Guns Drawn, Cops Show UpOn November 25, 2019 by jmweb
Its a couple weeks after the election which saw me travelling around the Maritimes covering Justin Trudeau & Andrew Scheer for Reuters and I am back in Saint John photographing Reversing Falls.
I park my SUV, grab my camera bag as well as my tripod. I look at my second tripod (without touching it and not being visible) thinking, do I take it, nah, one will do. So into a field that looks like it used to be a parking lot I go. I head down the embankment, set up my tripod and attach the camera & my Yongnuo triggers.
A few minutes later, I hear some ruffling in the small brush which is to my left. I continue snapping pics and eventually, I hear something coming out of the brush. It’s a deer. I grab my other camera out of my bag and try to turn around to snap a picture but it ran off. Darn, I thought.
The light in front of me is changing as the sun is about to set.
Again, I hear some movement of the brush but this time it was behind me. Thinking it was just the deer again, I continue monitoring the sunset. The movement becomes more and louder. Thinking okay, the deer must becoming closer or something. Nothing.
So I continue on my routine, monitoring the light and a few minutes later, I turn around after hearing more noises. Sure enough, it was two Saint John Police officers coming down the embankment. I noticed the second had a Carbine rifle and immediately thought, darn, something big is going on and I’m in the wrong spot.
They are polite and acknowledge me asking if anyone else was down here, I said not that I am aware of, just a deer and something in the brush. As they come closer, I tell them to be careful as the embankment is a little steeper then it looks.
They come down the embankment and tell me they had a report of someone coming down here with a gun to which I thought, I am in the wrong spot as they are looking for someone with a GUN!
After a few seconds of polite back and forth banter, I realize they were looking for me and someone mistakenly thought my tripod was a gun.
We talk about how New Brunswick has taken the brunt of Maritime crime with the RCMP shootings in Moncton and Fredericton Police officers shootings not too long ago. We all acknowledge that people are a little bit on edge and it was probably just someone mistakenly mis-identified my tripod.
After some more polite professional banter back and fourth, they had back up the embankment. At this point, I was a little bit excited and thought it might be a good time to wrap up my photoshoot. I pack everything up and head up the hill. At this point, I notice, the police have the road shut down with multiple cop cars blocking the street at the top of the hill.
I eventually make my way out onto the street at which point, they identify me by name (they used my SUV plate to get my information). I kid with them that they shut down the street so I can take a photo and we all laugh.
During the entire situation, I wanted to snap a few photos but didn’t. In the end I shoulda asked them for a selfie, which is my biggest regret but didn’t.
A couple media outlets called to report on it.
First was K100 which was an interview with just myself..
It was followed up by the Radio CBC New Brunswick team which included an interview with myself and the Saint John Police Force. Give it a listen.