A debate about the morality of taking a photo of a child in public has been ignited online after a customer reported a stranger taking pictures of her son without permission at a branch of Starbucks.
As reported by NBC 10 Philadelphia, the mother of the child reported the incident to a Starbucks employee but was allegedly told that the man had been there taking pictures all week and that it wasn’t within her authority to ask him to leave.
While immoral, taking a photo of a child in a public space is not illegal, as confirmed by Michael Hendricks, Police Detective for East Norriton Township - the town in which the incident took place. However, the culprit has now been identified, and an investigation is currently underway as to the motives of his picture-taking. Hendricks advised the public that although indeed not illegal, these sorts of actions should be reported to police.
Starbucks has also commented on the situation, clarifying that if a customer isn’t creating a “welcoming experience” for others, staff reserve the right to ask them to leave.
The district manager of the store in question had “no comment” when quizzed by NBC10 as to why staff didn’t object to the man’s actions.
The investigation continues.