Vorus and the ACLU are suing Washington, D.C. over his detention for photographing D.C. police officers last summer. I wrote about the incident in my January feature on cops and cameras:
In another incident last summer, Washington, D.C., photographer Jerome Vorus was detained over the July 4 weekend after taking photos of police making a traffic stop in Georgetown. According to Vorus, four cruisers and 10 police officers eventually responded to his picture taking. All of them, including two supervisors, wrongly told him it is illegal to photograph D.C. police officers. Asked about the Georgetown incident on a radio call-in program, D.C. Police Chief Kathy Lanier said the city has no policy against photographing police officers, but she also defended the cops, explaining that they don’t like being photographed because “we can have our pictures end up on all sorts of websites, and that can be dangerous for us.”
Lanier’s position is bunk. If he wasn’t doing anything illegal, Vorus shouldn’t have been detained. And if recording cops isn’t illegal, Lanier shouldn’t be defending cops who told him it was. She should be disciplining them.