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More dangerous pictures
Posted at 7:00 PM on August 26, 2008
by Tim Nelson
I heard today from a former journalist in North Minneapolis who was out taking some pictures of his home town last night, including some sculpture along the Mississippi, the Riverside power plant and this -- the local constabulary boarding a van near 41st and Dupont.
He said he took this picture, left, then decided he was so curious about what they were doing that he pedaled back on his bike for another look.
Apparently the officers took exception to that, according to the former journalist, who did not want to be named because he would like to be a journalist again. "I'm in the job market right now."
But for a while there, he thought he was going to be in the hoosegow, too.
He says the Minneapolis police drove out of a fenced lot at the department's Special Operations Division offices and did what looks a lot like what's known in the business as a "jump out" on the amateur photographer.
He said they handcuffed him, searched his bag and camera referred to him as a "terrorist." Some plainclothes officers eventually showed up and straightened things out. There's a lot more to his account, and I called and emailed the Minneapolis police to inquire - and try to verify - the incident, but they haven't gotten back to me.
Anyway, the former journalist says that he was released after about an hour. He said in an email that he was "warned to stay away from all of the RNC activities. The investigators explained to me that nothing would happen to me unless one of the sites I photographed was compromised, or I was detained again for anything related to the RNC."
Great job following this photog story. All amateur photogs appreciate it! Keep up the good work, Tim!
Posted by Mark | August 26, 2008 5:54 PM
W. T. F.
Posted by Betsey | August 27, 2008 10:25 AM
Everyone carry voice recorders for run-ins with the police, eh? ;) Having a conversation on tape like that would be killer.
Posted by Ryan | August 27, 2008 10:32 AM
Whats so surprising or alarming about this? They are taking precautions so nothing happens. Personally I think its pathetic that we have to have this much man power to keep the peace within our "great" nation for a stupid political convention.
Posted by <3mpls | August 27, 2008 3:02 PM
This country continues to move closer and closer to a police state. The last eight years have shown this to an obscene degree. With every new invasion of our privacy Homeland Security tells us "if your not doing anything wrong...you have nothing to worry about." What are these stormtroopers worried about
Posted by Andy Remke | August 27, 2008 4:43 PM
Re: Andy Remke's post about Homeland Security's comment "if you're not doing anything wrong...you have nothing to worry about." The P.O.V. show on Chile's dictator Pinochet this past Sunday nite on PBS had that very same comment spoken by Pinochet himself regarding the workings of his "Homeland Security," the dreaded NISA...Scary...
Posted by Barbara Roberts | August 28, 2008 12:51 AM
So, when did taking photos become a crime? Just because some factcat republicans will be running the next town over is no justification for harrasment. This incident really wasnt that bad, but it will get worse, just wait.
Posted by daoud | August 28, 2008 9:18 AM
Photographing police through a fence does make one think the photographer was doing surveillance. Clearly, they checked him out and released him and his images. I don't think this instance for stopping him was unjustified.
Posted by LARRY | August 28, 2008 10:00 AM
Not surprising, considering how "Fatherland Security" has expanded to the point of virtually nullifying our Constitutional rights.
Where's Ron Paul when we need him?
Posted by xenophon | August 28, 2008 2:18 PM
41st and Dupont (North, I assume) is not a location the average person would immediately associate with the RNC, in another city and another week. But if the police are starting to associate people carrying cameras on bicycles with terrorist activity, I'm in trouble.