ACLU Forces FPS Settlement RE: Photography

Way Back in ~8-2-2010, the ACLU forced a stipulated settlement on the FPS (Federal Protective Service), a national police force responsible for protecting federal buildings and employees. The service had routinely engaged in the detention, harassment, and equipment seizure of street photographers taking pictures of federal buildings during demonstrations, art displays, or architectural enjoyment.

The following printable revised directive bulletin to FPS agents and LEO’s is made available to those photojournalists aware of/experiencing this level of violation of their civil rights. As recently as the 9-13-12 Grand Jury Resister demonstrations at Seattle’s federal courthouse, such official harassment was implemented by one of the dimmer security agents present despite the clear instructions contained in this document. (Note the earlier deleted language instructing our public law enforcement servants to avoid informing the public/photographers of their civil rights.)

9-13-12 Seattle federal courthouse Grand Jury Resisters rally

Right to Photograph Federal Bldgs

Print this out and put it in a rain-proof plastic baggy to carry with your gear in case a typically obtuse LEO challenges your right to photograph federal buildings. Remember, your dialog with him/her is VOLUNTARY short of reasonable suspicion you are committing a crime. i.e. You need not provide any information, including your name or identification documents short of such reasonable suspicion. This rule applies to stops by state/county/city police too.

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