Dallas PD's New Right-to-Photograph Rules Are Seriously Watered Down

By Eric Nicholson / Dallas Observer

When Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, last visited Dallas in October, local law enforcement seemed damn near progressive in its approach to dealing with citizen photographers. Dallas police and the Dallas County Sheriff's Office didn't just encourage officers to attend the seminar he'd helped organize, The Right to Photograph and Record in Public, they hosted the event.

When a DPD officer suffered a heart attack while on bicycle patrol on the Santa Fe Trail, these officers and others did everything they could to stop the photographer from taking pictures. Too bad, they failed. Their actions are the subject of a DPD Internal Affairs review. (Photo by Avi S. Adelman)

Everyone, from high-ranking DPD officials to frequently standoffish police union officials like Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston, appeared to accept the notion that citizens are — and should be — legally allowed to shoot videos and photographs of cops performing their public duties. Matter of fact, Osterreicher was told, DPD was preparing to enshrine citizens' right to photograph in its policy manual.

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By Avi S. Adelman under Public safety , Legal issues