Cameraman wrongly accused of being a ‘pervert’ for filming Christmas Lights


Well-known member
From Darrell Browns Facebook page

Ok I promise you ...I'm not making this up..this was my night quickly your life can suddenly spiral out of control....
I was filming the Christmas lights this evening for a client of mine and the City of Perth.....I'm shooting various wide shots and all of a sudden a woman yells out to me to stop filming her children...I decide to do the right thing immediately stop filming and just walk away...she follows me and asks why I was filming her daughter....I explain to her I'm filming the Christmas lights for a client and wasn't filming her kids...she tells me she wants me to hand over the footage...I said that it wasn't possible but promise her there's no shots of her kids...she begins to call the police as I keep walking then yells to the crowd of people ahead of me to stop thing I know I'm face planted into the road in Murray street with three guys on top of me, trying the wrench the camera out of my hands.
I'm wearing a high vis vest with the word "Media" written on the back. I tell them that I'm a professional cameramen filming for a client and ask everyone just to guy is pressing down so hard on my neck I can hardly breathe...the woman is screaming to everyone that I'm a pervert filming everyone's children...."its fake media vest"....she yells...I ask these guys if they could kindly let me up and that I was having trouble breathing. The guy wont let me move until I let go of my rather expensive camera...I have no choice as my face is still rubbing on the road. Finally they let me up and tell me their making a citizens arrest. I tell them thats fine, but just be careful of my camera....the woman is still screaming at me - calling me a pervert and telling the guys to drop me to the ground again. I just keep talking calming suggesting we just wait quietly and let the police sort it out.
After about 40 minutes off being pushed and shoved around...I went to make a phone call..but they grab my hand and tell me if I dont put my phone away there going to throw me to the ground again...(You cant make this stuff up).. they looked like decent guys so I just tried talking to them calmly...but they were convinced I was a criminal..
The police finally come and put me through the third far as they are concerned I'm guilty until I prove my innocents...there calming the screaming woman down who is now standing with her friend and her children...basically saying..its ok, we've got him!
The police question me and then decide to call in the CCTV cameras at head office to have a look at where I was and what I was filming...I show them a shot list given to me by the client...but apparently it has no signature ???...So I show them a series of emails, but their still not convinced....mean while - the male police officer is trying to access the footage on the camera to look back at it, but wont let me show him how to do it...apparently he's worried I will delete the images of all the kids??...finally after about 15 minutes he lets me guide him to the footage...which of course all checks out..
Long story short.....they get head quarters to do all the back ground checks on me and realise everything checks out..."He's can let him go!"...I hear on the radio..
Then the kicker...the female police officer, after realizing that I am a professional TV cameraman ask me " So where are you allowed to shoot?...I tell her that I'm free to shoot in nearly all public places...its not a crime!...
I have no grudge against the woman...she's protecting her kids...But I do feel that were all being trained to look for the worst in each other...
So its ok to face plant a guy, steal his camera and give him a few in the ribs for good measure? .... because someone makes some unrealistic assumptions?......oh boy...the worlds going a little crazy.
I think I'll go get a beer!.
On reflection....
This story really isn't about me, nor is it about the's about a little girl who was simply enjoying the innocence of walking through the fantasy of the sparkling Perth city lights and all of a sudden was instead dragged through an hour and a half of this crap....for what?........................Nothing.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.


Well-known member
Here in the US, that sounds like, at the very least, assault and possibly theft charges for those in the crowd that assailed him and very likely a civil lawsuit, as well. And I’m betting, unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, he didn’t have the wherewithal to roll the camera when it all started.


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No apparently he rolled the whole time.
Good for him. I’m honestly glad to hear that. That’s something that was told to me very early on, when something starts going down, ROLL. It’s also one of the big reasons that you NEVER have your tally turned on in the ENG world. At the very least, you turn the front off.

Hopefully that helps him if he decides to press charges, which he really should do. This ‘mob mentality’ that is spreading is dangerous for everyone. He could have been hurt even more than he was, or worse. All because of an overreaction.