Memorial Void on Flickr.
The musings of a creative explorer who blazes a meandering trail through life, and takes a few photos along the way. This is the companion Tumblr feed for warriorwriter.com.
Ethan’s own description of his encounter with an FPS officer at the Federal Courthouse in Dayton:
“During my June 12 photowalk in Downtown Dayton, I came across the Federal Courthouse at Second and Perry streets. I remembered reading the NYCLU’s case that prompted the Department of Homeland Security to issue a directive to all federal agents that work around federal buildings to not prohibit non-commercial photography from public areas of the outside of federal buildings.
Knowing that it was permitted, I went about photographing the building. Within 20 seconds of taking my first photograph, I was approached by a Federal Protective Service agent (Willard Hall, badge no. 863). He told me that I could not photograph the federal building. I asked if it was OK because I was on a public sidewalk. He said photographing the federal properties was not allowed. I asked the statute that prohibited photography and he stated I could read it if I went up to the side of the building. He said it was the “UC-18 Code of Justice.” He said “they” are targeting federal facilities. He talked about how a federal building in Detroit that had a bomb a “couple months ago.” He also mentioned 9/11. Considering my seemingly valid points and further questions, he said he would have “them” explain it to me. He walked down the sidewalk to talk on his radio out of earshot of my father and me. I snapped the above photo while Officer Hall was away. After a couple minutes on his radio, he came back and asked my name. I gave it to him. He also asked to see a photo ID. I asked if I was being suspected of a crime. He asked again. After at first declining, I reluctantly gave it to him, and he went another 30 feet away and radioed back and forth. He returned a couple minutes later, thanked me and immediately left. As he was briskly walking away, I asked if I could continue and he said that “they’ll deal with me.” For the sake of continuing the photowalk, my dad and I continued on our way.
On the way back to the car, we passed by the Federal Building again. It was golden hour and the light was shining nicely off the glass. Knowing the possibility of having a FPS agent approach me again and stop me from photographing, I pulled up the NYCLU’s case from 2010 on my iPhone that affirmed photographers’ rights. I proceeded to walk towards the building, snapping pictures along the way. Within five minutes of snapping away, Office Hall came out of the building. He told me to turn around and put my hands behind my back. I complied and set my camera and bag down and put my hands behind my back as he got out his handcuffs. Officer Hall radioed and the unidentified man asked if I was “still photographing the facility.” Officer Hall asked if he should “detain me or put me off the property.” The man on the other end of the radio said it was not his call and told Officer Hall to standby. I politely asked if I could show him the Dept. of Homeland Security directive concerning photographing federal buildings. He said I couldn’t show him anything. While waiting on the man on the other end of the radio, he told me that federal time is a lot different than city. He informed me I may sit for 6 or 7 hours before someone even gets out here to process me. “It’s not a game, man. They don’t play.”
“Do not remove the subject from the property, nor detain him,” came over the radio. Officer Hall had a stunned look on his face. He told me the Dayton Police Department was on its way and that I could wait or go. I asked if I was free and he said yes. He said it’s one thing to be on the sidewalk, but another thing to be on “federal property.”
Having enough excitement for one evening, my father and I left and were done for the night.
Know the law, and assert your rights.”
Say Cheese! on Flickr.
The spark of imagination is unleashed in the Little Italy neighborhood of Philadelphia, as two kids take turn photographing the world around them with my Mamiya 645. Here’s the other shot.