Source: Constitution gives right to photograph in public space

1 year 2 months 2 days ago November 18, 2015 Nov 18, 2015 Wednesday, November 18 2015 Wednesday, November 18, 2015 12:19:00 PM CST in News
By: Michael Lindquist, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA – The confrontation with a photographer during the #ConcernedStudent1950 protest on Nov. 9 violated his rights, according to an MU law professor.

Tim Tai is an MU student who was documenting the reaction after former UM System President Tim Wolfe announced he resigned for ESPN.

While Tai was taking photographs on MU’s Carnahan Quadrangle, a confrontation ensued between Tai and MU Department of Communication assistant professor Melissa Click.

According to MU School of Law Adjunct Professor Sandy Davidson, Tai was abiding by his rights. 

“If it’s a public spot, if it’s something like Francis Quadrangle, Carnahan Quadrangle, any kind of public forum, public street or a side walk or a park, the doctrine is called Standing In,” Davidson said. “Standing In applies to journalists and everybody else and here it is: If you can see it, then you can stand in for anybody else who might be passing by and you can see it, you may take a picture of it.”

She said this doctrine applies to everybody because journalism is not a licensed profession.

“We do not license journalists in this country,” Davidson said. “So, who is a journalist? That’s a big question because we don’t license journalists; we don’t have a First Amendment definition of who is a journalist. And now with all the social media and all, everything is blurring even more.”

In a viral YouTube video recorded by Mark Schierbecker, Click is heard telling Tai that he cannot take photos of the protesters. She is then heard calling for some “muscle” to help remove the photojournalist from the area.

Protesters surrounded Tai to block any view he had of the demonstrations and forced him behind the man-made boundary to keep media from getting too close.

“Immediately, there were people putting their hands in my face over my camera,” Tai told KOMU 8 News.

Davidson said the protesters on the Carnahan Quadrangle had no reasonable expectation of privacy because they were in a public space.

“A photographer has a right to take a picture of things that are occurring in public spaces, anybody has that right,” Davidson said. “Now, let’s say somebody says, ‘please don’t’ or maybe it’s more of a demand – ‘don’t photograph us.’ Now, we’re on ethical grounds. The photographer or any other person has a right to take the picture and then it’s a matter of ethical constraint.”

She said the United States Constitution protects the right to photograph in a public space.

“It’s also a matter of journalistic principles,” Davidson said. “Let’s say something is happening that is highly newsworthy and you want to document it for the public, for the people who can’t be there at the time, but you think they really need to know what is going on – the First Amendment gives protection.”

She also said the pictures or videos can get posted on the Internet without violating any rights, even if there are requests for no media.

“Can you take pictures of people in public places when they’re saying ‘don’t take pictures of us?” Davidson said. “Yes you can.”

Click released an apology for her actions on Nov. 10. 

Schierbecker’s YouTube video now has more than 2.7 million views.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – On Friday, president-elect Donald Trump will officially take the oath of office in Washington D.C. for President of... More >>
8 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 9:58:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a new set of regulations on Wednesday that clarifies standards for living... More >>
11 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:49:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia/Boone County Health and Human Services Department tracked a decrease in mumps cases reports when MU students... More >>
11 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:42:00 PM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwest Missouri woman was sentenced to two years in prison without parole for selling more than... More >>
11 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:39:07 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY ( AP) — Missouri Democrats are asking Gov. Eric Greitens to support their efforts to force the new... More >>
11 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:23:56 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a man was fatally shot just west of Hickey Park. According... More >>
11 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 6:11:00 PM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Missouri Highway Patrol has identified the person at the center of a death investigation north of... More >>
12 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 5:15:35 PM CST in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a 79-year-old man fatally shot the assistant manager of an apartment for... More >>
13 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 4:53:42 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department responded to a shots fired incident near Quail Drive Thursday afternoon. According to... More >>
13 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 4:25:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit challenging Missouri regulations limiting how alcohol producers and... More >>
14 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:50:31 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri senator says the state shouldn't be investing in Russia, and she has filed a... More >>
14 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:44:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The man who was the face of Ferguson, Missouri, in the turmoil that followed the 2014... More >>
15 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:47:32 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - New research from the University of Missouri School of Social work called for more attention to advanced directives,... More >>
15 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:40:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A bill prohibiting mandatory union fees in workplaces is moving to the Missouri Senate after winning... More >>
15 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:36:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Airport, trucking and business officials all are urging Missouri lawmakers to change state driver's license laws... More >>
15 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:24:06 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City-area investigators are searching for a missing college student from Wichita who hasn't been seen... More >>
15 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:15:54 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is appealing a federal jury's $3 million award to the family... More >>
15 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:08:00 PM CST in News
MOUNT VERNON (AP) — A southwest Missouri fa rmer who was charged in a fork loader assault has pleaded guilty... More >>
16 hours ago January 19, 2017 Jan 19, 2017 Thursday, January 19 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:00:50 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 46°
6am 45°
7am 45°
8am 45°
9am 47°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
5:30a
Paid Program
6:00a
King of the Hill
6:30a
King of the Hill

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Grimm
8:00p
Emerald City
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Vampire Diaries
8:00p
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld