Thursday, February 25, 2010

Public Enemy Number one

Sometimes it sounds vaguely like a joke.

"How many armed cops does it takes to move on one old begger?"

Alas, the sense of irony was lost on the four officers who were harassing this woman as I was going through Navarinou Square this afternoon. Seeing what was happening I swiftly took out my small digital camera and tried to catch the scene so as to name and shame those involved.

However, the cops cottoned on to what I was doing and soon had surrounded me. They wanted to know what I had taken. I don't know why, maybe it was a sense of outrage, or the streak of stubborness that I inherited from my father but I said no.

"No. Why should I?"

My first mistake - the worst thing you can do is challenge the police here, question their right to do what they want. I know this yet even as these thoughts are going through my mind I find myself going one step further,

"You don't have the right to see my pictures"

Now the number of armed cops has risen from four to seven, the one at the back is talking into his walkie talkie, saying something about somebody causing trouble.

Next they wanted to see my passport which had been stolen a couple of weeks ago. This revelation brought a smile to their faces as without ID they are within their rights to take me in. At this point I phone my friend Eleni who is a lawyer.

She got them to accept my driver's licence as an alternative and also meant that there attitude softened a little. The fact that I had legal advice "on tap" meant that they had to proceed differently. Eventually, facing the choice of either spending a night in a police cell or deleting the video I had taken I chose the later.

Not the bravest decision I've ever taken but perhaps one of the more sensible.

2 comments:

Stazybο Hοrn said...

Any (digital) photographer should know that there are plenty of undelete /unformat tools out there, so what the cops ask is stupid; just delete the videi/photos, then get to your pc/mac/whatever...

Mediterranean kiwi said...

that's a creepy story, and you are not a coward in deleting the picture, i guess it was the right thing to do at that time