An Alabama police officer was directing traffic around a traffic collision early Friday morning when he noticed a man pointing a camera at him.

That caused the officer so much concern that he left his post to confront the photographer – creating a potential traffic hazard – grabbing the man’s camera as he ordered him to turn it off.

It turns out, the man with the camera, Ashley Sharer, has been the city’s main photographer for more than a decade, shooting mostly tourism-related photos for the City of Mobile. The same city that employs the cop.

“I was wearing a city badge around my neck that has the mayor’s signature,” Sharer said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Friday night.

“He said, ‘I don’t care what you show me, you can’t take photos of me.’”

Now Sharer said he is going to file charges against the officer for assault.

“He grabbed my lens, that’s assault,” he said.

Sharer said he intended to use the clip as stock footage. He ended up with a little more than that.

The cop should not only be investigated for assault, but for neglecting his duty as an officer when he approached the photographer, leaving nobody to direct traffic.

Please send stories and tips to