Photography is not a crime

  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

We had a similar discussion once about where you can or can't, should or shouldn't take photographs. In this case a man was arrested by Amtrak police for taking photographs of Amtrak trains for a contest that Amtrak is sponsoring specifically to take photos of their trains for their annual calendar.

Quote:
Armed with his Canon 5D and his new Lensbaby lens, photographer Duane Kerzic set out to win Amtrak’s annual photo contest this week, hoping to win $1,000 in travel vouchers and have his photo published in Amtrak’s annual calendar.

He ended up getting arrested by Amtrak police; handcuffed to a wall in a holding cell inside New York City’s Penn Station, accused of criminal trespass.


Quote:
“The only reason they arrested me was because I refused to delete my images,” Kerzic said in a phone interview with Photography is Not a Crime on Friday.

“They never asked me to leave, they never mentioned anything about trespassing until after I was handcuffed in the holding cell.”

In fact, he said, the only thing they told him before handcuffing him was that “it was illegal to take photos of the trains.”
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is why there needs to be no communication barriers between different departments within a business.

I wonder if these "Amtrak police" are in-house, or independents contracted by Amtrak.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

lol that's crazy. How do you like that one?

I wonder how the resolution of that thing came out.
  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't see how it can be illegal to take pictures of the trains unless he was on private property taking the pictures.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think the gist of the story is the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

My guess is the Amtrak police were acting per policy:
Quote:
Though the Amtrak Police Department is a traditional police force that does not focus on counter terrorism, since September 11, 2001, our department has worked to develop terrorism-based vulnerability and threat assessments, emergency response and evacuation plans, as well as security measures that address not only vandalism and other forms of street crime but the potential for explosion and blast effects at critical infrastructure locations. Amtrak has also developed a Security Threat Level Response Plan (ASTLRP) that mirrors the HSAS and requires Amtrak to engage in specific security countermeasures according to the existing threat level.


http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentSe ... &c=am2Copy

OK, so the guy is in a NYC subway taking pictures of a train that Amtrak police are there to protect - not so much perhaps the physical train itself but the commuters that ride it. I can understand concerns in a NYC station, given 9/11. But to not know that Amtrak marketing runs a promotion for photographers to do exactly what this guy is doing is just plain senseless.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

my friend in a photo class was taking pictures of an old building. he was being filmed and, come to find out, it was a government building. He is LITERALLY now on the list of terrorists. LOL
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Post 3+ Months Ago

interesting.
  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Man... I don't know if I want to be a photographer anymore... I might take a picture of the wrong flower or something :(
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I remember a couple of years ago going out with a friend of mine from college to take long exposure shots of people going up an escalator in a shopping center. Not thinking much of it we set up our tri-pods and was just about to mount our cameras to them and start taking shots.

A couple of security guys came up and asked us to pack up and not to take any photos within the building as it was a security risk. At the time i was slightly irritated by all this as was my friend but we packed up and the security guys left us. As we are leaving the building we notice the security constantly watching us from around the building. We leave the building and head to the carpark where my car was and my friend decided she would take at least one photo from within the carpark (which is an open yet slightly underground carpark) before we jump into my car and drive off. We hear one of the security guys calling and asking us to leave. What irritated me about this was how hostile they were, how they were kinda rude enough to pursue us in the way they had. Personally i would never have taken my camera out again, but the girl i was with can be spontaneous like this sometimes.

Getting more to the point of this thread, as has been mentioned before the Amtrak police were just doing the job they were required to do. They saw the photographer as a threat to security, to be honest if it had been me taking the photos and being arrested i'd have been mature enough to accept that they were just doing their job rather than complaining. The guys at that shopping center that stopped me and my friend were doing the same thing, they are paid to do that. Mis-communication is common with many places and there is nothing to suggest that the competition wasn't in it's infancy when he was arrested...so why make such a fuss over this and why complain about it?

To be honest, i much prefer the image of a security guy doing their job than the image of them sitting in their office snoozing.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

SB wrote:
I remember a couple of years ago going out with a friend of mine from college to take long exposure shots of people going up an escalator in a shopping center. Not thinking much of it we set up our tri-pods and was just about to mount our cameras to them and start taking shots.

A couple of security guys came up and asked us to pack up and not to take any photos within the building as it was a security risk. At the time i was slightly irritated by all this as was my friend but we packed up and the security guys left us. As we are leaving the building we notice the security constantly watching us from around the building. We leave the building and head to the carpark where my car was and my friend decided she would take at least one photo from within the carpark (which is an open yet slightly underground carpark) before we jump into my car and drive off. We hear one of the security guys calling and asking us to leave. What irritated me about this was how hostile they were, how they were kinda rude enough to pursue us in the way they had. Personally i would never have taken my camera out again, but the girl i was with can be spontaneous like this sometimes.

Getting more to the point of this thread, as has been mentioned before the Amtrak police were just doing the job they were required to do. They saw the photographer as a threat to security, to be honest if it had been me taking the photos and being arrested i'd have been mature enough to accept that they were just doing their job rather than complaining. The guys at that shopping center that stopped me and my friend were doing the same thing, they are paid to do that. Mis-communication is common with many places and there is nothing to suggest that the competition wasn't in it's infancy when he was arrested...so why make such a fuss over this and why complain about it?

To be honest, i much prefer the image of a security guy doing their job than the image of them sitting in their office snoozing.

I've also been chased out of a mall once for taking photos there ...
  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I got kicked out of one for recording video. I was also like, 13, and definitely not up to corporate espionage.

We were filming a zombie movie.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

neksus wrote:
I got kicked out of one for recording video. I was also like, 13, and definitely not up to corporate espionage.

We were filming a zombie movie.

haha that's classic, that's like me almost getting arrested for filming next to the water tower (it's right next to my house) ... We weren't allowed in the same premises as the water tower, it was surrounded by a huge fence but we needed to make a good school project, so we went in there anyway.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

righteous_trespasser wrote:
neksus wrote:
I got kicked out of one for recording video. I was also like, 13, and definitely not up to corporate espionage.

We were filming a zombie movie.

haha that's classic, that's like me almost getting arrested for filming next to the water tower (it's right next to my house) ... We weren't allowed in the same premises as the water tower, it was surrounded by a huge fence but we needed to make a good school project, so we went in there anyway.

Well, that was them doing their job and you were in the wrong.
  • ipsum43
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Post 3+ Months Ago

These days i always bring printouts of contest forms during photo shoots, in case such things happen again...
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Here in London, England there have been many complaints by people taking pictures, such as of buses and trains, of the police stopping and questioning them. Apparently there are posters saying something like "Thousands of people take pictures every day. Could one of them be a terrorist?". The police will even stop and search people incl. tourists, just for 'looking suspicious'. Come on, a real terrorist wouldn't risk getting caught like that, if they were doing reconnaissance they'd be much more covert. And in certain settings, if there's other people in the location you're filming, you risk being accused of being a paedophile/'pervert'.
How to avoid this? I would try getting a big camera and pretending to be a paparazzo. They don't seem to get stopped. 8)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

PlutoRocks wrote:
my friend in a photo class was taking pictures of an old building. he was being filmed and, come to find out, it was a government building. He is LITERALLY now on the list of terrorists. LOL


Really, there is a public list of terrorist? :)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Last month I almost got kicked out of a parking garage. I was there early planning the shoot while I waited for the model. The security guard showed up and asked what I was doing and I explained I was there to do a photo shoot. He was cool about it, said ok, and walked off. 30 minutes later the model arrived and I began setting up my lights when the security guard came back and said, "you guys can't be here." I was like what. I said you could have told me that a half hour ago. He tried to fool me with saying I needed permits from the city and what not, but I had to explain how our city has an open policy on film/video/photography and permits are not required. So he said I still need to clear it with the garage manager. So I said call him. Finally after about 15 minutes of talking with the manager he agreed to give me 20 minutes to do the shoot. After it all, I did realize spite the city policy I was wrong because I did not clear it with the proper authorities first, my bad. However, knowing the cities policies, my rights, and most of all even though I was upset I was respectful at all times(yes sir, and thank you sir goes a long), I am certain that is what got me my 20 minutes.

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  • SB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Excellent OriginNO_II. It does go a long way being polite, and i'm glad you got the chance to take the shoot.

Really like the photograph, have you others at all?

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