Anorak News | Banning Photography From Public Places

Banning Photography From Public Places

by | 12th, August 2008

SO many CCTV cameras. Who needs photography?

I had a similar experience in St. Paul, MN last week when I took a picture of a famous landmark from the public street. Out came a security guard who informed me that “pointing a camea” at this building was prohibited. I simply stated that his claim was not supported by law. But I also mentioned that I was attending a meeting in the building, so just walking away was not an option. We didn’t discuss the matter further, but as I was signing in for the meeting, I found myself facing the head of security for the building. He pulled me aside and told me, sotto voce, that in any year but this one, photography would not be an issue, but they were being especially careful because of the upcoming Republcan convention. Neither he nor anyone else asked me to delete my photographs or even wanted to see them (and I didn’t offer). I thought things were amicably settled when I turned around to face two police officers from the local constabulary. One was friendly enough; the other scowled threateningly, hiding behind sunglasses to conceal her identity. The friendly cop asked for identification, which I willingly shared. He did not interrogate me in any way, but did take notes and mentioned to the security guard that he’d let him know the “case number.” He also mentioned to the security guards that he had to pay strict attention to detail because his “sargeant” was standing nearby; there was another officer nearby, but not in standard police blue uniform.

With their departure the security guard issued my visitor’s pass, my meeting host showed up and nothing more was said.

What are they scared of?



Posted: 12th, August 2008 | In: Reviews Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink