I'm not sure if I'm over reacting but this kind of thing get's my blood boiling. What kind of thing? Picture being on an over pass, late one night, shooting a time lapse video (maybe to win the next big Fstoppers contest) when you are approached by a police officer. The officer questions what you are doing and why and then demands your ID. You know that you are observing all the laws and regulation, have commited no crime and are not obligated to justify yourself. What happens next? Well,Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania-based photographer Jason Macchioni can tell you. Better yet, he can show with this video.
Jason Macchioni:"I was shooting a time-lapse which I'm still working on, I arrived at this site around 9 and was there for about 3 hours until these two cops rolled up! At first I was calm and refused to give ID, After the second cop was breathing down my neck and really threatening me. I gave in and tried to get them to leave. Then stuff got heated.
The first officer (Charles Tobias) was nice but just couldn't grasp what I was doing after 4 explanations, He started to become angry when backup arrived, I guess so his fellow cop knew he was tough and could handle me? I gave him my ID even though I knew I didn't have to, to try to make them leave asap, After the second cop (Cleland) notice I was recording become very upset, I guess he doesn't like evidence when he breaks laws and infringes on a citizens rights. He also told me his dash cam and microphone was NOT on. Which I think you must have that on a call like this?
Officer (Harry Cleland) starting saying off camera that "if he wanted to hurt me he would have just came up and did it and stomped my phone and beat me up if he wanted too". I told the officers I wanted to record to protect my self cause a lot of people being "mistreated" by the police. The officer (Celand) said well that's mostly the "blacks" fault, People getting beat up.
He does not know Pa Wiretapping laws at all and my right to record! I have run into this cop before, I was shooting a car accident and this cop said 'If you don't leave, I'm going to confiscate your camera". So now I know he has a record of violating citizens rights!
After the video stops, He (Cleland) went on a rant about people recording cops and thinking "they" know the law and about him thinking "black people are the problem, cause of drugs and crime". They left I took a breath and checked my phone, My heart sank further knowing it didn't catch-all of it. It did catch one thing, Him (Cleland) threatening to arrest me for recording him. Which is against the law, harry cleland
These Cops need to learn the law when it comes to photographers, and I can't wait for my public apology."
Update: Apologize to our readers and my co-writer Mike Kelly, who apparently already posted this topic a few days ago. But seeing how my redudent post has spurred a slew of comments, this post will remain up for those who wish to continue their discussion.
Do you like what we are doing? Then show us some love. Tweet and Like your favorite articles and be sure to leave your comments below. Heck leave a comment even if you don't like what we are doing. We can take it. If you want to receive the best of the month's posts in a convenient newsletter then don't forget to subscribe now. And don't be shy, hit me up on Twitter and Facebook.