Artist Sues Local Cops Over Right To Photograph Power Lines

November 28, 2007

The Associated Press reports that Shirley E. Scheier, a University of Washington fine-arts professor, was handcuffed, frisked, and detained for 44 minutes when she took some art photos of powerlines against the sky in Snohomish County, Washington.

She is not taking it lying down, and is suing local officials for damages, negligence, invasion of privacy, and false arrest.

Scheier could just as easily have been a news photographer taking pictures of badly maintained powerlines caused by electric utility negligence - or illustrating a series on why more powerlines should be built. In taking such photos from public property, Scheier was violating no law - nor would a news photographer be.