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A 43-year-old man was jailed for six hours – and had his camera and memory card confiscated by a judge - after filming an FBI building from across the street in New York City Monday.
Randall Thomas, a professional photographer, said he was standing on the corner of Duane Street and Broadway in downtown Manhattan when he used his video camera to pan up and down on the 42-story building at 26 Federal Plaza.
He was immediately accosted by a security guard in a brown uniform who told him he was not allowed to film the building.
Thomas asserted his legal right to film from a public street. The guard called a Homeland Security Officer who asked Thomas what he was filming.
“I said ‘that’s none of your business,’” Thomas said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Wednesday night.
The federal officer handcuffed Thomas and sat him on the curb for ten minutes, before escorting him inside the same FBI building and taking him to the 10th floor and placing him in a holding cell.
The "disorderly conduct" charge sounds like a crock.
I was so thankful to return to the USA where I thought nothing like that would happen. Unfortunately, I guess I was wrong about that.
Didn't the communist USSR government do this kinda thing, to anyone caught filming KGB HQ or the Kremlin, during the cold war?
Are they subject to arrest and harassment as well?
That would actually be quite a good idea in this case too.
His charges: Disorderly conduct; failure to comply and impeding duties of a federal officer.
If he already expierianced trouble taking pics of that building why would he return to the same building and do it again?