Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection: One Bush — This is ridiculous.

So I’ve been hassled and harassed many time in the past for shooting photographs in privately owned public spaces (Starbucks, PF Chaings, Toys ‘R Us, the new burger spot on Sacramento St. at Drumm, Tosca, Grand Central Terminal in New York, etc.) but yesterday was the first time I’ve actually been harassed on a public street over photography.

Yesterday I was shooting some photos of One Bush St. (the building where Bush and Market Streets intersect) when their security guard came out of his little glass jewelbox lobby hut to ask me to stop taking photos of the building. He said it was illegal. I moved to the sidewalk and continued taking photos and he again asked me to stop. When I told him I was on a public street sidewalk he said that actually they owned the sidewalk and that I was going to have to stop taking photographs.

At this point I told the little guy to call the police and have me arrested which he said he did. He then proceeded to follow me around the building, from Bush St. to Battery St. to Market St. to Sansome St. and try to physically put his hand in front of the lens of my camera as I shot the building. Fortunately I was taller than he was so I was able to hold the camera out of his range. It was kind of comedic actually.

Although I’ve been harassed many, many times for taking photos (the camera goes with me virtually everywhere) this was the first time I was accosted by a security guard on a public sidewalk.

found by I. Fish

  1. Juan T. says:

    This is pretty interesting, and today I found a digg that points to a site that makes our rights as photographers pretty clear.

  2. Sound the alarm says:

    I’m usually pretty non-violent, but next time smack the little crap-face around. Smacking little turds like this is usually very good for society and helps high blood pressure.

    Or better yet get 200 Photographer’s and all of you go there and take pictures.

  3. Richard says:

    This is as dumb as the Cantenna comments in the Sacremento Bee.

  4. What a little smuc%.
    You can take pictures in public!
    You can’t invade someones privacy or harrass them.

  5. Even after shooting around 2000 photos ( ) in the streets of Manchester, never did anyone address me with a complaint. Only in America,as they say…

  6. Sound the alarm says:

    Let me guess Richard – you’re the guard – right?

    Try a sense of humor – it helps high blood preasure too.

    Peace Brother

  7. Apologetic Sound the alarm says:

    Richard – looks like I owe you an apology – thought you were commenting on my comments.

    Sorry Brother

  8. Pat says:

    Next time take a picture of the guard, then take a pen and pad from your camera bag and ask the guard his name. (Every Photographer has a pen and pad in his bag, just in case…) Then let him know that he is violating sec 18 of California Penal Code 1857, unlawful public obstruction (or make up any nice number, statute, or bull that comes to mind) and inform him that as a felonious crime you will make a citizens arrest. If he refuses to give his name, then remind him that refusal to identify himself is considered resisting arrest which entitles you to use force. If the a** complains then ask him if he would like to call his lawyer. If he hasn’t retreated by then pull out your cell phone and pretend to call the Police (or call them if he is still harassing you and the bluff didn’t work).


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