A 20-year-old college student said a female police officer demanded his camera, then deleted a series of images he had just taken, before handing him back his camera.
The student ended up taking photos of a girl in the backseat of a squad car.
About 15 min. later the same squad car(now without a victim in the back seat) pulls up to me on the sidewalk. The officer asks me what I am doing. I respond, “taking pictures of night life in Whitewater”.
She then tells me that I have to delete the pictures of the girl she arrested. I said ok. Then she asked to see that I deleted it. At this point she didnt give me time to delete them so i was like, “Ya I will delete them in front of you” and i reached my head and camera into the car(neck strap around my head) and deleted the first one.
Then she said “give me your camera” I replied, “are you confiscating it?” she said no I said i’ll show they are deleted, then she was obviously getting irritated, she said “I’ll give it right back”. Not wanting further trouble and not knowing my photographer rights I gave in. She scrolled through my photo’s and deleted a handful of photo’s including some from the first “crime scene”.
The officer ignorantly told him that he had the right to take photos unless the person being arrested did not want their photos taken. That’s about as logical as saying police have the right to arrest people unless the person does not want to be arrested.
I am a multimedia journalist who has been fighting a lengthy legal battle after having photographed Miami police against their wishes in Feb. 2007. Please help the fight by donating to my Legal Defense Fund in the top left sidebar. And join my Facebook blog network to keep updated on the latest articles.