Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is any Photograph of a Child an arrestable offense now?

Photographer arrested at mall after taking holiday ... - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports

Here's the basics of the story, already covered by Free Range Kids.

An award winning photographer was in his home town in West Virginia, Shopping at the local mall.  he happened past the display with Santa and a Chior.  He snapped off a few shots because as a photographer he ALWAYS has a camera with him.

a Few Fathers came over and mentioned that he took pictures of their kids, they were upset about.  it was a wide angle shot of the whole Snow-scene.  He happily deleted the offending pictures, and even sat down with the men, showing them the rest of the shots he had taken ,to verify there were no more shots of children.

Afterword, he did more shopping, then called his Girlfriend to tell her what happened, and walked past the scene again ,which is central in the mall.  The father Pointed him out to the police.  The police detained him and asked why he was "photographing children"

The photographer,. asked if he could photograph the cop, the cop, instead of simply replying no attempted to grab this journalists Camara from him,  The man recoiled, The Cop called this "Resisting arrest" and put him i nthe standard arm bar, with his arm wrenched up behind his back.   There were now at least four officers present.  Then he was arrested, and put in jail.

And that's it. The story ends awkwardly, with a police chief himself telling the photographer he's done nothing wrong, to bad about your dislocated shoulder and missing pictures... oops..

it's funny, this man is a photographer for a living, he's well versed in the laws & rights associated with his profession's done nothing wrong,  but our country has gone so pedophile-paranoid that every man with a camera is now instantly treated like a criminal. 

What's next? I mean  if I'm photographing a wedding, should I be afraid of pointing the camera at any of the younger guests, for fear of being arrested?  What if I'm taking a picture of my own kid with Santa Claus and another little child just happens to be in the shot?

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