Jonas Lara a LA photographer faces charges of aiding and abetting two graffiti artists because he was taking photos of them painting. He refuses to plea bargain so is going to court where he could get a sentence of up to years in prison. If convicted he will also lose his place at college where he is signed up to Master of Fine Art course. So far the court appointed lawyer has refused to consider his rights as a photographer as a defence. Lara started a legal defence fund so he can hire a real lawyer but time is short as his court date is set for May 11th 2010. If you wish to donate you can do so at his legal defence fund paypal page or send payments though paypal direct to:
Read more on this story at Photo District News. There is also a great Q&A with him on the discarded blog. As with every campaign like this there is also a Facebook page you can join.
Aiding and abetting seems like a weak charge if he was just photographing, since he was doing neither of those by merely taking photos. I hope he gets a good lawyer. Even a half-assed lawyer should be able to get those charges dismissed.
People making graffiti make for a good photography subject. In this case, geography does matter.