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August 21, 2009

NYC photog arrested for filming a public building

Homeland Security arrested a professional photographer for filming the FBI building in lower Manhattan from across the street. 

A DHS agent asked 43-year-old Randall Thomas why he was filming and Thomas told the agent that it was none of his business.

Thomas was arrested, cuffed, and held in a holding cell for 6 hours. He's been charged with disorderly conduct, failure to comply, and impeding a federal agent. Thomas is pleading not guilty.

This is the second time Thomas has been arrested for filming the FBI building.

Carlos Miller has the details.


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Hi. Hmmm, wonder what's going on with Thomas, what's his motivation?

This happens fairly often with many photographers. It's intimidation. The key issue is can someone like Thomas find a legal remedy that reduces these efforts. These are very fuzzy boundaries being shaped by how photography is ubiquitous. I'm for ending these efforts to circumscribe public photography. They know full well photography has great credibility and they are trying to make invisible public institutions that are hurt by 'visibility'.

So, you can basically find ANY of these buildings doing a Google search, yet personally photographing them is somehow a crime? Had he not refused to say why he was filming, what on earth would they have charged him with; Photographing while American?

It's obviously just intimidation, because they didn't charge him with any crime related to the photography.

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