Man gets harassed for photographing elevator in Virginia courthouse
I really need to stress that if people are going to shoot video for Youtube, for fucks sake, please hold the camera steady. Please point the camera at your subject. And please learn to edit the damn video if you haven’t done any of that.
That being said, the above video is revealing as it is, even if it jarring and frustrating to watch.
A man named Andrew who calls himself an “elevator photographer” gets chased out of the Campbell Court Building in Roanoke, Virginia by a janitor because he was, well, taking photos of an elevator.
Rather than swing the video camera everywhere and at nothing, he should have pointed the camera directly into the janitor’s face while he was being threatened and ordered to leave the building. It just makes for a much better video.
The photographer then steps out of the sidewalk and calls the cops but the janitor apparently has also called the cops, so the cops pull up and naturally harass the photographer.
For a few seconds, Andrew actually points the camera at the cop, but the cop orders him to shut the video camera down.
Thankfully, he at least keeps the camera running even if he doesn’t point it at the cop’s face.
Now I people might disagree with me, but I would have continued filming the cop even after he ordered me not to. I would have informed him I’m doing it to protect myself.
I might end up getting arrested but cops eventually have to learn that photography is not a crime. And they have to learn that it is an unlawful order to order someone to stop filming or taking pictures of them.
So we are treated to a black screen for several minutes while we hear Andrew explaining himself in the background. He does do a good job of asserting his rights to the officer, informing the officer that he is well aware of his right to take pictures.
But the cop tells Andrew that he shouldn’t be surprised that people get upset at him for taking their picture because for all they know, he might “put their face on a naked body or something.” No, I’m not kidding. He actually said that. What a dumb ass.
The cops eventually give him a “trespass bar letter,” which apparently means he is no longer allowed in the courthouse. After all, the letter says, photographing an elevator is “suspicious activity.”