Before I get into this story I want to set the psychographic stage, because I’ve been through this enough now to know what kind of conversations these controversies stir up.
My 2007 incident in San Antonio [see An Accidental Interview With Lieutenant Phil Dreyer] – which was much scarier and more flagrant than the one I’m writing about today – made me realize how out-of-fashion standing up for your rights has become, and also how much it opens you up to criticism for being a troublemaker (and more).
People like Thomas Hawk and Carlos Miller have famously faced this as well. The assumption (often verbalized) is that we’re belligerent, in-your-face assholes who go to places sticking our cameras (and our laminated, marked-up copies of the First Amendment) in people’s faces, looking and hoping for a fight. Sorry, but that’s just not true. I absolutely hate these confrontations and just want to make my pictures and be left alone. For instance, I had a terribly embarrassing and awkward police / photography incident at LAX a few months back and decided not to write about it because of the rather sensational issues it would raise. So trust me, I am not in this for the fight.