Sunday, September 17, 2006

MPDC CCTV Dupont Circle North

In August 2006, the Metropolitan Police Department began deploying Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras that are designed to help combat crime in District of Columbia neighborhoods.

When this picture was taken on Saturday aftrernoon, 16 September 2006, just before crossing Connecticut Avenue at Dupont Circle North I still had not gotten over what had occurred at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library earlier in the afternoon when I was documenting the Arts On Foot Festival, involving a white lady, a white man, and black policeman. Which was not unlike my my experiences the Saturday before at the Rosslyn Jazz Festival or on Labor Day Monday in Georgetown. Or when documenting Gay Pride or anti-war protests in NYC, WDC or Baltimore.

Or when visiting Fort Lauderdale, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago or South Boston VA.

I've been photographing Dupont Circle since 1992 and have visited the area since 1974. And, as a black man, I am less welcomed now, in Dupont Circle, than I was then. And, in sharp contrast to my white counterpart, I have less freedoms now than I had then. In fact, the places that I would frequent or have lived, in years past, not only am I not welcomed but, in most cases, I'm no longer allowed.

As a 52 year old black man, this sign, like the recent notices that some now find in their luggage when traveling by plane, "... ain't news to me ...!"

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