San Diego Trolley Police Were Wrong

September 21, 2009 by  

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.


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5 Responses to “San Diego Trolley Police Were Wrong”

  1. BEDAROC on November 19th, 2009 1:20 am

    I think its bulls*it that just because they wear a gun and a badge they think that they can bully citizens around and try to tell them what they can and can not do. I get told all the time by police where i live that i cant shoot some of the spots i go to regularly but its our given right as long as were not trespassing or harming anything. The fact that you were told not to by some beat cop then later publicly apologized to on national TV is hilarious. Keep shooting and snapping..

  2. imominous on December 8th, 2009 2:21 am

    A public statement from Heritage Security…NICE!

    Now, I recommend anyone with a camera in proximity to a trolley station print out the above statement and stick it in your camera bag, along with municipal code laws concerning photography in public places.

    Good work!

  3. san diego photograph on November 11th, 2010 5:25 pm

    Hey, I knew there was a reason why I visited your website. Its because of informative stuff like this. Appreciate it for the post. Look forward to more. See ya!

  4. NiceGuy on December 30th, 2010 12:59 am

    What happened to the smoker? Was that the whole story? …. meaning that he was smashed to the ground for smoking or for talking back to the cops? Is this kind of cop behavior toward citizens acceptable?

    It's hard to believe we pay our taxes for this petty BS.

  5. San Diego Wedding Photographer on October 6th, 2013 9:38 am

    Quite amazing video !!

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