On July 25, New York-based Photographer Martin J. Romero-Clark was apprehended due to climbing Ben Franklin Bridge to take some urban scenic photos. As a matter of course, it is dangerous and an illegal act to climb on a bridge, but now he is facing three felonies, each may carry a sentence of up to seven years.
Recently, we all witnessed photographers and models climbing high buildings and most of these incidents had widespread media coverage, and yet rooftop photography has always been very dangerous, even causing deaths. Luckily, Romero-Clark didn’t have an unfortunate accident during the incident, but now he is in a very serious legal situation.
Romero-Clark is a professional photographer, originally from Portland, Oregon. After graduating college as a business administrator in 2010, he started living in NYC and started his career as a professional photographer in 2011. He had never been in a trouble or arrested before, and he had no intentions of doing any harm on the day of the incident.
On the night of the incident, he and his friend were spotted by the police around 12:45 a.m., and taken down by seven police officers after the bridge was shut down. After his custody, all his photography gear, including a Nikon D810, Nikon 24mm f/2.8, and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 was confiscated at Delaware Port Authority office and now he is unable to work as a freelancer due to absence of his gear, which put him in a serious financial difficulty.
After all that’s happened, Romero-Clark is glad that no one got hurt in the end and he is remorseful, but now he is waiting for his trial on September 13, which he will be facing serious charges that may affect his life. In the meantime, his friend started a fund-raising campaign for the legal costs of his trial.
You might call this an irresponsible or a thoughtless incident, but considering all the possible consequences, do you think is it fair to get sentenced? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.