Freelance photographer, Lance Rosenfield, was confronted and detained by BP security, police officers and a DHS agent in Texas City, Texas as he was working on an assignment for ProPublica/PBS concerning a deadly accident caused by BP’s safety violations in 2005.
According to the report from ProPublica, Rosenfield was told that he would be “taken in” if he did not allow the police to review his photos. Based on the report, when he complied, the police also allowed private representatives of BP to view the images as well.
In a statement to ProPublica concerning the incident, BP stated the following:
“BP Security followed the industry practice that is required by federal law. The photographer was released with his photographs after those photos were viewed by a representative of the Joint Terrorism Task Force who determined that the photographer’s actions did not pose a threat to public safety.”
It appears that BP failed to identify the specific federal law that requires a photographer to submit to inspection of his photos taken from public property.