Long Beach Journo Detained for Taking Photos ‘With No Esthetic Value’

The Long Beach Police Department recently made news when it detained photographer Sander Roscoe Wolff –who works for the Long Beach Post–for taking shots of a North Long Beach refinery. Asked to clarify the department’s policy on dealing with photographers, Police Chief Jim McDonnell told the Post that police can detain photographers for taking shots “with no apparent esthetic value.”

“If an officer sees someone taking pictures of something like a refinery, it is incumbent upon the officer to make contact with the individual.”

Makes a certain amount of sense…Kind of…Maybe not so much. Esthetic value is clearly subjective. As the National Press Photographer’s Association recently wrote to McDonnell, “photography is[n’t] in and of itself a suspicious activity.”