Police Over Reaction?

Recently on the Corner of Elizabeth and Hoddle Sts in Richmond, I was approached by three police officers and asked.
“ What are you doing?”

You wanna now what I was doing? What I have been doing for nearly 20 years, taking a photos of our societies' zeitgeist. Images like this.

Police harassed me over the taking of this photo.

So I'd heard about the heightened sense of paranoia, that has swept the country of late. But had not really encountered it nor believed it. Well it is happening.

The 3 person foot patrol was out wandering the streets of Richmond, and just happened to walk past as I was taking this photo. The cops kept making wise cracks about justifying their activities to their boss, so their request for my details didn't sink in initially. I continued the banter about cops with coffee and donuts, so forth, and they then point blank asked me for some identification. They confirmed all my details were correct and re-confirmed that I was taking images for my own pleasure.[ I initially responded by talking about some of the features of the image that had drawn me to it, features that I hope need no writing about as the image chosen image shown here sums up my thoughts on the irony and ludicrousness of the image being displayed 20 feet in the air on a public and very busy road!]

Will this stop me from doing this? No. I will certainly not stop wandering the streets of Melbourne capturing the visual details that make up for a pleasing and intriguing scrap book of images describing who I am in relation to this city, what I've seen and where I've been. Will I respond differently to the next approach by police? Yes. How though I'm not really sure?

prohibited image made on private propertywithout permission

Enjoy these other images made, in prohibited places.

Or maybe you'd like to see a complete slide show of some of my urban landscapes

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bkpr said...

Crazy stuff. There was a weblink going around a little while back which pointed to a downloadable PDF that explained the a person's right to take images in public. Someone put it up for people to print and carry with them for just such an occasion.

Sure you stuck it to the man, s2! Maybe even taught them a thing or two about imagemaking, and unseen details.

Scootie said...

that makes me quite angry. i'm worried in the same situation I'll do something 'smart' and end up going home in the back of a divvy van. in reality I'd probably just go to jelly and mumble my case. I hope this is the last time it happens to you s2.

nice shot though :)

s2art said...

bkpr, thanks am off to look for said link and pdf.

scootie, yeah ta! in years gone by I too would have been tempted to act that way. now what can you do, nothing, if we stop then the terrorists AND the cops have won, so in order for us to win we must keep on keeping on!

ratty said...

i worry about not being able to control my smart mouth too, if that ever happens to me. seuss and i have had more than one run-in with transit cops where we didn't really get questioned, just told off, so there was really no chance for getting in an argument. i hope you don't have any more trouble!

s2art said...

thanks miss plum, seems I've touched a raw nerve for many with this story?

Peter Konnecke said...

Strange though it way seem, when it happened to me I was thankful. I've been approached by the police and asked what I was doing - I said exactly the same thing - taking photos to document life in the city. Sometimes it's how you say it that makes the difference and as long as you don't smart mouth I think you're fine. I'd hate to have to do that for a job - but am thankful that someone is doing it for us. Sadly it may take an attack to realise the value of having this process in place.