Street Photographer Arrested for Shots of Women & Kids

Discussion in 'News' started by scott_fleming|1, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. This is a headline on Drudge today. This is the first 'cops and photographers' story that really bothers me. Very scary. news/5086442/detail.htm
    Police Arrest Man For Improper Photography At Octoberfest
    Police Say Photos Were Of Sexual Nature
    POSTED: 5:17 pm CDT October 11, 2005
    UPDATED: 9:42 am CDT October 12, 2005
    SOUTHLAKE, Texas -- Thousands of people milled through the Southlake Town Square Sunday night during the community's Octoberfest celebration. One man, however, was arrested during festivities after police said he used a digital camera to take inappropriate photographs of women and children
  2. Wow!

    Luckily I don't have a photographic memory.

  3. What a load! Now the police are in charge of judging what the MOTIVATIONS of a photograph is? In other words if I photograph a woman in a bikini on the beach for "art" that's OK but if its for the "purpose of sexual gratification" thats not OK -- and the police are there to decide the distinction? LOL!!!!
  4. I don't know about the laws in that state but most with voyerism statutes also have an element which requires that such imagery be taken in a setting where the subject has a "reasonable expectation of privacy". I suspect the same is so in that state but not mentioned. An Oktoberfest celebration open to the public would not qualify. This is a disturbing story as it is written and that's not counting the guy who was arrested either.

    I also suspect the guy permitted police to review his camera images. He should have made them get a warrant. Even if they siezed the camera, they would have likely had a lot of trouble getting one signed by a judge.
  5. I just read the statute and its absence of the reasonable expectation of privacy element. Texas, land of thought police.
  6. "Investigators said they found more than 12 photographs that depicted specific parts of women's and children's bodies on Vogel's camera."

    Might one be presumptuous enough to consider those "specific parts" to be connected with human sexual gratification? If so, Mr. Vogel might have some problems.
  7. A long mane of hair could amount to sexual gratification for some people. This statute is an abomination. You could take a picture at a beauty contest or of anyone really and, if they didn't specifically agree to it and its thought that you or someone can get a some sort of kick out of the image, you can be arrested.
  8. Stuff like this makes it even more obvious that one should not visit the land of the free and home of the brave.
  9. Do you really know what happened from a short wire story? Maybe some folks are airing out a few grievances that preceded this incident?
  10. I live in the Dallas area and I've been hassled by cops twice this year. Once I was asked for my driver's license and he called it in. What for I've no idea.

    The bizarre part of the whole scene was his saying that they see plenty of people with cameras downtown but someone with a camera stands out in the rural areas, terrorists and all that doncha know. We were standing only a few miles from the Dallas city limits.

    But they weren't concerned about 'all the people downtown with cameras'. Uh huh, sure thing, like where all the people are and all. Oh, he thought he'd seen me take a picture of a water tower, I hadn't. But it's not like you can't see them for miles and miles around here.

    Good thing they're watching out for us overage grey-haired public threats using cameras to take pictures at sunrise. Incredible. Oh, and welcome to east gooberville.
  11. Let's not mix voyeurism with paranoia. We don't know exactly what happened or how the man behaved, so it's hard to make any judgements.
  12. However the man behaved is no justification for the police snooping into your photographs and deciding whether you had impure thoughts while taking those photographs.
  13. However the man behaved is no justification for the policeBut it is justification for the police asking him some questions. I assume that the man willing allowed them to see what he had been photographing. But being Texas maybe the willingnesswas a little co- erced. I can't wait to find out the entire story. Did someone complain about his behavior/ Did the cops notice it on their own? Does this man who was arrested have a relevant prior arrest or conviction history?
    BTW, I'm no fan of the creeping and creepy police state mentality that has increasingly come to grip the USA since September 11, 2001. I t was always been there but it seems to have really been let loose in the name of national (in)security.
  14. Maybe the "authorities" were ashamed of their own thoughts when they viewed this guy's photos--how would they know the photos were inappropriate unless them felt a particular way?

    What about naked sculptures or nude photography or current day clothing ads? How about underwear commercials?

  15. There is an old koan (Zen Buddhist aphorism) that may or may not be relevant. IIRC, it is from "Zen flesh, Zen bones":

    Two travelling monks reach a river ford. A young woman is standing on the river bank, fearing to cross the raging stream. One monk picks her up in his arms and helps her across. The two monks then resume your journey.

    A few miles later, the other monk can hold his reproach no longer: "Why did you abandon your vows and touch this lascivious creature?".

    The first monk replies: "I picked the girl up and let her down on the other side of the river. You are still carrying her with you."
  16. Hi, I?m a law student working for the New York Civil Liberties Union, and I?m currently looking into restrictions on public photography in New York City. If anyone on this site has been harassed, detained, or told by the NYPD that they couldn?t photograph or film a public area, or has tried to apply for a photography permit from the city, or know of anyone else who has had such a run-in with the police, I would be interested in hearing their story. You can email me at Thanks.
  17. Yawn. It's always nice to know that photographers, known for the first words out of most of their mouths when there is a forum legal question are "talk to your lawyer" are able to immediately come the conclusion that the Texas laws and cops are pulling down the walls and opening the gates of western civilization to the onrushing hordes, simply by reading a superficial news account.

    With family in law enforcement and knowing a number of convicted sex offenders, my money's on the cops being right. Of course you can stand with the perverts for free expression but wash when you're through.

    Anyone with a modicum of education in US law would know that the cops aren't the finders of fact, they simply are required to act to enforce the law, which is pretty straight forward. The strange thing is that all the people howling that the perverts must be innocent until found guilty are so willing to assume the cops and witnesses bringing charges are all wrong.
  18. The simple fact of the matter is that people don't walk around naked in a public place!!Whatever this guy photographed was plainly visable for all to see..including 'big brother's' 'security' cameras.To question it is to introduce the concept of a 'thought crime' a place where in a free country the government & all it's agents..including police.. ought not to go!!If there's a crime here,it's the enemies of the 'domestic' 'enemies of the constitution'..the police ..who've committed it!
  19. Man Cleared Of Improper Photography At Public Fair
    POSTED: 8:47 am CST November 1, 2005
    UPDATED: 9:40 am CST November 1, 2005
    FORT WORTH, Texas
    Tarrant County prosecutors threw out the case against Louis Vogel on Monday. Vogel was accused of taking photographs at Southlake's Octoberfest for sexual gratification.
    Prosecutors who reviewed the photos said police got it wrong and that there was nothing improper with his photos.
    Vogel was arrested under a new state law that makes it a crime to take unauthorized pictures for sexual gratification. At the time, police said Vogel zeroed in on specific body parts of strangers.
    But prosecutors say Vogel simply snapped photos of the crowd and that none appeared sexual in nature.

    There's more in the article.

  20. "required to enforce the law, which is pretty straight forward"

    I guess we don't need so many courts, appeals courts and the Supreme Court.

    I am not attacking the police, they are underpaid and have a tough job. I have a lot of respect for the majority of them. But the world is not black and white and there is a lot of interpretation of many of our laws.

    Unless the photographer is trying to shoot up some unsuspecting woman's skirt, leave him alone if he is in a public place.
  21. I guess Craig owes somebody some money.
  22. In the deep south many areas use to have blue laws preventing the sale of tools on Sundays. If one wanted a drill bit; one had to find a small store willing to illegally sell you the bit. It was sort of like buyin booze before you were legal age. Other areas just allowed sales say after 2pm; and the hardware area of a Kmart would be roped off; or a blanket placed over the cheapie GLOBE tool table ata 7-11 store. In other areas of the deep south some counties are still dry for beer etc; others have "drive thru beer barns"; where on can legally also drink and drive unless over the limit. The laws vary thru each county; thus what booze and photo laws will vary maybe with many dozens variants; and local Sheriffs daughter might be the one you are photographing; and he sets the jails bail.
  23. "Of course you can stand with the perverts for free expression but wash when you're through."

    Or, as you seem to be doing, you can stand with the Nazi's and be proven wrong. Seems the prosecuting attorney thinks the cops were way wrong also.
    All Charges Dropped.
  24. The statute is dangerously vague. The police will always stretch the law to justify their opinion, and the local prosecutor will love the publicity. What can we do to make it crystal clear that the intent of the law is for situations where the subject has a "reasonable assumption of privacy", and not a public venue?

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