Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

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Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby geico » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:34 pm

Not that I am surprised that govermental entity contradicts itself

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/nyregion/28about.html

Picture This, and Risk Arrest
By JIM DWYER
Published: July 27, 2010
One afternoon, Duane P. Kerzic was arrested by the Amtrak police while taking pictures of a train pulling into Pennsylvania Station. At first, the police asked him to delete the images from his camera, but he refused. He ended up handcuffed to the wall of a holding cell while an officer wrote a ticket for trespassing.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby Tadman » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:53 pm

I don't care what contest you're in, I'd take a walk if the cops got nasty. It's a very unfortunate turn of events. As for why his website no longer mentions Amtrak or his settlement, it's perfectly normal for part of a negotiated settlement to be an exchange of money for an agreement not to disparage either party. I wrote one [unrelated to any matter here] just like that last week, and I can't understand why the Times writer doesn't get that it's a normal clause.

I do find Steven Colbert's commentary amusing. Sometimes it's just what a company needs in bad PR to get their act together.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby gprimr1 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:36 pm

I think Amtrak's policy does say you have to obey the police.

I say this every time I hear one of these stories: Penn Station is a terrible place for photography. It's not worth it lol.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby Greg Moore » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:44 pm

geico wrote:Not that I am surprised that govermental entity contradicts itself

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/nyregion/28about.html

Picture This, and Risk Arrest
By JIM DWYER
Published: July 27, 2010
One afternoon, Duane P. Kerzic was arrested by the Amtrak police while taking pictures of a train pulling into Pennsylvania Station. At first, the police asked him to delete the images from his camera, but he refused. He ended up handcuffed to the wall of a holding cell while an officer wrote a ticket for trespassing.


So the police asked him to destroy evidence of a crime. Or rather at least what the officer seemed to think it was a crime. Unfortunately the article has no specifics.

As for walking the other way, I respect your choice. But I also respect those willing to stand up for our First Amendment rights. (I honestly don't know which I would do. I suppose it would depend on the situation, the attitude of the cop, etc.)
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby Ken S. » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:17 pm

The key words are the cop wanted the pics deleted. That IMO, is crossing the line. Sounds like this cop didn't like having his authority challenged and the charge was basically "Comtempt of Cop". Unfortunately, Law & Order is gone. These stories about photographer harrassment by cops would have made a good case for "Snapping Jack"'s office to prosecute.

Of course, Amtrak got rid of the photo contest since it has now been outed as a trap for cops to harass railfans. With that said, I only photograph at the bigger stations when I am holding a ticket for a train on that platform or have gotten off a train on that platform.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby RussNelson » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:47 am

I was asked to delete this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/russnelson/3451227499/ but I (obviously) refused. Maybe in addition to carrying a copy of the Photographer's Rights document, we need to carry a scary contract indemnifying yourself against ANY charges of destruction of evidence. "Sure, I'm happy to destroy evidence, officer, if you'll just sign this contract, mmmmmmkay?"
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby Tony Clifton » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:04 am

gprimr1 wrote:I think Amtrak's policy does say you have to obey the police.

I say this every time I hear one of these stories: Penn Station is a terrible place for photography. It's not worth it lol.


Penn Station is the WORST place to be it is not what it used to be, to hell with that place for once. To hell with Amtrak as well, stick to the MTA and the Subways and Rails that we have.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby RedLantern » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:34 am

I've never had a problem with taking shots of Amtrak at stations, but I remember all the people that got hassled/arrested for taking pictures of the remains of the WTC in the weeks after 9/11, is anyone surprised that the same people that did the harassments/arrests back then would still be on edge the same way 9 years later? You go into what is considered a restricted area (an underground platform while the train is not officially boarding or unloading) in a city that 9 years ago experienced the brunt of the worst terrorist attack on US soil, and do something that many people find to be suspicious and you're just asking for trouble regardless of what the law says or your first amendment rights.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby David Benton » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:18 am

what on earth is suspicious about openly taking a photo . ???
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby geico » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:28 am

RedLantern wrote:I've never had a problem with taking shots of Amtrak at stations, but I remember all the people that got hassled/arrested for taking pictures of the remains of the WTC in the weeks after 9/11, is anyone surprised that the same people that did the harassments/arrests back then would still be on edge the same way 9 years later? You go into what is considered a restricted area (an underground platform while the train is not officially boarding or unloading) in a city that 9 years ago experienced the brunt of the worst terrorist attack on US soil, and do something that many people find to be suspicious and you're just asking for trouble regardless of what the law says or your first amendment rights.


Just because there was a terrorist attack is not a reason to shread the constitution. If we keep going down that road soon we'll be the Communist States of Amerika.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby kevikens » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:00 am

This kind of activity, harassing rail photographers, is the Authorities way of pretending to protect the public from terrorism. It makes then feel important and, most relevantly, justifies the huge expenditure of funding that has gone into security measures. As a policy in preventing terrorist violence it is about as effective as gun buy back programs that municipalities on accasion promote to lessen criminal violence. How many terrorists advertise their presence by using SLR's in the middle of Penn Station? About as many as gang-bangers who turn in uzis for git certificates at the local food pride.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby obienick » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:22 am

Two words ... POWER TRIP.

Unfortunately cops are not held accountable for their actions, especially if someone looks "suspicious." What is "suspicious I must ask?

To make matters worse, one of our founding fathers, Ben Franklin wrote, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." But the government (for the past two administrations) now unfortunately sees safety more important than liberty.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby gprimr1 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:03 am

In Maryland it is now illegal to videotape a cop.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby geico » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:04 am

Does that apply to the news media too? What about police dash board cams? What about security cameras on private buildings?

This is getting nuts.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:23 am

gprimr1 wrote:In Maryland it is now illegal to videotape a cop.
That's probably an ecology thing. The used tapes can get into the ocean and harm baby turtles. Flash drives and other electronic media are more politically correct.
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