This is why you don't arrest people for taking pictures UPDATE from REI

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Well, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t arrest curious passers-by with cameras, but this is a big one. Remember that poor Seattle guy who got arrested for snapping a picture of an open ATM at REI? Well, snarky local Seattle rag The Stranger put that forbidden photo (already widely broadcast) right on the cover of their latest issue. I’m guessing Officer Friendly wishes he’d just told the picture-taker to move along.

As it turns out, the photographer (Shane Becker, a Seattle web designer) ended up being banned from REI for a year (or not, depending on who you ask) after a half-hour visit to the precinct. A Seattle Police Dept rep also emailed Becker saying that a complaint had been leveled against the officers on Becker’s behalf. I’m guessing our Seattle cops will be getting a quick brush-up on what exactly is and isn’t legal around here.

We thought you guys would appreciate the follow-up, since many of you commented and registered your disapproval. On a side note, the iPhone camera took a surprisingly good picture! It looks great blown up, although it is on pulp paper.

Here’s what REI said. Shane isn’t banned from REI. Our take? Just order from Campmor.

John,

I wanted to share a comment from REI regarding the Shane Becker situation. Feel free to post it, if you wish. Thanks.

Speaking for REI, the incident that occurred between one of our customers and a security company servicing an ATM in our Seattle store was unfortunate. For those who may not be aware of the details, the situation between the two parties escalated to the point that the police were called by the ATM security officers and the customer was detained.

We’ve heard from people about what should or should not have happened at the store, which we’ve appreciated. The one thing that is clear from the discussion is that the outcome was a bad one for all involved. We regret that the matter couldn’t be defused before the police became involved.

It’s not our intent to ban the customer from the store, and he is welcome to visit our store and shop with us. We’ve appreciated people sharing their varied points of view so we can avoid situations like this in the future. One step we are taking is to discuss with the ATM security company ways to prevent the circumstances that led to this problem.

Libby Hutchinson, APR
Recreational Equipment Inc – REI
Director – Corporate Communications

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