The Right to Bear Cameras

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Tonight Flickr pals Ropeboy, Aqui-Ali, Ranjit
and I all went down to Oakland's warehouse district to shoot. No sooner
had we begun than we were stopped and confronted by Sheriffs. They
required each of us to turn over our IDs and then proceeded to detain
us for about 20 minutes. Admitedly there is a small power plant and
trains down in the district but ask yourself this, should carrying a
camera result in this kind of harrasment? Should the police be able to
randomly stop you and run your ID for warrants or a background check
merely for being in the wrong place with a camera? There is a chill in
the air in this country right now but I'm not sure that taking it out
on the rights of photographers is the correct answer. We were
committing no crime and peacefully assembling for the purpose of our
passion, photography and it's pursuit in a group that we call Flickr.

particular cop asked that I not take his photograph. I took this shot
anyway when he wasn't paying attention. As I understand it, freedom of
the press involves the ability to photograph law enforcement and what
some might view as an abuse of power.