"You can't take pics of a federal building … that is against the law"

Carlos Miller

"You can't take pictures of a federal building … that is against the law".

A man who appears to be some type of security guard confronts a videographer during an anti-war protester in Rochester, New York.

The man gets directly in front of the camera and tells her that the security guards do not want their picture taken. As if that really makes a difference.

Then he tells her that “you can’t take pictures of a federal building … that is against the law.”

The videographer responds by saying she is not filming the federal building.

Let’s get something straight. It is not illegal to film a federal building.

By responding that she wasn’t filming the federal building, she already fell into his trap of having to defend herself, even though she was not doing anything illegal.

The man then proceeds to arrogantly fog up the camera lens with his breath. And then cries out “don’t touch me” when someone tries to separate his proximity to the videographer.

What an asshole.

In another video shot during another antiwar protest in Greenfield, Massachusetts in 2007, police arrest a videographer after she refuses to leave the area. In fact, it appears as if she is leaving when they ordered her to stop the car. They then arrest her.

The camera remains turned on and you can overhear a cop specifically saying that it was not illegal to film them, but it was illegal to use audio. She was charged will illegal wiretapping, disorderly conduct and trespassing. Those charges were dropped seven months later.

So let’s get another thing straight. It is not illegal to record audio of police officers if they are in public and you are making it obvious you are filming them. I have yet to see a single conviction on this charge, but I’ve seen several cases dropped.


I am a multimedia journalist who has been fighting a lengthy legal battle after having photographed Miami police against their wishes in Feb. 2007. Please help the fight by donating to my Legal Defense Fund in the top left sidebar, which helps pay for the thousands of dollars I’ve acrued in debt since my arrest. To keep updated on the latest articles, join my networks at Facebook, Twitter andFriendfeed.


Citizen Journalism