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Photography is not a crime

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Letter to the Editor
Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

I want to thank the VND and reporter Liz Hayes for covering the case of photographer Gary Sprague (“Photographer stands his ground,” Oct. 30). This is a case of injustice; no crime was committed. It frustrates me that a security guard at a power plant assumes a person carrying a camera is up to no good and treats him like a common criminal.

When did photography become a criminal act? These people use Sept. 11 as an excuse to violate our rights. Photographers are not terrorists. We record the world around us and share it with others; we bare witness; we capture moments in time that sometimes change the world. This is wrong, and it should have never come to this.

Go to Google and type in “Conemaugh power plant.” You will see plenty of photos taken of this plant.

These heavy-handed tactics will only backfire on the plant's owner, NRG Energy. This company can ill afford more bad press — I guess the $5 million fine for polluting the Conemaugh River wasn't enough. Does the company also want a civil rights violation?

Instead of pursuing this frivolous case, NRG should drop the charges and offer to purchase Gary's photos for its annual report. These are excellent photos!

Don Henderson,

New Kensington

The writer is the president of the New Kensington Camera Club.

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