In police arrests, photography is not a crime

A Detroit Free Press photographer was arrested by police as she filmed an arrest. While she was detained, the SIM card in her iPhone that she was using mysteriously disappeared.

A man who didn’t identify himself as a cop told her to turn the camera off, and when she identified herself as a journalist, he said, “I don’t care who you are.”

He should, because it would convey that he had a clue about the Constitution. Federal courts have already ruled that preventing someone from filming police on a public way — assuming they’re not actually obstructing an arrest — is a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments.

The National Press Photographers Association has filed a protest. But it’s worked hard over the last few years to remind police that filming an arrest is protected speech, to little avail. This sort of incident happens almost ever day, according to the blog, Photography Is Not A Crime.

Detroit police say they’re launching an internal investigation.

It shouldn’t take long.