Source: Constitution gives right to photograph in public space

1 year 6 months 1 week 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
loading

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
MORGAN COUNTY - The National Weather Service (NWS) from Springfield, Missouri has conducted a review of damage in extreme southeastern... More >>
2 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 6:09:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – Volunteer security guards and local police officers are making sure the 29 th Annual Salute to Veterans Air... More >>
7 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:43:00 PM CDT in News
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities have recovered two bodies and are searching for a third person after their vehicle was... More >>
7 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:38:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives of two of four people killed when a steam-filled tank weighing nearly 2,000 pounds (900... More >>
7 hours ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:33:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a man who barricaded himself inside a home repeatedly fired at officers... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 6:54:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police say they are searching for a man who shot two people,... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 6:46:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A new business pushes it’s clients to their limit and has them sweating bullets. Two former NFL... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 5:06:00 PM CDT in Sports
COLUMBIA - A resettlement agency supporting refugees had a surplus in donations, so it decided to sell some of its... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 4:47:00 PM CDT in News
As of 6:00 p.m. 23,491 Electric Cooperative member-consumers are without power As of 5:37 p.m. Saturday, Ameren reports that... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 4:21:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Traditional Native American food, crafts and dancing can be found at the tenth annual "For the People"... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Two teens were arrested early Saturday morning in relation to an armed robbery Friday night. Columbia Police... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 3:46:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
BOONE COUNTY - One person was extricated from a vehicle and taken to the hospital with serious injuries after a... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 2:53:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA— The start of the ninth annual Pedaler’s Jamboree was held on Saturday. Nine years ago when the event... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 2:24:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The 29th Annual Salute to Veterans Air Show is scheduled for Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 2:10:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Three people were taken to hospitals by emergency personnel following a three-car wreck Saturday morning. A... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 1:08:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – Public pools in Columbia opens for Memorial Day weekend, but they are still looking for more people to... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:29:00 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Two months after the idea was first introduced to leaders in Springfield, Missouri, the city's new... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:13:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a man who exchanged gunfire with officers during an hours-long standoff has... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:09:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
9pm 72°
10pm 69°
11pm 66°
12am 64°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
Sports Extra with Chris Gervino
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
6:00p
A Thousand Words
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld