Photographers Are Being Attacked in Broad Daylight in San Fransisco

In what is becoming a disturbing trend, photographers are being attacked and robbed in broad daylight at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts. The latest attack, which was caught on video, has photographers who work in the area on edge.

Two men, dressed in all black, violently attacked a wedding photographer recently as he photographed newlyweds in the middle of the day. The photographer, who was pistol-whipped by one of the men during the altercation, fought them off in order to save the couple's photos. Although this was very noble and brave, it was also a huge gamble to fight off someone brandishing a gun. Luckily, he escaped the incident unhurt, but it raises many serious questions for photographers who have now become targets for criminals due to the expensive gear they carry with them. Some San Francisco-based photographers have now decided to boycott shoots in the city altogether, and others feel that they have no choice but to continue shooting in what is a very popular area for their clients.

Although risk is always part of the game when a photographer ventures out with expensive gear, is it time for us to take extra precautions before working in big cities? Outside of refusing to shoot in an area completely, what can we do to protect ourselves and our gear? As someone who regularly shoots in New York, I am very interested in your thoughts in the comments below.

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89 Comments
Black Z Eddie .'s picture

It's ridiculous how brazen the criminals there have gotten.

A AA's picture

Not enforcing existing laws doesn't help. I thought San Fran is a gun free zone too..wth!!!!!

Alex Herbert's picture

Yeah. the problem with only individual states restricting guns is that there are still plenty of guns in other states. And since state borders aren't real, it's still very easy to get guns.... I'd imagine. I'm in the UK, we sensed we may develop a gun problem in the early 90s, so banned them EVERYWHERE. Seems to be going pretty well!

Naruto Uzumaki's picture

It is interesting how people bring up that talking point while ignoring the fact that the states that didn't take away the right of the people to defend themselves, aren't experiencing those brazen crimes.

If the issue was a lack of restriction, then the places allowing good people to defend themselves, would be experiencing those issues by multiple orders of magnitude higher rates. In the US, mugging and other similar violent crimes almost completely disappear in places with high rates of CCW paired with robust self defense laws. When such laws pass, career criminals flee to areas with laws that restrict self defense.

It also didn't help the UK which has seen major increases of violent crime since their self defense restrictions.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/london-murder-rate-higher-new-york-city-fir...

Stvart Klœ's picture

While your graph initially looks pretty damning, it isn’t showing what you want it to. Since it’s coming from “gunfacts dot info” it’s likely going to be biased data, but let’s take it on it’s own apparent merits.

You say it shows an increase in “violent crime” and yet the graph reads “violent acts”. What are “violent acts”? How do they differ from violent crime? Does the data in the graph include incidents of domestic assault? Data points gathered at the emergency room from parents beating their kids? From men beating their spouses?

Does it collect acts of teen violence?

How has the rate of gun-related deaths or injuries changed since 1997?

How has the rate of injury or death due to “violent acts” changed over the same period? Are fewer people dying per “violent act” perhaps?

It’s curious that the number of violent acts actually DROPS after the 1997 legislation.

Why does the graph see a big spike an entire year or two later? Could there perhaps have been something else happening around that time that could better show causation? Something that stressed the population both economically and emotionally?

Strange how the graph plateaus around 2006 and then starts to drop. Why? I suppose they must have re-introduced guns, apparently the only effective means by which to reduce crime or “violent acts”.

Post Script:

The ridiculous characterization of gun control as “self defence restrictions” has likely left more commenters than myself actively gagging. I live in a place with robust gun control and very few kids murdered in schools, a pattern of safer children that is repeated all over the world.

Strange that the same cannot be said in America, a country where the number of firearms in circulation outnumber its own human population.

To quote the Onion:

“‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says the Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens”

Naruto Uzumaki's picture

The issue has been well studied. https://crimeresearch.org/2016/04/murder-and-homicide-rates-before-and-a...

You don't make criminals harmless by making good people defenseless.

In every place that removes the right to self defense, people become less safe, and violent crime rates do not drop below the pre-ban levels.

Outside of murder, improvements to self defense, leads to a massive decline in muggings, home invasions, carjacking, burgarlaries, battery, and a range of other crimes that commoners/ general public faces.

Targeted attacks do not change much.

The only areas that still struggle are drug and human trafficking corridors, where cartel and connected gang violence is rampant. Those areas are almost exclusively gang on gang violence.

The US has 2 extremes where the average doesn't apply to any location. There are large parts of the country (places as large with as many people as the UK) that will go years without a single murder, and the. There are places with murder rates common in war zones. The most violent places became that way after laws restricting self defense were passed.

https://crimeresearch.org/2017/04/number-murders-county-54-us-counties-2...

Restricting self defense has failed to reduce crime in every state that it has been tried in.
https://crimeresearch.org/2015/02/what-happened-to-violent-crime-in-mass...

Violent criminals are not going to be deterred by a gun free zone sign or law, as seen by the multitude of shootings that happen in them. Law abiding people will obey them because a 3 year prison sentence will ruin any legitimate career, but a criminal regularly engaging in violent crimes that will land them in prison for decades, will not care about a gun possession charge.

Stvart Klœ's picture

Removing guns removes an easy method of killing. Incidentally, introducing guns introduces an easy method of killing.

Enjoy your firearm paradise, I’m happy where I am, sending my kid out into a safer world than yours.

Stvart Klœ's picture

Also, here is a fun example of how firearms advocates try to spin data. Regarding Florida’s “stand your ground law” which saw an immediate spike in gun deaths, firearms advocates actually inverted the graph to try and make it look like enacting “robust self defence laws” didn’t actually result in more gun deaths. Notice that Zero deaths is at the top and the numbers get bigger the further to the bottom you go.

I should also note the data appears to be of “the number of MURDERS committed using FIREARMS” which strongly implies that this shows an increase in crimes using firearms. Because, y’know, murder is usually considered a crime.

https://www.livescience.com/45083-misleading-gun-death-chart.html

Manny Robalino's picture

I hate to break this to you, but criminals don't care about gun laws.

Alex Herbert's picture

When those gun laws make it much more difficult to get a gun, they do.

Michael Holst's picture

Time to raise your rates in San Fran.

Stvart Klœ's picture

Wtf? Two armed guys couldn’t succeed at an armed robbery against one unarmed guy?
Were the guns not real, or did they just lack the will to use them? There’s a non-zero chance the assailants will get shot themselves at some point if they roll up on someone with professional security.

I’m glad the photographer wasn’t hurt, but everyone in that interaction failed a bit.

What a situation though… this has become so common in the Bay Area, it’s hard to see how it’s going to stop.

A AA's picture

Easy. Stop voting in progressive liberal democrats.

Stvart Klœ's picture

Ya, for sure

I’m sure people in conservative states are much, much safer. Y’know, places like oh… Uvalde, Texas for instance.

I hear they have excellent law enforcement. Very dedicated to stopping violent crime.

Timothy Linn's picture

Two different problems.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Your so-called conservative Red states have the highest rates of homicide. Why is that? Must be soft on crime.

Charles Mercier's picture

It's because if you use the gun and they're caught, the prison sentence would be much, much longer, use of a deadly weapon, etc. We're talking years. As in the video, attempted robbery and simple assault would be very little time.

Stvart Klœ's picture

The unwillingness to use the guns makes having them somewhat frivolous, as was seen here by the victim calling their bluff. They also end up becoming a liability, because if the victim has hired armed security (say.. ex or off duty law enforcement), or is armed themselves, then the thieves risk getting shot in self defence.

As someone from a country with strict gun control and low rates of gun-related crime the entire situation seems quite curious.

Alex Herbert's picture

Maaaaaybe, (hear me out here) just maaaaybe, they're not blood thirsty murderers who are willing to take a human life for a couple of grands worth of equipment? Maybe THAT'S why they didn't use the gun. Wild notion, I know!

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Orrrr, mayyyybe, one doesn't have to be be a blood thirsty murderer to be a violent criminal causing physical harm. Wild notion, I know.

You make it sound as if since they didn't kill anyone, everyone should just relax and give these piece of shits a break.

Alex Herbert's picture

No, my only point was the point that I made.

Who's talking about giving anyone a break. Someone commented about how shocked they are that the robbers didn't use the gun.

Alex Herbert's picture

"Or did they just lack the will to use them"...

Oh I dunno, maybe someone who is up for stealing a couple of grand's worth of equipment in a low effort robbery isn't also someone who'd murder someone over nothing.

I know the 'bad guy' narrative is big in the US, but 'criminals' aren't all the same person with the same MO. Many of them just want enough money to live through the next week. Not to spend the rest of their life in prison with a murder on their conscience.

Stvart Klœ's picture

Sure. But what is the purpose of the guns?

To threaten the safety of the victim, to convince them to part with their belongings. But they can only be a threat if the assailants are willing to pull the trigger. Otherwise they’re a bluff.

I’m not sure why murder is the only thing people seem to think the gun can do in an armed robbery. They can shoot the ground to show the victim it’s loaded and working. They can shoot the victim in a non-lethal area. If they’re just going to hit the victim with the guns they’re better off with batons. Especially since if they appear to be armed they’re more likely to themselves get shot by someone else during the altercation.

It’s just an absurd situation. I’m not making value judgements. I’ll be the first to admit that theft like this is caused by the pressures of late stage capitalism. That said, there is no excusing the assailants’ behaviour. They are responsible for their actions, up to and including hitting an innocent person repeatedly with a blunt object to try and part them from the equipment they need for their own livelihood.

Alex Herbert's picture

Why do you think I'm excusing what they did by saying they didn't want to murder anyone?

Yes, the guns are a threat. I can't imagine robbing someone with a baton would have the desired effect. Most people when faced with a gun aren't going to try to fight back. This situation didn't go the way the robbers expected it to.

Deleted Account's picture

This is not at all surprising; and given the severe economic risk calculus in the US, it is reasonable to assume such incidents will increase in frequency throughout the US.

This is a fairly straightforward exercise in security risk management.

1. Insure your gear. Make sure your policy wording covers you for being robbed. If you can't afford insurance, you probably shouldn't be running a business.

2. If someone is robbing you, and they are armed, don't resist or fight; just hand over the gear.

Don't think that a knife isn't dangerous, you can bleed out in under a minute. Don't fall into the belief that some sort of training, or carrying a weapon makes you invincible; it doesn't. Don't make the mistake of thinking your attacker is rational; they aren't.

3. Ordinarily, I'd say try to maintain situational awareness, and remove yourself and your principal in the event you detect a threat; however, that's not really practicable in this sort of situation.

STEVEN WEBB's picture

Democrat's/liberal's soft on crime and defund the police policies contribute greatly to this situation. Look how Walgreens and other businesses have closed all their locations and gotten the hell out of there.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Did you hear this on Russian television or on Fox so-called news? You've been fed a load of lies. And now you're repeating them here. Police aren't being defunded and nobody is soft on crime. There are multiple Walgreens in San Francisco. Walgreens has almost 9,000 stores in the USA and is opening and closing stores all of the time.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

As your linked article shows, that area has plenty of Walgreens. And it provides no evidence that anybody is soft on crime.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

--- "nobody is soft on crime"

When criminals are emboldened to do this in broad daylight in a popular public place, yeah, the dipshits running the area are soft on crime.

Alex Herbert's picture

Have harsher penalties ever been a deterrent for committing crime?

Maybe what we all need, everywhere is a more equitable society, where people don't need to, or at least feel the need to steal to eat. Because trust me, no one trying to snatch cameras in broad daylight is doing it to get rich.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Patrolling and jailing curves crime. Since the riots, these piece of shits have gotten it into their heads they can get away with anything.

Socialism is not the answer. If you want to patronize the lazy, knock yourself out, send them your money.

Stvart Klœ's picture

Umm, if you’d read up on this particular issue you’d learn that the local police aren’t motivated to do anything about the issue. And it’s a lot more complicated and nuanced than you’re likely ready to reckon with.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Let's follow your logic here. If what you say is true, then you certainly agree that Republican-run Red states are the SOFTEST on crime, specifically homicide, as shown by these states having the highest homicide rates in the US. Thanks to Red state dipshits who are soft on crime, murderers are emboldened to kill the most people per capita in Republican-run red states. That's a sad indictment of Red states governments. Your logic proves it.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

LOL, my logic proves what I've been saying. School is in session. You rely on a metric that does not reveal the actual number of people murdered or harmed. But, instead chose a weasel way to spread misinformation. You definitely have a place at CNN, MSNBC, HuffPost, Wapo, etc, with the rest of the fake news. What you need to look at are the actual numbers, not per capita. And, with that, Democrat states leads the numbers and the majority. Great job. You should be so proud. /s

Let me dumb it down for you one time. Louisiana has the highest rate (per 100,00 people) of 15.8 and 734 murdered. California only has a rate of 5.6, but 2203 murdered. No matter how you try to play the numbers game, 2203 > 734. Do you not understand that?

Erpillar Bendy's picture

You seem to have missed a lot of school, including elementary school math. You really don't understand what a rate is??? Holy moly. The violent crime rate is measured per capita.

The fact is the violent crime rate is higher in red states, which is worse for people in red states, which (using your logic) suggests their elected officials are soft on crime, suck at law enforcement, etc. Too bad you don't understand that.

It's very ironic how you're damaging your own argument here. By claiming (or pretending) that the actual crime rate doesn't matter, you are in effect revealing that you are soft on crime. Your argument suggests that you're okay with people in red states suffering from more violent crime as long as Republicans are running the show.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

And, therein lies the problem. You look at it as some rate or percentage. You act like high number of murdered or assaulted don't matter since there's so many of them out there anyway. Just an fyi...when you're dead, there's no coming back from that. There's no respawn points.

If you pay attention to the news at all, Dem states are typically in the limelight. Nobody counters with, "but, but, per capita, it's not as bad." lol smh.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

You really don't understand what a rate is? The higher violent crime & homicide rate in red states means that people in red states are at greater risk of being DEAD due to violent crime. That's because a greater percentage of them die due to violent crimes. Hint: a higher rate is WORSE for real living people. You really don't understand that, or you're just pretending not to understand? I'm starting to wonder whether you got past 3rd or 4th grade.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Oh, the irony, "D.C. Activist Who Pushed for City's Soft-on-Crime Bill Shot and Killed"

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/juliorosas/2022/11/21/activist-who-push-fo...

And, get this, are you ready? No mention of "per capita". No one real and realistic cares about that metric when larger number of people (*cough*bluestates*cough*) are dropping like flies.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Here we go again. The chances of dropping like a fly due to violent crime are HIGHER in red states. If you took 4th grade math, you would understand that. Perhaps you dropped out of school before rates and percentages were taught?

It's hard to tell whether you're just playing ignorant, or actually being ignorant. Either way, it's not working for you.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Aye yai yai, it's like trying to explain water is wet to you. I don't know how to dumb it down any further so that even you can understand. Somewhere along the way, I wager some looney liberal has sold you the idea 2 + 2 = 5.

There's a big difference in "chances" and "actual". Blue states are the latter. You know why? They have the HIGHER number of ACTUAL deaths and violent crimes. If I've told you once, I've told you a million times, that's why they are always the in the news. Lord have mercy on this poor feller.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

Wow, you're still fighting against math? You really should have completed the 4th grade at least. Math is good, and knowledge of math would be good for you.

The chances of dropping like a fly due to violent crime are higher in red states because of higher rates of violent crime. Those rates reflect chances because they are baaed on actual deaths. More deaths per capita is certainly worse for people. And yet you seem to favor MORE deaths per capita, which is absolutely dumb and worse for people.

user 65983's picture

Walgreens aren't getting flooded with shoplifters that are loading suitcases full of stuff in most other states though...are you really that unaware of what's happening over there? Just because you don't like one news network that's covering this situation more than others doesn't make what's happening a myth.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

There you go, repeating those lies.

user 65983's picture

So are you claiming that shoplifting is not a problem in California or are you claiming that stores aren't leaving the area?

Let me leave some of the few non Fox articles for those who don't like Fox news or RT or whatever other channels that aren't liked by some.

https://abc7news.com/sf-retail-theft-shoplifting-san-francisco-rise-decl...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/21/us/san-francisco-shoplifting-epidemic...

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/restoring-america/fairness-justice/cr...

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/16/us/san-francisco-shoplifting-walgreens/in...

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/shoplifting-incident-80-suspects-wo...

https://www.newsweek.com/video-shows-man-stealing-piles-clothes-san-fran...

This article explains what the DA and police are doing about the problem in Philadelphia:

https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia-shoplifting-rising-retail-202...

I invite everyone to check out a few of the videos on YouTube of all the shoplifting taking place.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=san+francisco+shoplifting

But hey, I'm just "repeating lies".

Erpillar Bendy's picture

CA has lots of Walgreens. Shoplifting is a problem in CA ... and in every other state. Now go collect a bunch of articles on shoplifting in the other 49 states. Better yet, collect a bunch of articles on violent crime in Republican-led red states, because they have the highest rates of violent crime.

user 65983's picture

I like how you failed to answer my question. No worries. :)

Yes shoplifting is a problem in all 50 states. That is true. And yes there are high amounts of violent crime in red states but please try to not to make this political. Here we are talking about California. I have still have yet to understand why you are deflecting and defending the state that spent most of my life in.

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