San Francisco Vampire Cop: Policeman Sues For Artistic Freedom
San Francisco police officer Gared Hansen enjoys taking pictures of scantily-clad women dressed as vampires, mermaids, and other mythical creatures. However, the nature of the photos have prompted Hansen’s employers to temporarily suspend him from the police force. According to The Daily Mail, this vampire-friendly cop is taking the case to court.
Hansen claims that, when his passion for unusual photography was revealed to his superiors, they decided he wasn’t setting a good example for the San Francisco Police Force. As a result, the 36-year-old officer is filing a federal civil rights lawsuit which claims that he was wrongfully suspended for what he does during his time away from the force.
According to court documents filed in US District Court in Oakland on August 9, Hansen states he was suspended twice for his love of dark and sexy photography. The first incident took place in 2009, the second in 2010.
Hansen, who has worked for the San Francisco Police Department for seven years, claims that his art isn’t pornographic and shouldn’t reflect negatively on his co-workers or the city.
“I don’t believe that artistic expression brings discredit to anything,” Hansen explained to Slate. “I believe that the work I make is beautiful and interesting and so do my friends and family. It seems like creating art is a benefit to the department.”
Legal experts believe that Hansen’s work, which consists mostly of curvy vampires and sexy sorcerers, isn’t offensive enough to cause a disruption in the workplace.
“The question becomes whether the public employer’s interests in a disruption-free, efficient workplace trump the public employee’s free-speech rights,” legal scholar David Hudson explained. “I don’t see how his photography causes a disruption or even creates a huge morality problem.”
In the meantime, this San Francisco vampire cop is taking some time off from his favorite hobby until the matter is worked out in the courts. For his troubles, Hansen is seeking an unspecified amount from his employers. To see pictures of his work, many of which may not be safe for work, swing by The Daily Mail.