Monday, April 06, 2009

Rousted by Federal court security

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.


Andrew said...

You are a patriot. It's just hard to believe that this is taking place in the United States.

Is your next step to call the security supervisor in the building, or FOIAing the appropriate security procedures manual?

Anonymous said...

Joel Rosenberg said...

A bit hard to hear the audio, what with the sound of your brass balls clanging together.

Well done.

Ken Hood said...

The biggest threat to freedom in America is *not* the current President or Congress, it is the police state that has been slowly evolving since 911. In our new society, the right to peaceable assembly, the right to free speech and the right to be secure against against unreasonable searches and seizures is being taken away by unelected beaurocrats based upon "National Security" and the Patriot Act (which was passed and renewed by a Congress that admitted they did not read most of it before voting).

You are using peaceful and public action to call attention to how close we are to the 1st and 4th Amendments being completely nullified in America.

I know that you don't do this to call attention to yourself, and that you don't want anyone praising you, but Doug, you are a true patriot.

Chris K. said...

Good job, but you made one big mistake. You spoke to them!

Who the F are they? Don't bother talking to them, they are not your friends.

Anonymous said...

You douche bag. These guys are trying to protect the building and your smart ass commentary is no help. If you are photographing a federal building you need to be looked into. Especially with your anti government views. Or maybe we should just blindly trust everyone. That seems to work.

triptyx said...

It's called Liberty and Freedom Anonymous. Would you prefer to arrest people for thought crimes, especially with our "anti-government views". Why, I'm sure you could just go ahead and arrest anyone that disagrees with you, they must be up to something right? Ooh, we could even fit those thought criminals with collars and just blow their heads up when they have the gumption to question the almighty Government's authority.