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ACLU Sues LA Sheriff’s Department Over Photographer’s Rights

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has more trouble on its hands. A month after releasing a devastating report on deputy abuse of inmates in the LA County Jail system, the ACLU is now suing the LASD on behalf of several photographers who claim they were illegally harassed and detained by deputies while taking photographs in public spaces. The incident in the video above, where professional photographer Shawn Nee was detained by deputies for 25 minutes for taking shots of the Metro, is at the heart of the lawsuit.

The LA Times notes that plenty of other photographers in Los Angeles have been detained by deputies in recent years while legally doing their jobs.

In addition to the named plaintiffs, the suit alleges that several other photographers were detained for taking pictures of public buildings. Freelance photographer Ted Soqui was detained on the sidewalk outside the downtown jail while taking pictures for an L.A. Weekly story on jail abuse. Similarly, Catherine Dent was taking exterior photos of Men’s Central Jail for a school project and was detained and questioned.

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