Friday, January 9, 2009

Schmuck Alert: Unnecessary Cuffness

"Where the public can go, the cameras can too." You'd think they'd print that on a card or something, stick it in the breast pocket of every deputy, rent-a-cop and baliff in the contiguous U.S. Not so, it seems - for why else would an Atlanta City Hall authority go all Walking Tall on a hapless news crew and slap cuffs on 'em? It all started when CBS 46 News photographer Jeff Thorn and reporter Renee Starzyk were working on a water rates story at Atlanta's City Hall. If that wasn't punishment enough, Officer E.R. Murray - who'd just let the news crew in - decided they couldn't use the shiny fancycam they'd brought along with them. When Thorn and Starzyk refused to leave, Murray got all 'hall monitor' on the workaday duo. Grabbing at their camera, he placed the two men in handcuffs, before thoroughly confusing his superiors with this inexplicable decision. When the higher-ups realized they shackled news crew was guilty of nothing (but missing lunch), they popped the lock and apologized. "Here, have a blank check and a key to the city!", they did not add. Soon after, Thorn and Starzyk managed to escape, baffled, behind schedule, but beyond certain that the cat working the courthouse lobby on Fridays is an easily flustered Schmuck!


Anonymous said...

I'm SO HAPPY schmuck alert has graced the halls of my very own tv station.

Thanks go to The Lenslinger Institute!


EL-GUAPO said...

This site needs to be mandatory viewing to anyone who is issued handcuffs. You have to read every post on this site before you are issued a badge, cuffs, and gun/taser. The Guapo has spoken!

SteveO-CO said...

Working on a Fed installation (Peterson AFB, CO) as I do, I appreciate the adage that where the public can go, the camera can too. As it doesn't apply to the Federal government's turf, of course. And I've been reminded of how "unfree" federal property is on many occasions...

I had a heated debate the morning of an air show between my smart-assed yet unarmed self and a 20-something with an M-16 that went something like this:

(I was taking a short cut from the parking lot where I worked to the flight line, briefly skirting this dude's "barkline" in front of a windowless and ominous building)

Air Cop: "Sir, you cannot bring your camera into this restricted area, sir."

("Sir," in this case is an epitaph)

Me: "I'm not leaving it in the car, it isn't on, and my cell phone, and not to mention, my eyeballs/brain make for a pretty neat cameras too. And I'm just heading to the air show anyway." Okay, I'm paraphrasing from memory, but you get the idea.

Air cop: "Sir, you can't take that through here. You're going to have to go around then."

That would mean an extra mile of ground pounding. So I don't relent.

Me: "The sign says, no photography beyond this point. It does not say, 'no cameras beyond this point.' I know it is a rather subtle distinction, but still, there it is."

Air cop sighs: Um, let me call this in.

[heated back n' forth over radio]

He comes back and says, "sir, sorry for the confusion, sir. My chief says you can keep your camera, but you aren't to turn it on."

Me: "Thanks."

Surprised he didn't shoot me. Probably would have been written off as justified if he had.

SickNTired said...

just another assho*e who thinks just because he has a badge can do what ever he wants..

Keith said...

There is no such thing as a simple misunderstanding once they handcuffs go on.

I hand the same problem with a Delta employee at Atlanta Airport several weeks ago but I was gone before any security people or the cops arrived.

Z. Miletich said...

When things like this happen, it bothers me.

But seeing a woman's hands in cuffs is sure worth the trouble for me.