20 July 2007

Infectious stupidity

After numerous incidents of photographers detained by police for photographing events in public space, in places like New York, Sydney, London, and of course in countries of more disreputable democracy, I have praised my luck to live in a more sensible country.

Conditions and activities in Karl Johan Street (which is the nearest thing to a boulevard in Oslo) in recent weeks has been subject of much attention. Beggars have gone from discretion to active promotion, and so have the prostitutes. Not very flattering in the height of the tourist season. What's more, newsteams have documented drug deals made in the middle of the street for everyone to see. "Where is the police?" is what everyone asks.

Now we know. Yesterday, four police officers spent a couple of hours issuing ONE parking ticket at the Oslo Central Train Station. A person stopped to take pictures of the event, and was handcuffed, brought to police offices and detained for a couple of hours. Upon release, he received no apology for police behaviour, and not even an explanation. He got his camera back though, a small compact.

What's special about this incident is that a newsteam from TV2 was present, and documented the apprehension of the photographer. There is pictorial evidence of unnecessary police force, documentation that the car-owner was "convinced" to pay the fine in cash, and all together a very much less than flattering image of the police, milking the public for money instead of doing something useful.

I just saw this on the nine o'clock news today. If the video is released on the web, I will post to it asap.

Needless to say, I'm pissed. I shall certainly not bless my luck anymore. This police misbehaviour is spreading like a virus. It would not at all surprise me if Oslo police have just mindlessly caught on to what seems to be the international trend of policing.

What idiocy. Sheesh!

Update 25.07:
The channel that published this news (www.TV2.no) does not allow linking to previous broadcasts without subscription. I do not wish to openly breach copyright issues, so I shall not post a rip of the videostream on the web. However I have acquired it, and will let you have a copy for private use only if you contact me by the mail address in my profile.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind words that helped rejuvenate my interests. You've taken some beautiful photos. Take care : )