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lord_casek

Maryland MTU vs photographer

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iMr76atjUA&feature=related

 

This is absurd.

 

 

"This incident occurred at the Cultural Center station in Baltimore, Maryland on March 21, 2011. I was visiting from Oregon, and as part of my career interests, I explored the transit systems of Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. In each and every one of those cities, except for Baltimore, I had no problems photographing these amazing systems.

 

This incident in Baltimore started with me enroute from the B&O Railroad Museum to Penn Station. I had boarded a light-rail train at the Convention Center, but realized that I needed to be on a "Penn Station" bound train, so I stepped off at Cultural Center Station in order to board the correct train. While waiting for my train, I snapped a photo or two of passing trains, and was immediately inundated with police officers confronting me about my photography. I also had a video camera on hand, so this entire incident, except for the last bit at Penn Station, was recorded.

 

MTA Police finally gave back my farecard and ordered me to "cease and desist," but continued to surround and bother me until I boarded the next Penn Station train. They followed me to Penn Station and got Amtrak Police involved. I felt at that point I had no choice but to give Amtrak Police my ID so they could conduct a warrant check. If the MTA Police hadn't followed me, Amtrak Police most likely would have not conducted this security check based on my experiences at various Amtrak stations between Washington DC and Boston. The Amtrak Police Officer was truthful about the fact that there was no prohibition against taking pictures of trains or train stations, so his honesty is what also compelled me to give my ID. He was, in my opinion, dragged into this fiasco because of MTA Police.

 

I have no qualms with MTA Police inquiring what I'm doing, but the fact that they took it to the next level with so many lies, unreasonable detainment, denying my boarding of my train that caused me to be delayed and following me to delay me further; this whole episode of theirs was unprofessional and perhaps unconstitutional. I am posting this video in hopes to further strengthen photographer's constitutional rights.

 

I am also being represented by ACLU of Maryland.

 

Photography is not a crime. As long as you're on public property, or in a publicly accessible place like a subway station, you are allowed to take photographs.

 

It's your First Amendment right!

 

You do not have to stop recording, or delete anything from your camera. Police must have a warrant to search or seize your camera. Do not let ill-informed police officers deter you from enjoying your hobby of photography."

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the MTA apologized and said they would address the rights of photographers in role call.

go aclu

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MTA chief repudiates photographer curbs

The head of the Maryland Transit Administration flatly repudiated Wednesday the efforts by some of the agency's police officers to forbid photographers from shooting pictures of MTA equipment or from MTA property, vowing to settle all the issues raised by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland before a lawsuit can be filed.

 

 

...

"We don't have a policy restricting photography," Wells said. "The actions of some of these officers are not reflective of the agency stance."

 

The MTA chief offered an explanation, but not an excuse, for why transit police officers ordered Olev Taremae of Bethlehem, Pa., and Christopher Fussell of Portland, Ore., to stop taking pictures and video in two separate incidents in February and March.

 

"There's just a high sensitivity post-9/11 to photographers. We obviously have to back off of that," he said.

 

..

 

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/traffic/2011/06/mta_chief_repudiates_photograp.html

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I was talking to a Federal Marshall the other day about rights of people to take photos of federal facilities (I work in the same building as he does). He was very knowledgable and knew that they were not breaking the law, even though alot of people wanted him to go and question someone who was taking pictures.

 

I think this is a case of a poorly trained police force and a public that would look away when some of there rights were being violated in the name of safety.

 

It still amazes me how many people are willing to give up their freedoms to feel safe. It would not take much for these same people to be conned into being control by someone in power who talks about a boogeyman and scares them.

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i love this part:

 

cop 1: "well, its not really illegal...'

 

2 minutes later, cop 2: 'its illegal to film rail lines and equipment, under the patriot act' 'DONT YOU WANTZ US TO CATCH TEH TERRORISTS?!?!'

 

the way he ended his detainment was great...just told them he was leaving, its not illegal to film and just bounced.

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the MTA apologized and said they would address the rights of photographers in role call.

go aclu

 

 

Had it not been filmed and received the amount of attention it did I bet it would have turned out differently.

 

Also, wiretapping laws. LOL.

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there was a big wire tapping case last year that ruled the taping of a cop doing his police duty (in this case, he pulled a gun on a guy riding a motorcycle, cop was not wearing a uniform and pulled his side arm for a speeding stop. guy caught it on a helmet cam) is legal, as there is no 'reasonable expectation of privacy' as the guy who was detained by MTA correctly kept repeating.

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I remember that. The undercover cuts the motorcycle guy off and jumped out with his gun drawn

for a speeding violation. Sad that police were once respected members of the community.

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There is a certain thought process/mentality of people who try to be and are police. The bad side of that is that it is the same mentality that also has a very large "I am right no matter what" part to it.

 

Most police are always on the offense and can not mentally place them in the role of another person. Very narcissistic.

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most police encounters are nothing but charades. they cannot accept any challenge to their 'authori-tie' and will violate any rights they wish and will even kill just to save face. after they do this, they yell for their garrity, the police unions make sure they get a paid vacation and a desk job for a couple months under qualified immunity. in due time they are back out harassing the populace

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It still amazes me how many people are willing to give up their freedoms to feel safe. It would not take much for these same people to be conned into being control by someone in power who talks about a boogeyman and scares them.

 

 

yes. over the last decade, any illusions i had about the bravery of this country were shattered.

the consumers here are in a state of complacent fear, and they seem to be totally happy like that.

oh well. i'm done giving a shit about it. these days i'm just looking into the various places i can emigrate.

 

another thing i cannot stand is the apparent infallibility of police. people will rush to defend them in any goddamn situation, including this one (people thought that guy had no right or reason to flick trains)

 

it's not the only profession people seem to worship, but prolly the one that disgusts me the most.

 

i remember being in new zealand and hearing about how their swat and killed some guy years ago. three separate agencies investigated, including one independent of the police. but would we ever do anything like that here? fuck no. swat can basically do any fucking thing, including barging into the house of your mayor and killing his dogs.

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somebody posted a video here before of someone taking photos of a building and the same thing happened

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somebody posted a video here before of someone taking photos of a building and the same thing happened

 

I think that was in London. There's been another one in a different train station somewhere around the world too.

 

I hadn't seen this, so thanks for posting it. The guy handled everything really well. Generally the photographers do so a lot better then the likes of the 'dancing protesters' and the rest. They know their rights and know that if they are arrested it's a bit of time out of their day and a huge blight on the police/transit force once it goes public.

 

A UK photography magazine was giving out a lens cloth with one issue that had all their rights as photographers printed on it, after things like this had been happening pretty frequently.

I really don't know why they need to bring the cops in, flashing lights and all. In that time someone's just shot some dope, shoplifted, whatever. Waste of time.

 

I've been told to stop taking photos while waiting for the train before. I had a video too but I lost that on my old laptop, wish I still had it. 10 minute argument with station staff about 1 photo I took.

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