ABC Producer Arrested for Photographing Democrats
An ABC News producer-reporter has been arrested for taking pictures of Democratic Senators and other VIPs, apparently from a public sidewalk.
Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer today as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic Senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel. Police on the scene refused to tell ABC lawyers the charges against the producer, Asa Eslocker, who works with the ABC News investigative unit.
A cigar-smoking Denver police sergeant, accompanied by a team of five other officers, first put his hands on Eslocker’s neck, then twisted the producers arm behind him to put on handcuffs. […] During the arrest, one of the officers can be heard saying to Eslocker, “You’re lucky I didn’t knock the f..k out of you.”
Eslocker was released late today after posting $500 bond.
Eslocker and his ABC News colleagues are spending the week investigating the role of corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors at the convention for a series of Money Trail reports on ABC World News with Charles Gibson.
Steve Verdon sent this along, noting,
As an avid amatuer photographer I find these stories rather disquieting. Technically speaking the general rule is that once you go out in public you have no expectation of privacy and hence anyone can take your picture.
Plus there is the element of not picking a fight with the guy who buys his ink (and bandwidth) by the gallon (terrabytes).
ABC’s reporting on this matter, bylined to Brian Ross, is rather hyperbolic and perhaps missing some essential facts. But the idea that one can’t photograph public officials, going to a public event, from the public sidewalks is baffling.
It should be noted that, although the cease-and-desist order that preceded arrest was apparently done at the behest of the hotel, we don’t have any information tying it to the Democratic Party or convention officials.