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Police Say They Can Detain Photographers If Their Photographs Have ‘No Apparent Esthetic Value’

Tech Dirt [1]
Aug 17, 2011

Apparently the police in Long Beach, California, have a policy that says if a police officer determines that a photographer is taking photos of something with “no apparent esthetic value,”they can detain them [2]. This revelation came after photographer Sander Roscoe Wolff was taking the following photo:

The police officer somehow determined that there couldn’t be esthetic value there, and thus, the photographer had to be detained and checked out. The police areĀ defending this policy [3], saying that while officers don’t have any specific training in what qualifies as “apparent esthetic value,” they will stop anyone photographing things they don’t consider to be something a “regular tourist” would photograph. I actually have to go down to Long Beach next month for a speaking engagement, and I’m now tempted to take a bunch of photographs that have “no apparent esthetic value.”

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