Police countermeasures for getting shots of people in custody in the field


Well-known member
I'm aware of how in the field the law will sometimes use their flashlight, aimable spot, takedown or alley lights to temporarily blind a suspect while a witness anonymously IDs them a short distance away in a shadow, like in a brightly lit line-up room with mirror glass at the station. I also know that this tactic is used by celebrities and bodyguards to blind paps' cameras at night.

I was at the scene of a shooting & saw a similar tactic used but this time it was on me. They were doing a witness ID and didn't like it because I was shooting the suspect so all the sudden the blue lights came on to disrupt my shot. Well, the strobing does create a annoying image for video but for stills it actually provides a perfect close proximity flash that illuminates everything just great! And if needed, you can just adjust the CT for a more natural light, just like a normal flash.

This top lights police tactic was new to me but can any of you fulltime news vets confirm if it's been in use in your area? It makes perfect sense and is effective but I had never seen it intentionally used before in my hometown. Other than strobes, spots and moving the line further out, what other obscuring tactics have you experienced? Thanks.
New to me as well but I am freelance these days. Seems more like somebody had a bright idea but it shouldn't work that well. Even with video they are just adding more ambient light to the scene and the blue flashers just make the perp you are shooting look like a perp. I can only really see this working with really low end cameras or camera phones that are using auto iris.


Well-known member
No but I have had some start using those small bright tactical flashlights and shine them high beam directly at my lens whenever there was something they don't want me to shoot. Its becoming more common at night. First time it was used on me was when I was at a chase that just crashed out and the OHP troopers pulled the suspect out of the truck and beat the crap out of him then just stood there over him without giving medical attention. When they saw my camera, two came over and tried standing right in front of the camera so I couldn't shoot and two more shined those damn lights directly in my lens so I couldn't get video of the suspect.