Rock of Ages No-Trespassing Signs Prohibit Photography, Citing the Wrong Ordinance

200px-Tom_Cruise_and_Katie_Holmes_Yahoo_2006.jpg
Don't photograph this man: it's illegal because we say so!
Hey look, it's Tom Cruise! He and a bevy of other stars are lurking around Fort Lauderdale's Himmarshee Village filming the jukebox musical Rock of Ages, and you might just be tempted to whip out your camera for some celebrity shots as you walk to get a frosty beer.

But the production company in charge of the filming has posted signs -- and moonlighting city police officers -- to intimidate you (and the tabloid paparazzi) from taking any pictures. The signs read:

"PHOTOGRAPHY OF THIS AREA IS PROHIBITED - STRICTLY ENFORCED BY FLPD"

They cite city ordinance 16.1. The Sun-Sentinel looked up the ordinance, and found that it has nothing to do with trespassing or taking pictures. In fact, the city said it couldn't determine which ordinance (if any) would govern the situation, and spokesperson Matt Little said they were having trouble reaching their attorney for issues relating to filming.

Meanwhile, Fort Lauderdale police officers are taking in extra pay for patrolling the area along with rent-a-cops, and the National Press Photographers' Association sent a letter to Police Chief Frank Adderley decrying the situation:

"Photography may not be restricted in a public place to accommodate the whims ofHollywood or the desire by your officers to please their 'second-job' employers," wrote the group's attorney, Mickey H. Osterreicher.

Perhaps the production company could have tried citing Florida Statues chapter 943.02, which a Boynton Beach cop used last month to throw an iPhone-camera-wielding Cinco de Mayo reveler in jail.


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10 comments
Floridafilmscout
Floridafilmscout

oh they keep trying, and they keep lying about "the law"

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

Yeah, 943 doesn't actually prevent photography. I just wanted to connect this to another dubious use of an extant law to defend something that may well be unconstitutional.

Fort Lauderdale Resident
Fort Lauderdale Resident

Tom Cruise in downtown Fort Lauderdale....so, so close to Wilton Manors.  Poor guy must be so tempted.  Good thing that Scientology racket has him on the "straight" and narrow. 

Fat Hand
Fat Hand

934.03 Interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications prohibited.

cljahn
cljahn

Really?  Florida statute 943.02?  Not sure how ANYONE could be cited for this:

943.02 Definitions.—For the purpose of this chapter: (1) “Department” means the Department of Law Enforcement.(2) “Executive director” means the executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement.History.—s. 2, ch. 74-386; s. 2, ch. 78-347.

Fat Hand
Fat Hand

934. But yes, understood. The sign in the picture on the Sun-Sen includes the line "Violators Subjet to Arrest". Hilarious. I'm guessing one of the off-duty cops whipped up that sign with as much concern for spelling, grammar, and legal accuracy as they normally show in their police reports.

Cyclist
Cyclist

934.03 requires an expectation of privacy to impose. Actions by an on-duty police officer, in uniform, in the public square carry no expectation of privacy. 

Fat Hand
Fat Hand

I don't think it applies to this situation at all. Just providing the correct citation, as cljahn had pointed out a mistake. Certainly it wouldn't apply to snapping a photo on a public street. However, there is probably a way the city could completely close off the street to basically everybody that doesn't "work" at the Rev, and then issue tresspassing citations, but as far as just telling people they can't snap pictures, they're just making that up. That's not a real thing.

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