Richmond, VA Photographer Arrested For Trespass on Public Street

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Richmond, Va photographer, Ian Graham, must be wondering where he was this past Monday as he was arrested by local police for trespassing on a city street. Graham, who was photographing police arresting demonstrators in the Occupy Richmond protest, was told by police he was trespassing as he politely stood near a public crosswalk  recording the goings on with his camera. Police claim they told Graham he could take photos but only in the designated “media area,” which was, of course, far from the scene of the arrests.

Graham was detained for the apparent “crime” of walking and photographing police from a public street. It’s more likely he was arrested in retaliation for questioning police about why he was unable to traverse the street and perform an obviously legal action. He was held at the Public Safety Building for about thirty minutes and then released on a summons. 

Eight other people were arrested during the 1:00 a.m raid of the Occupy Richmond encampment. Camping out in solidary with the Occupy Wall Street movement since October 15th, the demonstrators were told they were now trespassing in violation of a city ordinance prohibiting them from being present in the public park after dark. Boy, that took almost three weeks for police to figure out.

The Virginia ACLU is defending Graham who is part owner of RVA Magazine which publishes weekly and is distributed free of charge — or at least at no cost. For his part Graham is nonplussed by the misdemeanor charges. “The freedom of the press is not constrained to a box or some zone that the police inhabit,” he said. He added, “We as the press have the right and responsibility to cover the police during whatever they are doing on public property.”

The arrest occurred at Kanawha Plaza in the heart of Richmond’s financial district. That’s not particularly important until you remember that just a few blocks away down Broad Street is venerable St. John’s Church. There in March of 1775, another Virginian expressed much the same sentiment as Graham’s. I ‘m a little fuzzy on the name — Henry sounds right for the last name — but I’m in good company with the guardians of the peace here in Richmond. They don’t remember him at all.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

89 thoughts on “Richmond, VA Photographer Arrested For Trespass on Public Street”

  1. Paul, Paul, Paul…

    You “know about shades of gray, but nobody else here seems to”…


  2. Paul Hammond:

    I certainly acknowledge — even rejoice in — a witty,well-reasoned opposing point. I just haven’t seen one yet. We like evidence pleasantly presented here on the legal blog. Call it a weakness.

  3. You guys just refuse to acknowledge that someone who disagrees with you might have a point, which is why you are only good at talking to each other.

    Mespo, I know about shades of gray, but nobody else here seems to.

    Adios, farewell, aufwiedersein, goodnight.

  4. raff,

    Months ago we were all comparing Marching Bands ,,, I presented Ohio State … several others were posted and you mentioned your band but did not post a vid. I found one for you and there it was … the piano on wheels. I’m a musician … can’t forget something like that.

  5. “You guys know just enough history to be dangerous. Really, pick up a book.” -Paul

    Sounds like projection to me…

  6. Paul:

    You need the book my silly friend. Most of the Founders from the South were slaveowners. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and most wealthy planters in our home state were afflicted. That in no way detracts from the majesty of their contributions to our democracy. But then again that observation would require a mind that can discern shades of gray. Yours is tightly locked into stark contrasts of white and black. Tell you what my absolutist compadre, find me a great person without flaws and I will join you in your hero worship and quote him/her. Until that time, I’ll happily quote Madison and Jefferson. By the way, I haven’t quoted either man yet, but when I do, it will be sourced –and not to some half-wit Tea Bagger blog, either.

  7. Yeah. The authors of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are such bad role models. Nobody said Madison or Jefferson were perfect, but they were creatures of their times who are acknowledged as such in this forum. We acknowledge their flaws just as we acknowledge that they had the vision to create what has the potential to be the best form of governance in history and a document of singular historical and ethical importance in the case of the Declaration. That they were imperfect by modern standards in no way detracts from their vision or accomplishments.

    1. Paul,
      It’s sad that you are in so tight with those who are trying to destroy our Constitution and replace it with a new feudalism. Why do you hate America?

  8. “Not a game really; more of a play. Don’t be afraid my timid, conservative friend. It’s just another Act from a play that began its run in 1776. Patrick Henry played the lead then. Madison and Jefferson wrote the script, and the British provided the conflict. Stick around to see what happens. We’re just at intermission.”

    It’s a damn fine play too and I think I hear the orchestra warming up . . .

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