Photog detained by cops and BP security guard in Texas


A freelance photographer who was taking pictures of a BP refinery in Texas was detained by a BP security official, local police and a man claiming to be with the Department of Homeland Security, according to nonprofit news org ProPublica. The photographer was working on a story about multiple large toxic releases at the BP refinery which happened just before the big Gulf oil blowout. From NBC News:

The photographer, Lance Rosenfield, said he was confronted by the officials shortly after arriving in Texas City, Texas, to work on a story that is part of an ongoing collaboration between PBS and ProPublica.

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.

Photographer detained by police, BP employee near refinery (NBC Field Notes)

Image: The BP refinery in Texas City, one of the largest in the country, is nearly two square miles. (Lance Rosenfield)