All Photographers are Not Terrorists, Right?
Armed with just his iPhone (apparently a dangerous weapon) and suffering from insomnia and boredom, Raymond Rodden decided to stroll around downtown Phoenix and snap pictures of the federal courthouse and the state capitol with his smartphone. Seems pretty harmless, huh? But, what if I told you that it was around 3am? Would that make it seem more suspicious?
What Raymond Rodden Did in the Wee Hours of the Morning
1. Borrowed a vehicle from his boss.
2. Parked the borrowed vehicle in front of the Phoenix Police Department.
3. Began walking around downtown Phoenix.
4. Snapped photos of the Arizona State Capitol and the Sandra Day O’Connor United States Courthouse.
5. Realized he was being followed by a Phoenix police car.
6. Realized two additional patrol cars and a cop on foot were following him.
7. Asked police if he was being detained.
8. Police said no, so he kept walking for more than an hour (Forrest Gump moment? Possibly.), while police followed him.
9. Walked into an alleyway.
Apparently it is against Phoenix' municipal code to drive down an alleyway, so I guess when traveling by foot your feet are now considered a vehicle because Raymond Rodden was arrested and his iPhone, iPad and Macintosh laptop were all confiscated.
While police investigated his search history, tried to determine if he belonged to any extremist groups and saw the types of books he checked out from the library, Rodden was being questioned by an FBI agent and a detective from the Joint Terrorism Task Force about what organizations he belonged to and what types of books he reads. Phoenix police even sent out a bomb squad to dismantle the borrowed vehicle.
This all because in one of the most picturesque downtown areas in the U.S., Raymond Rodden was bored and unable to sleep at 3am.
So, readers, what do you think about this?
Do you agree with the actions that the police took? Or, do you think the police should have just let Rodden stroll around downtown?
Wonder if downtown Phoenix has surveillance cameras and if so, was any of this footage caught?
Posted by Ginger Hill on May 20, 2013