Tuesday, December 13, 2011

'Gay and stupid' British cameraman wins payout

The unending war on photography continues. No word of action against the rogue cop

Lawyers say a British teenager wrongly stopped by police from taking photographs at a public event in London has been compensated.

A solicitor said officers prevented Jules Mattsson - then 15 - from taking pictures at a military parade in Romford, east London, in June 2010. The Metropolitan Police said compensation had been paid and an apology issued.

Law firm Bindmans, which represented the youngster, said a police inspector had described photographing in public as "anti-social behaviour".

A spokesman for the company said: "He described the act of taking photographs as 'silly' and 'gay' and 'stupid'. When [Jules] continued to state the lawfulness of his behaviour, the inspector declared it was 'dangerous' as he was 'likely to be trampled on by soldiers' from the parade."

Solicitor Chez Cotton, head of the police misconduct department at Bindmans, said: "The police had no legal power to stop him photographing in a public place. The inspector attempted to justify his actions in shocking and absurd ways."

Mr Cotton added: "The treatment of the police towards our client, a 15-year-old, was shocking. The inspector's comments were designed to belittle. "Our client politely and reasonably maintained that the police were not entitled to interfere with his right to report.

"In response the inspector used serious anti-terrorism legislation, cynically telling Mr Mattsson 'I consider you a threat under the Terrorism Act young man. I've had enough'.

"The police have no legal power or moral responsibility to prevent or restrict what journalists record."

Original report here

More details of the absurd police behaviour here.

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1 comment:

Peter Phelps said...

I was at this event, which was in a busy town centre, and took photos and video like many other people there. The Police Officers, and particularly the Inspector involved, were overbearing and abusive, and behaved completely inappropriately. Fortunately justice has been done in this case, and, hopefully, the Inspector concerned has been dealt with appropriately.