Photographer Lance Rosenfeld was out in Texas City, Texas snapping photos of a BP refinery for the website ProPublica when things went terribly wrong.
According to MSNBC, Rosenfeld was working on a story for PBS and ProPublica when a BP employee began following him and shortly thereafter, local authorities confronted Rosenfeld and questioned him.MSNBC: Rosenfield was released after officials looked through the pictures he had taken and took down his date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information, the photographer said. The information was turned over to the BP security guard who said this was standard procedure, ProPublica quoted Rosenfield as saying.
Rosenfield, a Texas-based freelance photographer, said he was followed by a BP employee after taking a picture on a public road near the refinery, and then cornered by two police cars at a gas station. The officials told Rosenfield they had the right to look at the pictures taken near the refinery and if he did not comply he would be “taken in,” the photographer said according to ProPublica.
Unfortunately for the press, this should come as no surprise. BP has been anything but transparent since the April 20th Deepwater Horizon explosion. Other journalists have also been confronted by BP employees/contractors and told to stop investigating as well.
Currently, Rosenfeld is free and ProPublica is backing up his first-amendment right to freedom of the press.