September 21, 2009 by Rob Hurlbut
Trolley Police Have No Right To Prohibit Photography
The proof is in the pudding. The video above was broadcast on Friday, September 18th, 2009 on San Diego’s local NBC News affiliate 7/39 at 11pm. What more can I say other than this is a very distinct victory for photographers’ rights. We are allowed to shoot video or take pictures at trolley stations, and San Diego Trolley police have NO RIGHT to ask or make a photographer stop.
The entire statement, made by Ken Moller of Heritage Security Services is as follows:
“We have no right to tell people they can’t shoot (video) down there. My officers were wrong in telling him that. And I put the word out as soon as I saw the video. It’s a public place and people can certainly shoot video down there if they want to.”
So there you have it. Here is what I have learned from this experience. If an authority figure challenges you while taking photos or shooting video, be polite. Ask them if you are violating any law, and KEEP ROLLING during the transaction. As a photographer, I hate to say it, but this would not have made the evening news if I wasn’t shooting video, so make sure to switch to video mode as soon as you see an authority figure approaching you.
Now we know why video mode is important to us photographers… Not to add a bullet to your wedding photography resume, but rather to protect yourself and to show in HD quality just how your rights are being violated.
Below you will find the video that started it all, and above will you find the video that decided it all.