LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies will undergo training for interacting with photographers or members of the public who are taking photos in public places as part of a court settlement.
The settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California (ACLU) was approved Wednesday by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors in a case involving three photographers who were detained by L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies while shooting photos in public places.READ MORE: Ticketholders To Filipino Festival FAHMfest Find Empty Parking Lot In San Pedro
In 2011, the ACLU sued the county and individual deputies on behalf of photographers Shawn Nee, Greggory Moore and Shane Quentin, alleging deputies violated the photographers’ First and Fourth Amendment rights by detaining, searching and questioning them for taking photographs of Metro Rail turnstiles, oil refineries and traffic whizzing by a court house, according to attorney Peter Bibring.
As part of the settlement – which includes $50,000 in damages for the photographers – Sheriff’s deputies will undergo additional training to prevent deputies from “interfering, threatening, intimidating, blocking or otherwise discouraging” photographers from taking photos or video unless they are violating a law, Bibring said.READ MORE: Lakers Lose To Warriors 121-114
“The Sheriff’s Department agreed to issue training to all deputies on patrol, making clear that photography is a First Amendment right, that citizens have a right to take photographs any place that they are lawfully present, and clearly directing deputies not to interfere with photography,” Bibring told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO.
The training called for by the settlement has been in effect since April 2014, according to Bibring.MORE NEWS: One Shot In Beverly Hills Robbery Outside Restaurant
Deputies currently undergo “suspicious activity reporting” programs designed to train them to report certain activities believed to have a potential link to terrorism, Bibring said. Other law enforcement agencies include photography among the activities that should be reported, he added.