j.c.'s Blog

From Marco we hear about this gem:

  • A photographer took these photos of a BP oil refinery while standing on the grass median of a public road. (With very few exceptions, it’s perfectly legal to take pictures of anything visible from a public place, even if the subject is privately owned.)
  • BP’s security noticed, called the city police, and followed him by car to a gas station.
  • The police forcefully detained, harassed, and threatened him for more than 20 minutes for something that is not a crime and that they did not witness.
  • The police disclosed all of his personal information, including his Social Security number, to a BP security guard.
  • The police effectively forced him to reveal the photos he had taken and continued to detain, harass, and threaten him even after an officer had evaluated them and decided that they were not a threat to Homeland “Security”.
  • He was further detained, harassed, and threatened by a Homeland Security agent who arrived at the scene and forced him to reveal the publication he was working for.

The original article Marco blogged about is here.

This is ridiculous. I don’t like to make comparisons to police states too often, but really no other notion fits.