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Re: Nearly arrested for trespassing

Nathan Padgett wrote:
I need to vent.

On a beautiful Saturday evening, I made my first and last trip to Easton Town Center in Columbus Ohio. Easton is a large shopping complex with outside shops and a big mall or something. I wouldn't know really, I never got to see it.

I parked in the parking garage and just started walking. I took one photo of the Legoland giraffe outside. And then was going to take a photo of the LegoLand sign. Again, I'm outside on the sidewalk. A cop summons me from his SUV, and I ask him what's up. He says I can't take photos.

As a photographer, I know it is perfectly legal to take photos in public, so I politely ask him if there was anything that stated that I can't take photos.

He immediately jumped out of his car, called for backup, and took an aggressive tone. Within a minute I was surrounded by 6 or 7 police officers and security.

I googled easton town center and showed him thousands of photos taken by citizens and ask if those where illegal. He said he didn't know and didn't care or something to that effect. He said it was like walking into my bedroom and taking photos, which I disagreed. You can take photos of someone's house if you are standing on public property to my knowledge.

No one showed me anything in writing about the policy at Easton Center. I did not see any signs about photography posted. Instead I was getting bullied and ask to show my ID. I refused because I had not broken any laws. I was immediately threatened with trespassing. Even though no one had ask me to leave beforehand.

I should have gotten names and badge numbers I would have ask for names and badge numbers but I was too afraid that I would be arrested if I had stuck around or tried to defend my position on the matter any longer. I was even told I couldn't take
a photo of one of the officers, because we were on private property. I think that is a serious issue.

Again, this was on a sidewalk, on what I believed to be a public road. It may in fact be a private road, but how does anyone supposed to know that? And if it is private, does a police officer have any right to enforce private policies that are not breaking laws? Taking a photo isn't breaking a law, but the second I do take a photo, does that make me trespassing at that moment? Or does someone need to ask me to leave first? I'd really like to hear some thoughts on that.

The two officers that mostly spoke with where rude, confrontational, and unwilling to listen or answer any of my questions.
One officer in back was rolling his eyes and laughing at me because I said, "I don't think you guys are right". It's so frustrating.

I'm just very disappointed with the way things were handled, how it was escalated by police so quickly,
And all over a photo of a sign and trying to protect my 1st amendment rights.

I am sorry this happened to you Nathan!
I am sure it has happened to many of us at one time or another. Certainly me a few times and I was a "fed" with credentials! Didn't make a dam bit of difference to the local LEO's.

Our Country is in turmoil! I would vent here then pass it off as a "life experience"

Head on a swivel I say to "us" on the street.
Stay safe!!!

Sep 25, 2023 at 09:31 AM

  Previous versions of Danpbphoto's message #16350667 « Nearly arrested for trespassing »


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