August 17, 2012
American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)
Eugene H. Mopsik, Executive Director
Phone: 215-451-2767 ext 201
Philadelphia, PA... The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and its New York chapter have been closely monitoring recent incidents in New York City involving unlawful actions by law enforcement officers against photojournalists and other citizens who have photographed NYPD activities. Accordingly, ASMP urges New York City's officials to follow the recent examples of other cities such as Boston, Baltimore and Washington D.C., where law enforcement officials have issued statements and/or directives that reflect a better and clearer understanding of the Constitution and the First Amendment rights.
"ASMP believes that it is crucial that photographers everywhere are able to provide the public with complete and accurate documentation of law enforcement activities. We are pleased to learn that the NYPD is conducting its own internal affairs investigation regarding several incidents involving the harassment and detention of photographers," said ASMP General Counsel Victor S. Perlman. "It is important that all law enforcement officers understand that photography is not a crime and photographers are not criminals." A number of ASMP members have recently come forward to report their experiences with law enforcement officers who used unnecessary force and interfered with their First Amendment rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
ASMP asks that New York City officials issue a statement that reminds its law enforcement officers and other citizens of how important it is to have transparency in police activities. ASMP stands in alliance with the National Press Photographers Association in its call to raise the current standards of practice in New York City.
ASMP is the premier trade association for imaging professionals and is a well-known leader on current issues, regularly representing the industry on legislative matters and providing members with state-of-the-art information and education. ASMP members are recognized as a community of forward-thinking professionals.