Police State Redux - New Media and Politics

Remember that story I blogged earlier about the corporatist Police State that we're now all inhabitants of (yeah, that includes Canada)? well, today over at ProPublica.org there's a story of a photographer who was followed and detained by BP security and the Police for taking innocuous photographs of signs in and around a BP refinery in Texas City. It's a story of attempted bullying and intimidation.

Lance Rosenfield was taking pictures for two stories being covered by ProPublica. One was about a BP refinery illegally releasing 538,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into the air (aren't they beautiful people?) and the other about the refinery where 15 people died as result of BP negligence 5 years ago that continues to have safety violations to this day. He is first hemmed in by two Texas City police cars at a gas station, then ordered to show the pictures he took or, the police officer threatens, ...he could handle this another way, including calling Homeland Security and taking me in. The BP security guard shows up and is given Mr. Rosenfield's personal information by the police and finally the Homeland Security/FBI agent Tom Robison is called in to help assist in the police-state like tactics.


Fortunately Mr. Rosenfield was well aware of his rights as he stood his ground and remained calm, polite and on point until they released him 20-30 minutes later. A good lesson for us all in these strange times.