Jonas Lara faces up to a year for ‘aiding and abetting vandals'

The current political climate in the UK has led, some would say, to an unreasonable amount of pressure placed on photographers when shooting in public. Rarely a week goes past without some story or other crossing the path of the WDC office about photographers being stopped and searched, often unreasonably, under the terrorism act or suchlike.

However inconvenient this stop and search incidents may be, with some even ending in a short spell in a cell, perhaps we should spare a thought for American photographer Jonas Lara.

Lara, a promising young photographer due to take up a place at the School of Visual Arts in New York this September, was recently arrested while out on a shoot in Los Angles. Lara was photographing two graffiti artists as part of a long-term photography project, but was promptly charged with aiding and abetting vandals, and had all of his photography gear stolen on the spot.

Lara, if proven guilty, stand to spend up to a year behind bars, and will almost certainly have to give up his place on his forthcoming college course. Lara has set up a legal defence fun to raise the financing to support himself in a court of law, which can be found on Paypal.

So what do you think? Is the LAPD being heavy-handed in trying to jail Lara for a year for taking photos? Or, in being on the seen of a felony is Lara as guilty as the graffiti artists themselves? Let us know in the comments section below.