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Uh Oh… Long Beach Police Chief Says Photogs Can Be Detained For Taking Pics Without Apparent Esthetic Value

Long Beach photographers beware, Police Chief Jim McDonnell is a harsh critic:

Long Beach (Calif.) Police Chief Jim McDonnell is defending his officer who detained a Long Beach Post contributor for taking pictures of an oil refinery on June 30. “If an officer sees someone taking pictures of something like a refinery, it is incumbent upon the officer to make contact with the individual.” Detaining photographers for taking pictures “with no apparent esthetic value” is within Long Beach Police Department policy, the chief says. While there’s no training that helps officers to determine whether a photo subject has “apparent esthetic value,” police make such judgments “based on their overall training and experience” and will generally approach photographers not engaging in “regular tourist behavior,” says McDonnell. [Long Beach Post | OC Weekly]

[Photo credit: Esthetically valuable image of a Minnesota oil refinery by Doug Wallick, Creative Commons.]


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