September 5, 2009 – a date which will live in infamy; a photographer in The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately approached by San Diego Trolley Police of the Heritage Security Corporation.
The United States Photographer was at peace with that corporation and, at the solicitation of Heritage Security, was still in conversation with the Trolley Police and its CEO looking toward the maintenance of peace in the 12th & Imperial Transit Station.
Indeed, one minute after San Diego Trolley Police had commenced handcuffing a man, a Trolley Police ambassador for Heritage Security and his colleagues delivered to the photographer a formal request to a recent photographic session. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing photographic analysis, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
It will be recorded that the distance of photographer from ambassador makes it obvious that the approach was deliberately planned many seconds or even minutes before. During the intervening time, the Heritage Security ambassador has deliberately sought to deceive the photographer by false statements and expressions of hope for discontinued photography.
Security and police forces have also engaged photographers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Police & Security Guards have, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the United States. The facts of September 5th speak for themselves. The photographers of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our profession.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that photographers, our profession and our freedoms are in grave danger.
I ask that photographers declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by San Diego Trolley Police on Saturday, Sep. 5, a state of war has existed between Photographers of the United States and security and police forces of the same country.
Ok, enough FDR rhetoric, this is me speaking now. I have finally figured out what the video feature on my camera is for, so I offer what I have learned to photographers everywhere right now. If, while you are shooting stills you notice an authority figure approaching you, switch to video mode, hit the shutter release button and let it ride. Keep your wits about you and always be polite, but KEEP THE CAMERA ROLLING! I made the mistake of turning off my camera because I lost my nerve. Had I kept it rolling, there would have been even more fodder for the evening news. I haven’t talked or blogged about what happened AFTER the camera stopped rolling because I don’t want to get into a he said/she said pissing contest. I will sum up right now what happened after I turned off my camera:
ANOTHER trolley cop approached me about three minutes later & asked for my trolley pass again. He actually took it from my hand because he wanted to “check the authenticity.” He then said, “If you miss the next trolley…” and shrugged. Then added “Do you get what I mean?” I said I did and made damn sure I caught the next trolley.