The Pariah Photographer – Part II

It’s quite amusing the lengths that some individuals will go to in trying to get the photographers to delete an image…for example:

The Bully Method

“Stop taking my pictures and delete them or I’m going to kick your ass” or “Because I said you can’t take my picture” or “It’s illegal to take my picture if I say you can’t” (my police officer favorite) or my all time personal favorite, “Stop taking my picture and delete them…or I’ll call the police, you’re breaking the law you can’t take my picture without my permission.” I would love to go on listing the reasons I have heard as to why I can’t take someone’s picture, but I’ll leave that for another day.

The truth of the matter is that people in general, including Police Officers, Security Guards, property owners and members of the public, do not know or understand the Rights and Freedoms we all share in our respective countries to take pictures in public. In Canada we are fortunate when it comes to how people are treated by persons in positions of authority i.e. Police Officers. Over the years I have had a lot of great experiences dealing with our police forces here in Canada. Now I’m not saying it’s been perfect, there’s always an individual that steps over their authority and gives the others a bad name, and yes, on occasion a lot more than one.

An example of this was at the G20 and G8 meetings in Ontario, Canada in 2010. A lot of individuals had their civil rights stepped on during those protests, but on the other side of the coin there were a large number of individuals that went out of their way to break the law and cause damage to other people’s property, just to incite others to violence.

There were incidents of legitimate media and photographers being manhandled and arrested while taking pictures and reporting on the protests. The individuals were properly credentialed, they had their identification from their news organizations around their necks and some even had accreditation ID given them from the G8/G20 organizers. This didn’t stop the police from arresting them, legitimate media, and placing them in jail for doing their job even though they had accreditation. It will be interesting to see how many law suits eventually come from those incidents in Toronto.

Living in Canada, events like these seem to be the exception to the rule, but the less unacceptable. Fortunately for photographers in Canada there doesn’t seem to be the large number of issues that are prevalent in other countries. Now granted there are incidents all over the country, and from time to time someone is wrongfully arrested or detained for taking pictures in public, but these incidents happen on a much less frequent basis than in other nations.

Share your Canadian stories, G8/G20 or other. We learn from each other.

Know your rights and educate those that don’t!

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