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| There Ain't No Justice |
| #80 |
"To Protect And Serve"
(and occasionally harass innocent photographers)
by Public Enemy #3
A while ago I decided to take some pictures of a meteor shower. During
the day I looked for a good spot to set up my camera (I'm semiprofessional;
I sell occasional shots to the papers), and soon I found a nice spot on a
beach near the hook.
At around 11:30 I went to the beach area I had found and set up my
camera to wait for some meteors. I had the radio tuned to a heavy metal
station, and it may have been a little loud. After about an hour (and some
good meteor pictures) two cops showed up. They swaggered up to me and
demanded that I turn off the radio. I did, but then they told me I was on
private property. I told them I didn't know that, and asked to see the sign.
They shined their flashlights away from my eyes for a minute and pointed to
a knocked-over sign ten feet off the road, broken, and half covered in
weeds. Since I figured I could find somewhere else to take pictures, I
decided to move on. I told them I had to pack up my photography equipment.
One of the "wonderfully kind" officers stood at the top of the hill blinding
me with his flashlight while I collected my gear. He obviously hadn't seen
me taking down the tripod and putting away the camera, or heard me when I
said I want to gather my PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT, because when I was done I
slung the tripod bag over my shoulder, he trained his gun on me and started
screaming "Drop that rifle!"
"What rifle?" I asked. "The one on a strap over your shoulder." he
bellowed. I replied "It's not a rifle, it's just a..." "Drop it or I'll
shoot!" he said with a nervous waver in his voice. If had really had a rifle
and had any desire to kill him he would have already been dead. While he
could barely see me in his flashlight beam, the same light would have made a
perfect target for me to shoot at. Oh well, back to "Rodney King II, Harass
the White Boy". So I dropped my "rifle"; he came running - no, make that
waddling on his doughnut-gorged stomach - to the bottom of the hill. I
repeated that it wasn't a rifle and pointed to it. Now he said it was a
rifle bag (a what?). After he opened it, he said my camera case was a pistol
carrier and "rifled" through it too, I told him it was just more camera
equipment, but he didn't listen. (Maybe there was some feces clogging his
ears; you know, from all those years he'd kept his head up his ass.) He
wanted to know why, if it wasn't a pistol case, did I have a "silencer" in
there. I told him that it was a remote flash extension bar and showed him
what it was for, he then grumbled and went back to searching for illegal
items. He found a few packets of silica gel* , and began waving them in my
face, screaming about heroin. I told him what it was and said, "If you don't
believe me, taste it." He did, and then made a face that was almost worth
all the aggravation to see. He then asked, if it wasn't drugs, then how come
I had a needle in there. I kindly informed Officer Buttwipe that it was a
cable release**. He then yelled at me for not committing any crimes and let
me go, with a ticket for disturbing the peace and trespassing.
As I sit here writing this I look forward to shooting up silica gel with
my cable release...and lighting my fireplace with that stupid ticket.
* Silica gel is a granular substance that absorbs moisture; it is used for
protecting lenses and circuitry from humidity, and it comes in clearly
** A cable release is a long wire with a plunger on one end, used by
professional photographers to trip the shutter from a distance without
jiggling the camera and making the shot appear fuzzy when using low shutter
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