Photography and trains

Discussion in 'Passenger Service' started by u18b, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. u18b

    u18b TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

  2. u18b

    u18b TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Prosecution of Maryland wiretapping laws can be really harsh. I predict they prosecute him for it-- even though he handled it perfectly--- ohhhh you don't want me to record you.... well, then I'll move over there.... and I wasn't recording you, you approached me.

    But, I predict they'll go after him anyway (or at least I wouldn't be surprised)-- even if they lose.
  3. SinCity

    SinCity TrainBoard Member

    Could be an anti-terrorist thing, also. IIRC, I read somewhere that Al-Qaeda was looking at disrupting train traffic.
  4. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    The whole idea that terrorists are going to show up and photograph things with conspicuous camera gear prior to an attack is the stuff of prime time TV action drama programs.

    Universal harassment is not a good terror-plot stopping strategy.
  5. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    George Orwell where are you? Jim
  6. Smike

    Smike TrainBoard Member

    I'd be hard pressed to see how they could get him on that. Very hard to prove that his recording of a public conversation that was conducted in public area would be unlawful. If that were the case then anybody filming/recording anything in public could be prosecuted wiretapping.

    But I could be wrong…
  7. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    The biggest mistake I saw...they asked him numerous times for ID. He refused to produce the ID. Yes...they can detain you until they can ascertain you are who you say you are. JMO.

  8. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I liked when the one cop caught him on "editorializing" (and he was correct).

    On the showing of ID, this is tricky. He didn't have to (and appears never to have), yet these cops, erroneously, had reasonable suspicion so were within some case law to ask. Since they were in error, his failure to show ID would not have led to a valid detainment.

    The advice is to ask the officer "Excuse me, am I free to go?" If yes, leave (though in his case, he was waiting for the train!). In states with stop-and-identify laws, if the answer is "no", then you are detained, which requires a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, and it may (or may not) be in your best interest to provide ID. But, since there is no requirement to carry identification....

    I found the final comments in the video, about the Amtrak police, interesting, too. I wonder if the MTA cop was still there when he said there was nothing wrong with taking pictures.
  9. fitz

    fitz Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Chris Fussell is a friend of mine, and highly respected for his rail photography skills here in the Pacific NW. He has created and maintains the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation and Friends of the 4449 websites. Chris is seriously hearing-impaired to the point that he needs signing from friends who are capable of doing so. These cops were no more than bullies from what I saw in the videos. :tb-sad:

    Oh yeah, and where were the cops when the MEDIA people showed up on their platforms and filmed their story?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2011
  10. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

    After they got bin Laden, I read where Al Queda had been looking into attacking trains. My first thought was "oh no, if it was hard to take photos of trains before, we ain't seen nothing yet". Sad.
  11. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    That was my first reaction, too!

    Chris did a fantastic job during the whole incident, keeping himself together.
  12. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I take a lot of pictures in and around South Station Boston. Sometimes I am asked / told not to. The most recent, (last fall), was by an Amtrak employee who said "You are not allowed to take pictures here". I always smile and put my camera away for the day. I see no point in arguing with the officials even though I know they are wrong.

    The basic rules as I understand them, from asking MBTA police at South Station are
    yes you can as long as:

    • You don't get in the way
    • Remain in public areas
    • Provide ID if requested for any reason
    • Do not use a tri pod without expressed written consent
    So, ya, if I placed a tripod in the direct path of commuters I would expect to be arrested or at least banned from the premises and have my "Blind Pass" revoked.
    Many of my pictures from throughout the "T" can be found here:
  13. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    That sounds like good policy, Steve, but I would add one further step.

    Smile, pack up & leave, and then immediately file a polite complaint with the appropriate administrative authorities about the situation.

    Fussell had a point that he was entirely within his rights to be there and do what he was doing. While getting into an argument with the on-the-scene LEO might not be the best thing, I would think it imperative that we defend our rights as citizens by at least making some noise "through channels".
  14. johnnny_reb

    johnnny_reb TrainBoard Member

    He got what he wanted. A video on you tube. WoW.
  15. Jeff Powell

    Jeff Powell TrainBoard Member

    Any apologies issued?

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