Police officers have been quoting Section 44 of Terrorism Act 2000 when arresting photographers for photographing certain public places terming the act as being illegal.
However, this paper aims at making the readers know that the power of law enforcement officers to stop and search photographers doing public photographing was ruled illegal during the year 2010. Therefore, photographers have the right to take photographs of public places in which they have legal access to without being stopped, searched or arrested. Any police officer attempting to search digital data possessed by a photographer should have a search warrant1 (Krages, 2011, p. 212).
According to Lewis (2010, p.2), during the year 2009 unlawful conviction of a photographer named Robert Palmer cost the New York Police Department a total of $30 000. The amount of money was paid to the victim as damages because he was convicted unlawfully. Moreover, During December 19th, 2009, an amateur photographer was arrested in Lancashire Town for taking photos that were considered to be suspicious and triggering antisocial behavior by the police officers2 (Lewis, 2010, p. 5). The law enforcement officers questioned him under the anti-terrorism legislation and later arrested him. Nevertheless, during the year 2011, police officers arrested a photographer named Clint Fillinger for taking photos of a House Fire Crime Scene3 (Potter, 2012, p.1).
In response to the unlawful arrests of photographers, Mickey Osterreicher, a general counsel of the National Press Photographers Association, says, “…police treat anyone with a camera as a suspect” (Potter, 2012, p.3). Moreover, John Timoney, the former police chief in Philadelphia and Miami confessed that there have been increased tension between police officers and photographers that has led to the unlawful arrests and convictions (Potter, 2012, p.4).
Police officers have continued to violate the rights of