always embattled husband or wife. Parents who grab their kid(s) and move to another state dont want to be found; they are wanted by the Police. Thus they dont want their kid shot in school events because it gets the kids image above the radar screen; and thus the parent who kidnapped their own kid can be found quicker. The hogwash and paranoia created as a smokescreen to hide folks that run from the Police is geared to helping parents on the run.
     
  228. "I really can't see any way in which an absence of photography
    prevents harm to children"

    Love this turn... Read it enough, and you almost ask yourselves:
    can a safe environment do WITHOUT freedom of photography...
    (and i don't mean anonymous, even abusive security cameras)
     
  229. hahaha.

    where exactly where you in detroit?


    I live in a suburb, and this doesn't sound like the Detroit police...They were too fast to respond.
     

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