Security Guards Destroy Photographer’s Gear and Erase His Memory Cards

Benn Jordan, a motion picture composer and recording artist, has been working diligently on a timelapse film featuring Chicago landscapes for his upcoming album. But an unpleasant run-in with security guards in South Chicago on Tuesday destroyed much of his progress. Check out the photographer’s footage of the altercation:

“What could I possibly be doing that would be threatening to you?”

The security guards are, reportedly, employees from Acme Refining—and, to be fair, we haven’t heard their side of the story.

Jordan says he was shooting a sequence of moving machinery for his film from the sidewalk area between the business’s property and the street when the two men approached him. He says they told him he was on private property, damaged his timelapse rig, and seized his memory cards. When the guards wiped Jordan’s memory cards, they erased two days of his hard work. (Via PetaPixel)


Jordan recorded most of the incident as he waited for police.

Jordan provided further details today in response to the video being posted on reddit:

“…My rights are your rights, and these kind of situations need to stop happening this way.

Let me clear up a few general things:

  • I was taking a timelapse of a steel fence with some cranes and clouds moving behind it. The shot was likely B roll. It has nothing to do with any company or individual until I was confronted.
  • I believed (and still believe) that I was shooting from public property. Here’s the location: and,-87.6557771,20z The moment they claimed it was private, I repeatedly agreed to immediately stop shooting and leave…”

When the police arrived, the guards tried to get Jordan arrested for criminal trespassing. He showed them his video of the incident, but he says the officers told him he’d have to show his evidence in civil court.

We’re quite curious to hear the outcome of this story and how it relates to photographers’ rights.


Jordan says this is where the incident took place.

Have you had a similar confrontation as a photographer? Share your story in the comments.

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2 responses to “Security Guards Destroy Photographer’s Gear and Erase His Memory Cards”

  1. Jon Morgan-Parker says:

    Property or not ? They still do not have the right to destroy his camera gear! Assault the photographer and touch his property either !
    Security morons !

  2. Larry says:

    …And THAT my friends, is exactly why I have a concealed weapons permit, and I DO CARRY a sidearm to protect my self against these JACK-BOOTED security idiots…

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