Trick Daddy Video Shoot Turns Ugly, Photographer Has Altercation With Police
"While snapping a shot of the production duo The Runners, there were four uniformed officers next to the canopy that they sat under," Omah Ephraim, photographer for Grind magazine, said via e-mail. "I took the shot and turned to take more of the scenery when one of the female officers came over and asked, 'Why are you taking our picture?'"
According to Ephraim, he told the officer who he worked for and even gave her a copy of the magazine.
"She stated that I need to ask her before I take her picture," he recounted. But he insists this was done in a playful manner.
Then, a second officer approached. "[She] told me, 'You can't take anyone's picture out here in public without asking them,' and that I had to delete the pictures. I felt this was in violation of my first amendment rights--freedom of speech and freedom of press," Ephraim said.
Ephraim said then both officers became verbally aggressive, demanding that he delete the pictures and making threats of arrest. "I told them I would not publish the pictures if they felt that strongly about it, but I was not going to take any other action without consulting a lawyer."
According to Ephraim, that's when the altercation became physical. "One of the officers grabbed my arm and pulled me to the side and stated, 'I was just fucking with you at first, but now you have to delete the picture or go to jail,'" said the photographer. "I gave her the camera and said she could delete it but I wanted a report on what she was ordering me to do."
Ephraim's request was denied. "He took my camera and had one of the female officers carry it off somewhere," he said. Ephraim was given an incident card with a case number but says it was never explained to him why his camera was confiscated.
The Miami Police Department stated that Ephraim had no business on set anyway. "If it wasn't a restricted area, nobody would've challenged him," said Herminia Jacobson, a Miami Police Dept. Public Information Officer.
And as far as escalating the situation, Jacobson said Ephraim was the one being uncooperative. "Based on what the supervisor for that day said, [Ephraim] was quite belligerent. They had no way of knowing what he was doing there. He was not providing any information, so a determination was made based on the type of situation."
It is unclear whether Ephraim had press credentials or not, but Miami Police Detective William Moreno said for this particular shoot, special credentials were needed. "He was trespassing at a private event," Moreno said.
"They don't even know that it's his camera," Jacobson added. "They don't know if he picked up the camera at that shoot and just walked away with it."
The camera is being held as evidence and Ephraim will have to visit the precinct and show proof that he owns the camera to reclaim it. But even then, any photos having to do with the shoot will be deleted.
"They had a reason why they didn't want these photos to get out," Jocobson said. "[Ephraim] has no right to those photos, technically. He's lucky he didn't get arrested to be quite honest."