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Denver photographer arrested for photo'ing Dick Cheney's hotel?

Also see:

Also, Canon sent me a review unit of the EOS 1Ds digital camera, which 
arrived this morning. With an 11 megapixel sensor and a body based on the 
professional EOS 1v, it's the most capable digital camera made that adheres 
to the 35 mm format. (It also retails for $8,000.) I'll send along my 
review after I have a chance to use it for a while.



Date: Fri, 06 Dec 2002 12:11:52 -0500
To: declan@well.com
From: Matt Carter

Not sure if you saw this.  Sounds a little sketchy, but still very scary, 
especially for those of us who dabble in photography in the nation's capitol.

If you post to politech, please do not include my email address.





Posted 5 Dec 2002 06:03:48 UTC

An amateur photographer named Mike Maginnis was arrested on Tuesday in his 
home city of Denver - for simply taking pictures of buildings in an area 
where Vice President Cheney was residing. Maginnis told his story on 
Wednesday's edition of Off The Hook. 

Maginnis's morning commute took him past the Adams Mark Hotel on Court 
Place. Maginnis, who says he always carried his camera wherever he went, 
snapped about 30 pictures of the hotel and the surrounding area - which 
included Denver police, Army rangers, and rooftop snipers. Maginnis, who 
works in information technology, frequently photographs such subjects as 
corporate buildings and communications equipment.

The following is Maginnis's account of what transpired:

As he was putting his camera away, Maginnis found himself confronted by a 
Denver police officer who demanded that he hand over his film and camera. 
When he refused to give up his Nikon F2, the officer pushed him to the 
ground and arrested him.

After being brought to the District 1 police station on Decatur Street, 
Maginnis was made to wait alone in an interrogation room. Two hours later, 
a Secret Service agent arrived, who identified himself as Special Agent 

The agent told Maginnis that his "suspicious activities" made him a threat 
to national security, and that he would be charged as a terrorist under the 
USA-PATRIOT act. The Secret Service agent tried to make Maginnis admit that 
he was taking the photographs to analyze weaknesses in the Vice President's 
security entourage and "cause terror and mayhem."

When Maginnis refused to admit to being any sort of terrorist, the Secret 
Service agent called him a "raghead collaborator" and a "dirty pinko faggot."

After approximately an hour of interrogation, Maginnis was allowed to make 
a telephone call. Rather than contacting a lawyer, he called the Denver 
Post and asked for the news desk. This was immediately overheard by the 
desk sergeant, who hung up the phone and placed Maginnis in a holding cell.

Three hours later, Maginnis was finally released, but with no explanation. 
He received no copy of an arrest report, and no receipt for his confiscated 
possessions. He was told that he would probably not get his camera back, as 
it was being held as evidence.

Maginnis's lawyer contacted the Denver Police Department for an explanation 
of the day's events, but the police denied ever having Maginnis - or anyone 
matching his description - in custody. At press time, the Denver PD's Press 
Information Office did not return telephone messages left by 2600.

The new police powers introduced by the USA-PATRIOT act, in the name of 
fighting terrorism, have been frightening in their apparent potential for 
abuse. Mike Maginnis's experience on Tuesday is a poignant example of how 
this abuse is beginning to occur. It suggests that a wide range of 
activities which might be considered "suspicious" could be suddenly labeled 
a prelude to terrorism, and be grounds for arrest.

We will continue to post updates to this story as we learn them.

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