Longtime Dallas community activist and citizen journalist Avi Adelman was arrested on Tuesday of this week by DART police for criminal trespass.
Adelman was taking pictures in a public area of the main DART station in downtown Dallas, of a man being treated by Dallas Fire Rescue. "They were picking on me because I had a camera, said Adelman on Saturday.
"I walked up to it. I'm standing about 20 feet away. I just started taking pictures, I don't talk to the paramedics. I don't talk to the patient. I just start taking pictures. I simply observe and document and shoot about 100 photographs. And that's when the officer got in my face and said you can't take pictures this is private. I said no it isn't we're in a public area."
DART spokesman Morgan Lyons released a statement: "Photography is allowed in our public spaces, but we also expect people to comply with the instructions of a police officer. He was asked repeatedly to back away while paramedics treated someone.
He repeatedly refused to comply with the officers so he was arrested."
But Dallas Fire Rescue also released a statement that reads in part: "At no point were any requests made to ask Mr. Adelman to leave the scene and/or stop taking pictures. In addition there were no requests made to (DART) officers to ask him to leave the scene and/or stop taking pictures."
Former journalist turned 1st Amendment attorney Sean Kelly does not represent anyone in the case. He says medical privacy issues do not apply in this case and Adelman was completely within his rights.
"It's troubling. "Certainly most police department have gotten the message at this point. A lot of departments tell their officer's to expect to be filmed act like you are on film at all times and respect the rights of those filming you."
Adelman says he will fight the charge.