Yesterday's Super Bowl City protest gave those gathered a chance to publicly voice grievances regarding city officials' decision to spend $5.3 million on corporate interests while simultaneously appearing to abandon the homeless residents of San Francisco.
One protester, apparently, took note of all the police on the scene and decided to photograph them.
"Amir Varick was walking to the Tackle Homelessness protest at about 4:30 p.m. yesterday," reports SF Weekly. "He started taking photos — and that's when he drew the attention of police, who detained him."
One of the protesters with Varick, Joanna Berliner, told the paper in no uncertain terms why she thinks he was detained and cited with a misdemeanor.
"It's because he is black."
It seems Varick made the mistake of actually entering Super Bowl City — he went through security and everything — instead of merely hanging on its outskirts.
San Francisco Police Officer Albie Esparza confirmed to the Weekly that a person was detained at 6:10 p.m. for "delaying a police investigation," furthering that "[it's] better to be safe than sorry." Police told the paper that it was Varick's apparent focus on the sniper's nest that got their attention.
If Varick really was detained and cited merely for taking pictures of police while on public property, well, according to the ACLU, that would be in violation of his right to do so.
"Taking still and video photographs of things that are plainly visible in public spaces is a constitutional right — and that includes the outside of federal buildings, as well as transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties," notes the civil liberties organization.
But hey, they city has seemingly thrown out ever other rule on behalf of the NFL, why not toss some constitutional rights out with them?