Border Patrol Officer Points Gun at Boy Scout after Events Following the Taking of a Photo

Border Patrol Officer Points Gun at Boy Scout after Events Following the Taking of a Photo

A boy scout coming back into the U.S. after a trip with his troop to Canada found himself at the other end of a pointed gun when he reached for his suitcase without permission. The situation unfolded when the boy scout took a photograph of a border patrol officer as they were crossing back into the U.S. The officer he was photographing “immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000, and receive 10 years in prison,” Troop Leader Jim Fox said in a statement to KCCI.

Eventually, the Boy Scout member had to delete the photograph, but there was a point at which he reached for his suitcase without permission, prompting the officer to draw his gun on the member.
While attorney Angela Campbell said the threats of fines and prison sentences were simply not accurate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the port of entry where the picture was taken is federal property and an area where photography is prohibited.
While it makes sense that border patrol and customs agencies around the world would like their ports of entry kept private, these reactions against photography come up far too often and much too strongly.
When will people have a more appropriate response to photography? Why is it that officers like Efrain Rojas feel the need to assault videographers filming on what is obviously public property?
When will photographers taking pictures of anything with “no apparent aesthetic value” stop being considered terrorists?
Why can’t more cities, counties, states, and federal agencies adopt policies more similar to those of Washington D.C.’s police department?
While there are many great officers of the law provide a great service and risk their lives protecting ours, it’s extremely unfortunate that so many still seem to thrive on the power associated with their positions when even the law isn’t on their side. When will officers be held more accountable for their actions without the need for lengthy and expensive lawsuits to receive apologies and compensation?
U.S. Customs and Border Protection's policies against photography make sense for the same reasons that the TSA’s security area photography policies do: if you remove the ability to take photographs in these areas, planning ways to bypass these secure areas becomes increasingly difficult. But did this officer at the Canadian/U.S. border take it too far? The boy was a Boy Scout, after all...
Read the full story and decide for yourself.
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Adam works mostly across California on all things photography and art. He can be found at the best local coffee shops, at home scanning film in for hours, or out and about shooting his next assignment. Want to talk about gear? Want to work on a project together? Have an idea for Fstoppers? Get in touch! And, check out film rentals!

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For pete's sake, all they had to do was ask the adult in the situation to delete the photograph. There was really no reason to pull a gun and threaten a child. It's doubtful the kid saw the posting that there was no photography allowed. Have we lost all use of reason?

Just so I can have my facts straight. Is this article about a Border Patrol Agent or a Customs officer? There is a difference. Which ever one it was doesn't make it right or wrong. But there is a difference in training and experience between the two.

Never mind. I figured it out. Wow.... What an idiot BP agent.

Probably a Tea Party nutcase happy to have a job where he can swing a gun out. The mentality is similar to that referenced by this commentary by Bill Maher on the militarization of America's police force:

Thanks for beating me to the same thought I had. American defenses (police/border patrol/etc) have all turned into Rambo Black Ops units. Homeland Security has created a "Stop the escalation with blunt and brutal force (sometimes deadly, for no reason) and ask questions later" mentality.

Customs and Border Patrol are part of the Executive branch of government so it's more likely a liberal enforcing the policies of Dear Leader Obama. Remember, Obama can change those policies with his pen and his phone.

Nice try.


Sometimes it's good to live on an island surrounded by hundred of kms of open ocean, filled with man-eating sharks, crocodiles and other poisonous wildlife. But we have our own border security issues nonetheless. Seriously though, stories like this, of over-zealous security officers / law enforcement officers etc, are very sad and scary...especially when targeting children. I'm sure that many of these situations get way out of hand too quickly, when they could often be resolved very calmly.

Funny how they point a gun at a kid for taking a pic of a border agent, but let in thousands of people at the other border including criminals & gang members not a F**** is given? LOL Liberals..

That's wild. A little silly on his part to think it would be OK to take a photo of the agent. Anyways, hope that scout got an extra badge for Bravery at least.