Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/07/01

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Documentary Photography 2003
From: "Greg J. Lorenzo" <>
Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2003 14:44:05 -0600
References: <r01050300-0921-8130007FABC611D7A7A72EB9644AA8E4@[]>

George Lottermoser wrote in part:

>Yesterday I took the afternoon off to see and hear Michelle Shocked perform at 5:30pm at Summerfest in Milwaukee, free admission between 1 and 3. While waiting for the concert to start, my Leicas tried to find photographs in the fountain where children played - the sun beginning to set behind them - backlit water - children laughing - lovely to a fault - how to avoid the clichés?
>Joe Olla, supervisor, that¹s what the I.D. hanging from his neck read, and on his red polo shirt the white letters read Summerfest Security. He said to me, "Could you step over here?" I did. And I asked him, "What¹s the problem?" He said, "There¹s been complaints about you." I feel stunned. Complaints about what? I¹m photographing children playing in the fountain near the front entrance gate of the Milwaukee Summerfest grounds. Joe and at various times 1 to 4 other security personnel, all young, big and brawny "detain" me for over an hour because some dad said that I photographed his son.
>	The security personnel would not allow me to speak with my loving partner, Ann, nor her with me. Their attitude and demeanor brought her to tears.
>	Ultimately these security men said that I could not remain on the grounds with my cameras, even though no such rule is posted publicly nor printed in their brochure. Eventually the security personnel brought a Milwaukee County Police officer into the situation; and she informed the complaining dad as well as the security folks that I broke no law; that I have the right to photograph in this public place. However the security people continued to impress their authority upon me, stating that, "you cannot be on the grounds with your cameras."
>	These same security folks again would not allow me to find or communicate with Ann before escorting me outside the gate, where I waited for her to pass by, as she waited in the first row, saving my seat, at the Michelle Shocked concert.
>	After about an hour waiting for Ann outside the gate a pair of security fellows told me that I would have to leave the sidewalk or be arrested for loitering. They said that anyone who¹s in a place for over an hour is either planning on robbing the place or hurting someone. I asked one of them if they could escort me into the Michelle Shocked concert where I could communicate with Ann and put an end to this entire fiasco. He said, "No, I can¹t do that."
>	At some point in this 3-hour ordeal I thought, "It¹s time to sell all the gear. Documentary Photography has died when you have to rent the cypress tree, and get detained by rent-a-cops for photographing children playing in water in the summer sun set.
Hi George,

I hate to say it but have you considered that maybe being a little more 
verbally assertive with these people would have forced them to back off? 
I'm not suggesting that you should ever go beyond that but rather you 
seem to know what your rights were and are in these type of situations 
why not demand them?

As you've said these were rent-a-cops overstepping the bounds of what's 





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In reply to: Message from George Lottermoser <> ([Leica] Documentary Photography 2003)