Journalist harassed by Georgia law enforcement for photographing sheriff’s building

By Mikael Thalen | Storyleak | December 24, 2013

A journalist investigating a police brutality case was confronted and harassed by Georgia law enforcement late last week, while attempting to photograph outside the Glynn County Sheriff’s Department.


Following video of Georgia police slamming a 70-year-old woman into the pavement earlier this month, Jeff Gray, journalist with Photography is Not a Crime, headed to Glynn County to investigate the incident.

While standing on a public sidewalk taking pictures of the sheriff’s department, which also houses the county’s jail and courthouse, Gray was confronted by two Glynn County court bailiffs.

“What can I do for you? What are you taking pictures of? You got some ID?” the first bailiff says while approaching Gray.

“Am I being detained?” Gray asks as the bailiff grabs his camera, momentarily disabling the recording.

Seemingly unhappy with Gray’s refusal to quit recording as well as his understanding of constitutional rights, the bailiff can be seen grabbing the camera again as a second bailiff approaches.

“Let me tell you something right now. If you took a picture of those inmates going into that courthouse, you and I are going to have a problem,” a man identified as Commander Fetch threatens.

Both bailiffs continue asking questions, demanding to know Gray’s employer, which he continually states, while claiming he needs permission to take pictures from the sidewalk.

After several attempts to find out whether or not he is being detained, Gray receives simultaneous and conflicting answers from both bailiffs. While Fetch claims to have detained Gray, the commander quickly becomes irate after struggling to provide any legal authority to do so.

Despite continued requests by Gray to be presented with a statute or law that prohibits photographing a building from a public sidewalk, Fetch answers by claiming the public sidewalk as sheriff’s department property.

“This is not a public place right here, this is ours,” Fetch says.

Unable to coerce or intimidate Gray, the bailiffs eventually move their attention to an unknown bystander observing the situation, unable to intimidate the man into leaving as well.

The bailiffs can eventually be seen retreating back inside the department in a second video as Glynn County Sheriff E. Neal Jump attempts to remedy the situation.

Although bee stings kill more Americans than terrorism, the bailiffs’ abrasive behavior reflects many federal government training courses that link photography to terrorism.

Similarly, Storyleak’s Anthony Gucciardi and the Infowars crew were confronted at the NSA’s Utah data center while attempting to locate public relations last October. Despite internal Homeland Security documents having to admit the legality of filming federal buildings, NSA security illegally confiscated the crew’s cameras in a failed attempt to delete their footage.

This article originally appeared on Storyleak


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