Police Deleted My Photo's!! C&C Also

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rfosness88, Feb 22, 2009.

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  1. rfosness88

    rfosness88 TPF Noob!

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    So I am a 20yr old college student at UW Whitewater. 14,000 people in the town 10,000 people at my university and there are waaayyyy too many police, and all they do is bust underage drinkers(literally will walk up to you and breathalyze you).

    Tonight I decided to capture some "night life". Not being 21 or having a fake I had to remain outside the bars(weatcher channel says its 17 degrees and feels like 3 degrees). My fist shots were of police talking to some witnesses/suspects of a fight that happened outside of a bar. The witnesses/suspects saw me take some snapshots and yelled some ebonics. One of the police officers walked over and told, "you can keep taking pictures but these guys don't seem to like that your taking pictures of them". So I walk down the sidewalk a bit and take some shots of the squad cars and proceed down the block.

    I then come across a girl in the back of a squad car parked on the side of the road with the female officer doing something or other on her laptop. I walk by, stop and take two shots of the squad car, showing the person in back. The girl drunkenly shouts "now someooone's taking picurrrrsss" I keep walking, nothing happens. About 15 min. later the same squad car(now without a victim in the back seat) pulls up to me on the sidewalk. The officer asks me what I am doing. I respond, "taking pictures of night life in Whitewater". She then tells me that I have to delete the pictures of the girl she arrested. I said ok. Then she asked to see that I deleted it. At this point she didnt give me time to delete them so i was like, "Ya I will delete them in front of you" and i reached my head and camera into the car(neck strap around my head) and deleted the first one. Then she said "give me your camera" I replied, "are you confiscating it?" she said no I said i'll show they are deleted, then she was obviously getting irritated, she said "I'll give it right back". Not wanting further trouble and not knowing my photographer rights I gave in. She scrolled through my photo's and deleted a handful of photo's including some from the first "crime scene".

    Then I started asking questions. She said I can take pictures of people being arrested unless they say they(victim being arrested) do not want a picture taken, in witch case the officer may or may not come delete my photo. Then I was like, "So the police delete CNN's footage and photo's all the time then?''. She said yes, but I doubt it. I was watching CNN and the were showing Madoff walking somewhere and photographers were pushing him backwards in order to get a better picture of him. I can just see him now, "give me your camera, delete those pictures!!".

    I know these photo's are pretty bad, im still learning all the settings, and I had no tripod and my lens is bad in low light.

    So does anyone know our photography rights?

    (1)[​IMG]

    (2)[​IMG]

    (3)[​IMG]
     
  2. Solthar

    Solthar TPF Noob!

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    First off the police have absolutely no right deleting photos. Ever. As per the Photographer's rights PDF, "Law enforcement officers may have the authority to seize film when making an arrest but otherwise must obtain a court order."

    http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf

    That said, It's always best to analyze the situation before taking action. And for heavens sake, if you do decide to argue about it with an officer, be civil and polite! Also the cop can 'ask' you to delete the photos - after all, they're just asking a question - but you are under zero obligation to comply in this case!

    Also, an interesting note - if they arrest you and confiscate your camera and then delete photos, they are in deep deep legal excrement. Destroying evidence is never looked kindly upon by judges :p.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  3. rfosness88

    rfosness88 TPF Noob!

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    Great info thanks. I asked and she told me I legally had to delete the photo's. The police are very corrupt in this town though. I will expose them all!!
     
  4. t4ct1c4lr3m1x

    t4ct1c4lr3m1x TPF Noob!

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    It's a shame that the cops even have to ruin photography. What a world we live in, haha.
     
  5. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    thats a typical cop tactic... they assume that people don't know their rights, so they just tell you want you need to hear in order to make you comply...

    as for the photos... they are pretty dark.. but they are also out of focus, my guess is you did these hand held, which means you would need a faster shutter speed, and i dont think i see a flash... which means the camera is going to slow down your shutter speed... if that makes any sense
     
  6. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Thats why I always lock them, and never ever give the camera to them. You have no obligation to give it to them or delete photos, especially in a public place. You can photograph anyone, at any tme on public property, no matter how they may feel.
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The funny thing is, you can delete the photos. Then take the memory out so that you will not overwrite it with new pictures. Then go home and use software to undelete them.
     
  8. TUX424

    TUX424 TPF Noob!

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    Dont format the card ether
    haha
     
  9. ThePhotoRebellion

    ThePhotoRebellion TPF Noob!

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    Did you get the police officers names or badge numbers?

    I'd file a complaint, then get in touch with the local media.

    Photographers are suing "law enforcement" agencies left and right for violating our rights.

    Hit them where it hurts, their wallets.

    @rfossness88 - I have a couple posts on my blog that you may find interesting.

    The Photo Rebellion
     
  10. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    SERPICO!

    In these situations your option is clear: "Please get your Duty Chief down here to explain to me I need to hand this over to you."

    While I feel for your situation, the cop didn't really do anything wrong. They can tell you whatever the hell they want, its when challenged that the real issue of legality begins, because then there is a "paper trail" so to speak. The fact that earlier you had an officer contradict what the current officer was telling you should have been an immediate red flag.
     
  11. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    Ebonics? Was race really pertinent to the story?
     
  12. bjorkfiend

    bjorkfiend TPF Noob!

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    Really? This is what you chose to comment on? It was a descriptor and nothing more. Leave the guy alone and try not to derail the thread.
     
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