More accurately, they are a budget issue when you fail to honor them. That’s not a new lesson for our area: improper arrests during Charles Ramsey’s tenure as police chief cost the city well over a million bucks. But it seems to be one lesson officials aren’t taking seriously: as DCist’s Heather Goss reported yesterday, security continues to harass photographers for no valid reason. In this case it was a DC Superior Court guard and Federal Marshals.
Potentially luckily for the DC budget it was the marshals who violated Jerome Vorus‘ rights and deleted his photograph – an Atlanta man just got a $40,000 award for having his photos deleted against his will. Mind you, if I was the one suing – and we’ve seen no indication that Vorus intends to – I’d name the District as well.
It’s one thing to get caught by something like this for the first time, but repeatedly stepping on the toes of people who aren’t afraid to make you pay up is just dumb. When you consider that the estimate of practicing attorneys in the area tops 80,000 it might be in the city’s interest to make sure authorities don’t overstep their bounds. $40,000 is a lot to pay for a picture you don’t even get to hang on your wall.