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JGDA9RS's avatar

Plastic Cop

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Photography> Photojournalism> Political

was taking pictures of the homeless guy behind him yesterday night, and he decided to get in my way, and asked me to delete the photos since i was apparently standing under private property. the building behind me from the first person perspective is actually a train and seabus station. i was outside on a part of the side walk. i showed him the photographer's rights pdf that i have on my cellphone, and he didnt acknowledge it. i told him to ask police, and unfortunately the police said the same thing. what's interesting was, where i was standing there were no smoking signs everywhere, and there were people there smoking to death minute after minute. the bum never said anything about me taking his picture, since he was somewhat dosed off and sleeping, waiting for a fucking miracle to happen. so anyways i talked to police, had a friendly conversation and they told me the same thing that this imbecile that you see in the picture here told me. apparently i was supposed to have a written consent to take the homeless man's photo. Then came the usual handshake, have a great day farewell plastic greetings. so i go on my facebook and bantered about the whole event. and guess what i find after? my friend sent me a link stating that The Vancouver Police are no longer allowed to confiscate cameras and ask a member of the society to delete a photo from their camera if they ever deem necessary. this document can be viewed here, although not complete [link]

More of the reasons and stories can be found here :


Information and news articles courtesy of The Vancouver Straight, a vancouver newspaper publishing company.

So, if you know this person in the photo, i hope he gets the message right away and get up to date with the bylaws and new regualtions that are and will be passed around.

I mean i did ask a police officer before, and they told me that as long as i'm on the street and the subject is in public display, they have no right to ask me to delete a photo. So tomorrow i'm gonna add to the tally of formal and informal complaints that has been piling up in their list, and will be calling up Genesis Security as well. I'm glad the police let this shot slide, as all but two shots of the guy he was covering are gone. sorry about the rant and the long read. just want people across the world to know how incompetent vancouver is when it comes to policing and upholding its bylaw regulations. Cheers !

- I changed the title since i posted it, kind of feel the original was a bit innappropriate and infantile :D

this is my entry for the deviantart LIFE contest
Image details
Image size
2760x3960px 7.76 MB
Shutter Speed
5/1000 second
Focal Length
44 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Aug 24, 2009, 4:22:46 PM
© 2009 - 2021 JGDA9RS
anonymous's avatar
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larAdelaideX's avatar
Do you have photographs of the homeless person, without the officer standing in the way?
Royksopp's avatar
tell them to stuff it at all times! even when they put you in back of patty wagon. No cop or cop wanna be has the right to your camera or the card, or a roll of film, without a court order. Always tell them to read the f*&*^ charter.....

One thing i picked up, is to carry a spare flash card and change it if "shit hits the fan"

wait till the olympics, Vancouver will turn into most "watched" city in the world, surpassing London by the number of security cameras.

Sea ya, around :ahoy:

keep on rocking in the "free" world ;)
JGDA9RS's avatar
they are idiots. i did file a complain
and he got in trouble for it. i saw him
again a month later, but not in that uniform :D
fridaythe13th's avatar
well of course he's going to stand in front of him! it's no news that Vancouver's ashamed of the number of homeless people downtown, he probably saw it as "bad for business" to have you keep "documented" proof of the poor homeless man being there...

Either way, people really need to realize that we live in a free world!! And making huge deals about certain "laws" (or in this case, not even laws) while ignoring actual laws(like the no smoking area, with smokers), just goes to show how screwed up our justice system is!

I give ya credit for standing up for it though! I think a big reason I don't do public photography is because I'd rather avoid the conflict with power trippers altogether.
JGDA9RS's avatar
we have a government full of twats that's why lol
fridaythe13th's avatar
JGDA9RS's avatar
well it's always the compromise of street photography and journalism.
it's even worse business for him standing infront and getting in my way lol.
look whats happened to him now hahaha. ah well, what can we do. they gotta
make themselves look good somehow. this one here's just got a little more

Thanks for the props! :D glad to be of use.
fridaythe13th's avatar
totally! you're welcome :D
Eliza-mac's avatar
Power-trippers, you get them everywhere!
I enjoy the protest dance. Police photographers are out with their cameras, photographs attached to organizations photograph the police photographing the demonstrators. I've seen it get very "in your face" a couple of times. Once I saw a cop try to take a camera from someone at a protest, every photographer within spitting distance was on his ass in a flash and waving photographers rights at him. A senior officer had to step in, the cop was the one who had to back down :w00t:
JGDA9RS's avatar
it's always the case. cops are always and will always be dumb.
just look at it, they got shot and spit at for $70,000 a year lol
Eliza-mac's avatar
In general, cops are annoying. I can't condemn all of them though... I know some good ones ;P
JGDA9RS's avatar
most of them, but the ones i talked to were quite nice, inspite of being a little bit behind.
tonydicks's avatar
While I acknowledge that we as photographers have a right to take pictures in public it wouldn't hurt to offer the homeless guy a little something to take his picture. I mean, you are trying to use his image to further your own photographic experience/career/etc so a couple bucks or a sandwich wouldn't hurt right?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you have to but personally if I found out someone was using my image in his or her portfolio without telling me I'd be a little upset.

With regard to private property, they can have restrictions on what can be photographed, although if you were on the sidewalk out front it would depend on where the property line was.

I do commend you for being forearmed with the knowledge of your rights as a photographer.
JGDA9RS's avatar
for your information, i did give him money, and offered him food
that he refused.

a public place is a public place. the context was, there were a lot
of other people smoking infront of a non smoking sign, why pick on me.
if i were to use it for profits, i would ask for a signature for a release form.
a lot of street photographers never ask for that either. look wayyy back when
cartier bresson was still alive, up until now. if the subject's on public display,
you DO NOT need any sort of permission. you're making me wonder if you read everything
clearly. anyways my point is that, i've read and heard it from the authorities before.

Private Property restrictions only cover the ones that are INSIDE the property, not the
ones outside. if you invade that space inside, then it's illegal. maybe sidewalks are
considered private property where you are.

I always know my rules :)
tonydicks's avatar
Dude, you said "the bum never said anything about me taking his picture, since he was somewhat dosed off and sleeping, waiting for a fucking miracle to happen" so how is anyone supposed to know that you gave him anything? Did you even ask his name?

I read what you wrote and I know photographer rights. Perhaps the rent a cop sees enough homeless people being taken advantage of that he thought he would step in and say something even if it's wasn't the correct thing to say. Everyone has his or her own reason for doing what they do.

Don't take this as me saying you don't have a right to do what you did with regards to taking the picture because that's not what I'm saying.
JGDA9RS's avatar
did you even read my last comment? i said i did give him money, more compared to what people usually give him.
you really are missing the whole point here. i may have taken advantage of him, okay.. but the context is, that he was fine with it like i said, i even shook his hand as i got the rent a cop to call the cops.

a man also (it sucks coz i know this person) stepped in and started arguing and yelling at the homeless man as we waited for police to show up. doesn't really matter what the rent a cop sees, what i did is a glorification of the homeless man's misfortune. do you have any idea how many people take their picture everyday and tell them to bugger off after that? and what does the law have to do in context anyway? he was totally fine with taking the picture. i know that for a fact because he told me that as i talked to the ambassador. you're just making me repeat what i said in the comment box below. yes, he did step in with nothing right to say. you got that right. i gave the homeless person compensation ($20), and the man bought that, but the rent a cop didn't wanna lose his ego so he made me delete it. i asked high ranked police officers before, and the vancouver police certainly didn't say the same thing. do you have any idea how many complaints they get (both downtown ambassadors and VPD)
for this kind of problem about confiscating cameras and shit like that, let alone their power trips and stuff ?
i am taking your comments as it is, perhaps you should look deeper next time. with all due respect of course, and no pun intended. all i'm saying is i didn't do anything to aggravate the poor guy. i just wanna expose them so that maybe one day our government would get a little embarrased and make improvements. i should've mentioned that i did acknowledge the bum's privacy, but unfortunately he's in public, and not on the so called fucking private property. he was on the side walk like i said earlier, so abuse or not, i shouldn't have had to delete the photos.
mr. ryan on the picture there should've dealt with the people smoking infront of the non smoking sign and not me.
then he probably would've made commission off that $2000 fine he would've issued.
tonydicks's avatar
Take a deep breath and relax. I'm not trying to get you angry here. Clearly we're on two different pages about what we are trying to say to each other.

You've answered my questions about compensation (and $20 is a lot, most people I know who do street would give $5). I also commended you on being knowledgeable about your rights as a photographer. You're additional comments have given a better point of reference for what went down. I apologize for any misunderstanding.
JGDA9RS's avatar
i'm not mad at you or anyone here really haha. typing is really so different from
actually talking. well, i was mad at the police, but i'm over it now :D no need
for apologies from you man, come on.
turtlespooon's avatar
They are by far some of the dumbest police in this town
anonymous's avatar
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