portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting oregon & cascadia

government | police / legal

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Police Attack Civilain for Filiming OFF-POST

A civilian filming in Dupont, WA (near Joint Base Lewis-McChord) was harassed and then assaulted by JBLM Military Police. After assaulting the civilian off-post, the MP lies to responding supervisors claiming that the civilian pushed his camera in the MP's face, but the video posted to YouTube clearly shows that this is not the case. More lies, corruption, and abuse by JBLM.
Military Police and Department of the Army Security Guards (DASG) harass and then assault a civilian taking video of the base - FROM A CIVILIAN STREET - in Dupont, WA. The assault can be seen beginning at 20:05 in the video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87ptc3MVWLk

Joint Base Lewis McChord 1A Audit - (Pt. 2) the continuation of the event in Dupont, WA can be seen here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnTeWoKtkEo

The responding supervisor (a Staff Sergeant) talking with the civilian victim of the MP's assault states that the MP claimed that the civilian pushed his camera into the MP's face - BUT THIS IS NOT TRUE AS SEEN ON THE VIDEO. THE MP ASSAULTED THE CIVILIAN WHO WAS OFF-POST AND SITTING ON THE GROUND AT THE TIME OF THE ASSAULT.

So what's the law about filming of military installations?

Federal law (18 U.S. Code 795 - Photographing and sketching defense installations) prohibits photographing / filming "All military, naval, or air-force installations and equipment which are now classified, designated, or marked under the authority or at the direction of the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, or the Secretary of the Air Force as "top secret," "secret," "confidential," or "restricted," [Restricted data refers to: "all data (information) concerning the design, manufacture, or utilization of atomic weapons. (DODI 5210.02)] and all military, naval, or air-force installations and equipment which may hereafter be so classified, designated, or marked with the approval or at the direction of the President, and located within..."

However, the vast majority of military property is not classified.

When it comes to the general areas of a military facility, what's the rule on photography? According to the Army's Public Affairs Program (2011)

a. Public access to Army installations is determined by local commands. Photographing historical buildings or areas of public interest for private use is generally permitted...

b. Ground or aerial photographs, sketches, or graphic representations of classified military equipment or installations designated as restricted areas is punishable by law (18 USC 795). Reproducing, publishing, or selling this type of material is also punishable by law unless the photograph, sketch, or graphic representation indicates it has been reviewed and cleared for release by proper authority. (AR 360-1, para 5-33)

According to the Army's own regulation, photography of historical buildings and areas of public interest on Army installations is allowed. It is only photography of classified areas that is prohibited under Federal law.

THE JBLM GATES ARE NOT CLASSIFIED AREAS. THERE IS NOTHING IN FEDERAL LAW THAT PROHIBITS YOU FROM FILMING OR PHOTOGRAPHING WHAT YOU CAN SEE OF A MILITARY INSTALLATION FROM THE SURROUNDING CIVILIAN PROPERTY.

I followed up with JBLM and was told by an MP that he didn't see any problem with filming from off-post, but that the JBLM Anti-Terrorism Office had warned that anyone who filmed or took photos of the installation was a possible homegrown violent extremist and should be identified and have their film/photos seized and deleted; and the MPs were "just following orders".

MORE LIES, CORRUPTION AND ABUSE FROM THE JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD ANTI-TERRORISM OFFICE / PROTECTION DIVISION.