Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Journalists Arrested in #Ferguson: ACLU Issues ‘Know Your Rights’ Bulletin

TPD officer filming me filming him while his partner gave me a ticket for being at Armory Park during Occupy Tucson. He ignored me when I said I was a journalist and had a right to be there and to film him and Occupy.

TPD officer filming me filming him while his partner gave me a ticket for being at Armory Park during Occupy Tucson. He ignored me when I said I was a journalist and had a right to be there and to film him and Occupy.

Twitter and Facebook have been ablaze with stories and photos about the shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri. (Check out the AZBlueMeanie’s poignant analysis here, photos from the New York Times here, and running updates here from Huffington Post.)

As you are well aware, Michael Brown’s shooting is just one in a very long and disturbing list of unarmed young blacks (primarily men) being shot by police or armed citizens. What the hell is going on?! Do ya think there are way too many guns out there?

In this world of smart phones and social media, everything from cute kittens playing with boxes to police violence is photographed and shared. Problem is: the police don’t like being photographed or videotaped. Journalists are citizens are often arrested or roughed up and cameras confiscated or broken when they try to record police behaving badly. That is illegal!

Following the arrest of two journalists in Ferguson today, I found this very helpful post from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about photographer rights. Here is an excerpt. Check out the link below for more.

Photographers Know Your Rights

Taking photographs of things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a constitutional right – and that includes federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties. Unfortunately, there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs from public places, and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply. Learn more »

Your rights as a photographer:

  • When in public spaces where you are lawfully present you have the right to photograph anything that is in plain view. That includes pictures of federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police. Such photography is a form of publicoversight over the government and is important in a free society.
  • When you are on private property, the property owner may set rules about the taking of photographs. If you disobey the property owner’s rules, they can order you off their property (and have you arrested for trespassing if you do not comply).
  • Police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your digital photographs or video without a warrant. The Supreme Court has ruledthat police may not search your cell phone when they arrest you, unless they get a warrant. Although the court did not specifically rule on whether law enforcement may search other electronic devices such as a standalone camera, the ACLU believes that the constitution broadly prevents warrantless searches of your digital data. It is possible that courts may approve the temporary warrantless seizure of a camera in certain extreme “exigent” circumstances such as where necessary to save a life, or where police have a reasonable, good-faith belief that doing so is necessary to prevent the destruction of evidence of a crime while they seek a warrant.
  • Police may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances. Officers have faced felony charges of evidence tampering as well as obstruction and theft for taking a photographer’s memory card.
  • Police officers may legitimately order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations. Professional officers, however, realize that such operations are subject to public scrutiny, including by citizens photographing them.
  • Note that the right to photograph does not give you a right to break any other laws. For example, if you are trespassing to take photographs, you may still be charged with trespass.

    Go here for more. And be careful out there!

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This entry was posted on August 14, 2014 by in democracy, Free Speech, gun control, Media, Political corruption, racism and tagged , , .

About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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