30 June 2010

LAPD officers are apparently qualified art critics now

Popehat | Ken | Big Brother Is Watching. And Arresting. And Harassing.

Via Radley Balko I see that yesterday the ACLU released its much-anticipated report on police surveillance of (and interference with) protest activity. Read it and weep, as they say. It has dozens of examples from many states, and includes links to descriptions of each incident.

A few highlights:
LAPD Special Order #11, dated March 5, 2008 includes a list of 65 behaviors LAPD officers “shall” report. The list includes such innocuous, clearly subjective, and First Amendment‐protected activities as, taking measurements, using binoculars, taking pictures or video footage “with no apparent esthetic value,” drawing diagrams, taking notes, and espousing extremist views.
Have these nitwits ever heard of Ed Ruscha? He made a career in LA half a century ago taking straight-ahead photographs of mundane things like gas stations and donut shops and highway overpasses.  That would apparently land him on the LAPD shit list these days.  It looks to me like the LAPD has just unilaterally outlawed street photography as an aesthetic.

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