Monday, August 9

NYC: Leave Your Camera Home

If you're looking for proof of innocent people being held without reason other than they're foreign, here it is.

From my favorite place in the third world, Jamaica, a Gleaner staffer gets the American treatment.
Jamaica in colour at Empire State

THE new security blanket that envelops New York City is intimidating as was experienced by a Gleaner photographer as he captured the glowing lights of the Empire State Building, which was lit up in Jamaica's national colours on the weekend in tribute to the island's 42nd Independence celebrations.

Photographer Errol Anderson was Friday night detained for questioning for several hours by the New York police as he took pictures of the Empire State Building, one of America's most recognised, and now secure landmarks.

The photojournalist was shooting pictures from a vantage point near the Manhattan Post Office at 33rd and 9th avenues shortly after the lights went on. Empire State is at 33rd and 5th avenues.

A federal police officer watching him shooting his camera away at the building, became suspicious of his activities, even though he was wearing easily verifiable identification. The police officer called 9/11 to report the activity of "someone taking pictures of the post office."

The United States Postal Service is a federal agency and any untoward activity around post offices can be cause for alarm.

In addition, with the upcoming Republican Party national convention in New York City, and the heightened security alert, the building of a bridge nearby to accommodate the thousands of people expected at the convention, the overzealous police officer would not listen to the photographer's explanation.