~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ...
I'm at the food court in the mall ... I'd just ordered a dish from a place I'd heard was local and very good ... I order, I snap a picture of the sign, as I almost always do (just in case the food was remarkable, I'd have not forgotten to do so).
Within seconds I'm surrounded.
A 75 y/o security guard with a few teeth and a speech impediment wearing a white shirt and badge ... a lady with a janitors outfit and a mop ... and a very young teenager in the same white shirt and matching badge.
The lady guard says "Can I help you?" ... I said "Thanks for the offer, but, no, I'm fine thanks."
Apparently what she meant became more clear as she rephrased her question after drawling something into her collar-microphone ... "What are you doing? .... "I'm waiting for the food I just ordered."
I could keep going with the painful conversation.
But the gist of it is "Since 9/11" ... they have to be careful of people taking pictures of businesses and that she'd have to be confiscating my camera (phone) .... I said no. ... then there was some discussion about getting the mall manager and detaining me.
"You can detain me?" ... I hear something about homeland security and "until the police get here."
I said, fine, I was up for that, if they felt is was the best course of action. I admitted that I don't know civil rights law that well, and, especially on the chance they were way off the mark legally, I'd be willing to go through the motions ...
I told them I'm a food blogger (neither had apparently heard the word 'blog' before) .... I told them I'd be right here, waiting for, then eating my lunch and that they'd have to detain me soon, because after I was done I'd be leaving.
They swarmed back into the manager office.
In the end, one followed me and wrote down my license plate I presume.
I'll let you know if the Feds come knocking at the door.
I wonder if they did have the RIGHT to detain me ... scary thing is in this day and age, maybe yes.