After reading about numerous instances of innocent people in Phoenix, Arizona being unlawfully detained and harassed by law enforcement for the "crime" of taking pictures of the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Building (a PUBLIC building), while standing on a PUBLIC sidewalk, we decided to investigate.
We arrived at the site at approximately 11:30 a.m. local time, equipped with a digital camera, a video camera and a backup audio recorder. We then placed the video camera on the ground and began snapping still pictures with the digital camera, just like any other tourist would.
The following raw video documents in gorgeous HD what subsequently happened less than six minutes later (sorry about the traffic noise, Washington Avenue is a major commuter artery). The relevant action on the clip begins at 2:15:
"Are you videotaping my building?"
I didn't realize it was your structure, sir. Do you happen to have a deed to prove that assertion?
"Do you have any ID?"
Nope. Left the wallet in the car, oddly enough. We're sorry, we didn't realize that it was unlawful to refuse to produce one's "papers" whenever a security guard demands them.
Based on our experience this morning, we must conclude that the allegations of unlawful detainment and harassment are in fact completely accurate.
We will now follow up with the local media, as well as research the appropriate Federal statutes in order to find just under what law "Homeland Security....Oklahoma City....Stop filming my building" falls under.
It'll probably take awhile, since there is no law, whether federal or state, prohibiting my lawful activities while downtown this morning, despite the assertions of the officious blue blazer-clad bullies.