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Videos, Photos, and Audio


Videos, photos, and audio recordings of news events are beneficial in society in several areas. Some people who might benefit the most from the media images of an event, often are under emotional stress and will lash out at a videographer or photographer. Who uses the media of videos, photos and audio?

Police who are using proper procedure can use video to show that proper force was used to respond to an offender.

Police can use videos and photos to help identify offenders, and work toward a conviction.

Firefighter/paramedics can use video for training.

Insurance companies check videos to get an early impression of a claim.

Attorneys can use video to help with personal injury claims.

Videos and pictures are often used for public requests for charities in a disaster or personal tragedy.

Videos and photos help the public understand how incidents happen. When incidents are preventable, images can help educate and motivate the public in ways to prevent future incidents.

Mug shots and surveillance photographs and videos are often provided by Banks, Businesses and Law Enforcement Agencies using best efforts and technology to properly identify the photo or video associated with the criminal or suspicious event in question. However, The Cardinal, its agents and affiliates make no representation that the public domain or released photographs or videos are, beyond any doubt, a depiction of the person making the transaction in question, or a depiction of a person committing a crime or acting suspiciously. The Cardinal, its agents and affiliates assume no responsibility for, or liability to, any person for the use of accuracy of photographs or videos. The Cardinal, its agents and affiliates offers no guaranties to results or payment of offered rewards on any suspects or photos shown on the site, even if the photo is embedded with a text statement that offers a reward. The Cardinal reminds readers that guilt for a crime is only affirmed after ruling in a court of law.

Action shots of police activity are interesting to many individuals. Catching an image of a suspect being caught by police offers adds validity compared to a mug shot. Again, The Cardinal, its agents and affiliates make no representation that the action shots or an arrest or questioning of a person are, beyond any doubt, a depiction of the person making the transaction in question, or a depiction of a person committing a crime or acting suspiciously. The Cardinal, its agents and affiliates assume no responsibility for, or liability to, any person for the use of accuracy of photographs or videos. Nobody is guilty until they are found guilty in court.

Police are sensitive to imaging police activity on occasion. The Cardinal policy is to balance the right to seek information and impart information, versus the security of police officers, firefighter/paramedics, innocent victims, and the security of the public (e.g., National Security). For example, the policy of The Cardinal is to avoid publishing images of undercover or surveillance operations and to avoid getting in the way of any police work that would interfere with police objectives. For example, the police are not going to allow a photographer to take pictures of undercover police officers, which would give up their identity and raise the suspicion and awareness of criminal offenders or their accomplices before the police have an opportunity to arrest.

Most images of police activity can vindicate police officers of any wrongdoing, as opposed to incriminating images, for example of the Rodney King arrest in Los Angeles. Police officers are well aware that most people have cell phone video cameras, and that it is impossible to prevent all images from leaking out to the public. Cases of improper police restraint or violence are well known because they become major issues, but the number of cases of improper police action are far less than the cases of proper procedure that are followed by police officers every day.

Images of firefighting, accident rescues and other mishaps are intended to focus on the operations and the efforts of emergency workers, not the tragedies of the victims, which are apparent enough from the description of the incidents. Images are valued if they illustrate a lesson of prevention or if they illustrate the mechanism of how the tragedy occurred (e.g., speeding, improper safety precautions, DUI, weather conditions, etc). Images of severe trauma or direct images of death are not published on The Cardinal. If these images are being captured, it is for the purpose of emergency personnel training, or at the request of police. Police will often request that certain images are not recorded or are not published. Most emergency operations involve blocking public views of fatalities or horrendous scenes with a tarp.

The Cardinal policy is generally anti-paparazzi. Paparazzi is the plural term for paparazzo — photographers who capture unstaged and/or candid photographs or video of celebrities caught during their everyday activities and private lives. Paparazzi take photos of celebrities at moments when the subjects do not expect to be photographed, such as when they shop, walk through a city, eat at a restaurant, attend private parties, attend private weddings, or swim or lie on beaches, pool decks or boat decks. Paparazzi methods are different than methods of press photography, or photojournalism, that is undertaken at press conferences, red carpet affairs and other events where there is an expectation and desire that the subjects will be photographed.

For example, catching a celebrity leaving a concert when they are the performer is acceptable, but taking a picture while they are grocery shopping is not acceptable. Catching a photo while they are walking through a city at a distance is acceptable. Getting in their way on the sidewalk, or activating a flash in their faces, or calling their names to ‘catch a special moment’ is not acceptable. It is especially not acceptable to say something or do something to anger them or cause an emotional response to catch an image of that emotion.

Catching an image of a celebrity, or any person for that matter, committing a crime — from DUI to shoplifting to assault and battery — is acceptable. Catching these images likely depends on the circumstances, which might not be known at the time of occurrence. So when uncertainty exists, the photo is likely taken, and the decision of whether to publish is made later.

See also …
Wikipedia Photography and the Law
Wikipedia Legality of recording by civilians

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