Angry LA Cop Bullies Street Photographer

06.03.10 Marina Galperina


In a video posted this week, Shawn Nee, a Los Angeles street photographer and blogger, claims his right to photograph police activity: There is no expectation of privacy, especially on a public street under video surveillance. Meanwhile, a cop yells something about “two years in the desert” he spent for Shawn Nee’s “fruitcake ass” and detains him.

The particularly ridiculous part of this video is the cop’s attempt to demonstrate authority by threatening Nee with parking tickets as he tries to re-establish himself after yelling at him: “You fruitcake, God dang it, start moving!”

Photographer Thomas Hawk had this to say:

Our ability as citizens to document the police is extremely important. Historically, citizen photography has been instrumental in documenting police abuse cases from Rodney King to the recent shooting death of Oscar Grant. To wear a badge and a gun in our society is a privilege and ought to only be afforded to those willing to enforce actual laws and not intimidate citizens by making up illegal photography rules of their own.

Make your support heard here. See some of Shawn Nee‘s exceptional documentation of Los Angeles streets and characters below.