This is the Thomas S Foley Federal Courthouse building in Spokane, Washington and this is the photo that started the whole bruhaha with security and the Federal Protective Service.

As I was snapping away, I hear a voice call out from my right, "May I help you?"

I ignored it.

Again, "May I help you?"

I looked up, saw a guy in street clothes(unfortunately, I didn't get a pic of him) and said, "No, doing pretty good by myself thanks."

"Why are you taking pictures of the building?"

Me: "Because I can."

Him: We don't like people taking pictures of the building."

Me: "Well, I'm on a public sidewalk, and it IS a public building."

Him: "I need to know why you are taking pictures of the building, I am the head of security here."

Me: "I'm exercising my 1st Amendment rights."

Him: Well, you can't take pictures of the security systems, or the cameras."

Me: Actually, I can, if they are in public view.

Shortly after our conversation started, two uniformed security guards came rushing out of the front doors....

helen sotiriadis, Mike Deal, and Allan faved this
  • Brian Hayes 5y

    Thanks for your photojounalism. I live 5 hours from there and as far as I know , Wa is still part "merica
  • imageemperor 5y

    Good for you DSC05732.

    There's nothing more that the 2 uniformed security guards can do, and you were perfectly within your rights.

    This kind of B/S is increasingly common in Britain too (which lacks constitutional guarantees).

    Good for you. If they try to take away the right to photograph in public, the terrorists have already won.
  • Paul & Liz 5y

    Well played, sir.
  • Trevor Stevens 5y

    Touche. The hassle was worth this shot IMO...
  • Blake_Yo 5y

    I'm down here in Pullman, next time I'm in Spokane I'll snap some pics and see what happens.
  • cjc4454 PRO 5y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Caught in the Act ~ of Flickr~ing!, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • cjc4454 PRO 5y

    Thanks for adding your photo to CAUGHT IN THE ACT~ OF FLICKR~ING!
  • Blair PRO 5y

    I wonder if comments on your photos are being monitored by the "authorities".
  • high flyer7 4y

    This is just one more example of the typical gestapo tactics by the 'american gestapo'.
    WE THE PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO OUR OPINION of these tax-payer-financed "uniformed gang thugs" in this country whether they like it OR NOT!! DO NOT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THIS BULLSHIT!! WAKE UP PEOPLE! THIS IS TYRANNY! Plain and simple! Go to your governors, senators, etc, etc, attorney generals, everyone you can think of, and yes, even the news! Get the gestapo agents names and 'oinker' numbers to take with you. Watch them SECRETLY while filming and then put it on Youtube and send copies everywhere!! File complaint after complaint after complaint against the 'american gestapo'!! Wage WAR against the gestapo!! No change will happen if you sit on your duff and just talk about it. GO AFTER THEM!!
3 faves
Taken on March 26, 2010
  • ƒ/5.6
  • 24.0 mm
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