Charlotte Police Officers Need to Remember the First Amendment


Charlotte Police (c) 2011 John D. PuettI read Pixiq a lot. I find it to be an interesting place to go for photography related news. One of their more prolific writers is Carlos Miller.  His focus is on how the police and other authorities mis-represent the laws regarding photography. He has documented needless camera seizures, erased pictures and video, and even physical assaults on photographers by both the police and average citizens. So Saturday's article was a bit of a surprise on how a Charlotte police officer threatened one of the department's biggest supporters, the author of the Crime in Charlotte blog.

Fully documented in Cedar Posts and Barbwire Fences (another blog that deals with the Charlotte community, at least that is the appearance), the story starts with the blogger calling the 911 about a person they believed to be a wanted felon.  The responding officer, when he saw that his picture was being taken threaten to have the photographer arrested. And when asked for his name, the officer lied and gave another officer's name. So he knew he was doing something wrong.

I would recommend reading the whole thing though. It gets worse.  The department's response seems to forget about the 1st amendment. You see, in public a photographer has the right to shoot pretty much anything. Anybody. And the whole thing has shaken the bloggers faith so much that they are taking down their website. So all that good publicity for the police will be GONE.

Now if you go back to Miller's original post, you can find some video of a Charlotte police officer behaving properly.

I am pretty disgusted with them now. And it is sad.