The War on Photography

Attrorney Morgan Manning writing in a perspective column running in this Sunday's Knoxville News Sentinel:

A simple Google search reveals countless incidents of overzealous law enforcement officials detaining or arresting photographers, and in many cases confiscating their cameras and memory cards, despite the fact that these individuals were in lawful places at lawful times, partaking in lawful activities. Often, law enforcement officials cite blanket notions of "national security" as their source of authority. Other times, they cite broadly worded criminal statues such as "obstruction of justice" or "interfering with a police officer." My personal favorite is "Its against the 9/11 law."

If efforts are not made to resolve the War on Photography, both individuals and society at large will suffer. Photography represents a powerful tool for increasing public awareness and inspiring reform. Photography is also a valuable means of enhancing accountability on behalf of law enforcement officials and private security guards. Vicki Goldberg, a photography critic and author, notes that "photographs have a swifter and more succinct impact than words, an impact that is instantaneous, visceral, and intense."

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