12 April 2009

Photographing the Police

I've posted a couple times recently [1] [2] about the newly implemented law in the U.K. making it a crime to photograph police officers. At the time I mentioned a classic image by Don McPhee as the sort of thing that would be forbidden under the law. Over at Crooked Timber Chris Bertram rightly suggests a more pressing reason - we might rely on photographers not just to capture moments of levity but to offer protection against (or at least evidence of) deadly police brutality. I recommend that you watch the video to which Chris links. Even if Ian Tomllinson had not subsequently died, there is no excuse for the behavior of this officer.



Blogger beatriz said...

I worked with a county medical examiner who told me that there are very few fotos of police, even before 9-11. His interest in photos was purely an interest in documentation of the historical presence of police during their routine work. I think that the prohibition of photographing what is occurring in daily, perceived reality is a crime against humanity...it forecloses what is actual, real, and communicable.

16 April, 2009 23:31  

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