Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:32 am

We should note this is a "been there done that" around here, likely this topic will be disposed of in the same manner as was its predecessor:

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=57912

Funny how it took a Times feature writer, as distinct from reporter, eighteen months to write (again, as distinct from report) on this incident.

While some likely disagree (and a disclaimer; author last took a rail photograph twenty five years ago, "it's just not worth it anymore"), Amtrak wisely discontinued their photo contest; no doubt because Police and Marketing could not get on the same page. Possibly, the outcome could have been different had a workable system to issue permits been developed, but then the thought of permits evidently gets the "First Amendmentists' riled up.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:01 am

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.


Old news...?
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby Patrick Boylan » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:31 am

I thought it was old news. Perhaps it's coming out now because the case just got settled recently? The article doesn't say when Amtrak and the photographer reached their settlement.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:54 am

Please note that report states the arrest was not for photography, but for trespassing. NYP platforms are not open to the public, only to ticketed passengers once the access is opened by employees when the train is ready for boarding, or passengers must leave promptly when arriving. This officer seems to have used his discretion by offering to allow the alleged trespasser off the hook if he deleted the photos so he would not retain the fruits of his alleged trespass. The reported settlement does not imply that Amtrak thought it would not prevail at trial, it does suggest that Amtrak wanted to avoid the adverse publicity resultant from some significantly distorted reporting.

This case is entirely different from the situation where a person was lawfully at a location, and thus not trespassing, and where the property owner did not prohibit photography. There law enforcement action of this sort would be improper. For example, the same Penn Station where I have taken photos when taking the train to Montreal. No problem since I was ticketed and the section of the platform open for boarding.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby geico » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:38 pm

Ken W2KB wrote:Please note that report states the arrest was not for photography, but for trespassing. NYP platforms are not open to the public, only to ticketed passengers once the access is opened by employees when the train is ready for boarding, or passengers must leave promptly when arriving. This officer seems to have used his discretion by offering to allow the alleged trespasser off the hook if he deleted the photos so he would not retain the fruits of his alleged trespass. The reported settlement does not imply that Amtrak thought it would not prevail at trial, it does suggest that Amtrak wanted to avoid the adverse publicity resultant from some significantly distorted reporting.

This case is entirely different from the situation where a person was lawfully at a location, and thus not trespassing, and where the property owner did not prohibit photography. There law enforcement action of this sort would be improper. For example, the same Penn Station where I have taken photos when taking the train to Montreal. No problem since I was ticketed and the section of the platform open for boarding.


Might be a nitpick here but there are about at least 6 ways to every platform at Penn without going through the Amtrak main concourse. There are trains loading everywhere all the time. If you want to take it to the extreme since Amtrak owns Penn, they should arrest every LIRR commuter waiting on the 13-17 shared platorms during the evening rush when they are on the platforms but the trains aren't "announced" since generally LIRR has consistent platforming in the evenings unlike NJT.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:45 pm

geico wrote:
Ken W2KB wrote:Please note that report states the arrest was not for photography, but for trespassing. NYP platforms are not open to the public, only to ticketed passengers once the access is opened by employees when the train is ready for boarding, or passengers must leave promptly when arriving. This officer seems to have used his discretion by offering to allow the alleged trespasser off the hook if he deleted the photos so he would not retain the fruits of his alleged trespass. The reported settlement does not imply that Amtrak thought it would not prevail at trial, it does suggest that Amtrak wanted to avoid the adverse publicity resultant from some significantly distorted reporting.

This case is entirely different from the situation where a person was lawfully at a location, and thus not trespassing, and where the property owner did not prohibit photography. There law enforcement action of this sort would be improper. For example, the same Penn Station where I have taken photos when taking the train to Montreal. No problem since I was ticketed and the section of the platform open for boarding.


Might be a nitpick here but there are about at least 6 ways to every platform at Penn without going through the Amtrak main concourse. There are trains loading everywhere all the time. If you want to take it to the extreme since Amtrak owns Penn, they should arrest every LIRR commuter waiting on the 13-17 shared platorms during the evening rush when they are on the platforms but the trains aren't "announced" since generally LIRR has consistent platforming in the evenings unlike NJT.


It was my intent to limit my statement to those platforms utilized by Amtrak. I admit total ignorance as to the policy for LIRR platforms.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby num1hendrickfan » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:19 pm

Tadman wrote:I don't care what contest you're in, I'd take a walk if the cops got nasty.


I fully concur with that statement. It's much easier to walk to another location in the same vicinity, versus defending yourself against an individual who doesn't listen to logic or reason. Had a similar issue with a public safety officer ( he was high and mighty in his pick-up truck of course ) at the public park here in East Meadow, suffice to say I walked to the duck pond and took pictures of the avian population ( would've loved to have seen him follow me there in that truck, drive into the pond ).
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby geico » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:30 pm

Ken W2KB wrote:
geico wrote:
Ken W2KB wrote:Please note that report states the arrest was not for photography, but for trespassing. NYP platforms are not open to the public, only to ticketed passengers once the access is opened by employees when the train is ready for boarding, or passengers must leave promptly when arriving. This officer seems to have used his discretion by offering to allow the alleged trespasser off the hook if he deleted the photos so he would not retain the fruits of his alleged trespass. The reported settlement does not imply that Amtrak thought it would not prevail at trial, it does suggest that Amtrak wanted to avoid the adverse publicity resultant from some significantly distorted reporting.

This case is entirely different from the situation where a person was lawfully at a location, and thus not trespassing, and where the property owner did not prohibit photography. There law enforcement action of this sort would be improper. For example, the same Penn Station where I have taken photos when taking the train to Montreal. No problem since I was ticketed and the section of the platform open for boarding.


Might be a nitpick here but there are about at least 6 ways to every platform at Penn without going through the Amtrak main concourse. There are trains loading everywhere all the time. If you want to take it to the extreme since Amtrak owns Penn, they should arrest every LIRR commuter waiting on the 13-17 shared platorms during the evening rush when they are on the platforms but the trains aren't "announced" since generally LIRR has consistent platforming in the evenings unlike NJT.


It was my intent to limit my statement to those platforms utilized by Amtrak. I admit total ignorance as to the policy for LIRR platforms.


13-16 (17) are shared by Amtrak, LIRR and NJT. LIRR gets exclusive use of them in the AM and PM rush although anything is up for grabs if something is going on in Penn or the tunnels. I've seen NJT and Amtrak on 13-16 at rush hour and as well as have been the receiver of arriving on LIRR on Track 10 a few times in the AM.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby NellieBly » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:05 pm

In Maryland it is now illegal to videotape a cop.~Greg Primrose :: My Train Photos
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No, I believe you're incorrect about that. In many states, police have arrested people videotaping police activity and charged them with "wiretap" violations. These do not hold up in court, I understand. It's perfectly legal for any individual to videotape a public employee performing his/her duty.

After 9/11, police also tried to prevent individuals from photgraphing bridges, public buildings, and other stuff. The police appear to be unaware of the existence of the "bird's eye" view in Bing Maps, which allows you to get within a hundred feet or so of large civil structures. And of course there's always Google "Street View".

NJ Transit proposed a photo "policy" that would have allowed them to arrest me if I photographed a passing bus from the front lawn of my home. The New Jersey attorney general wrote an opinion that the proposed photo policy would violate the state constitution, and that was the end of that.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby chuchubob » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:49 pm

Ken W2KB wrote:...It was my intent to limit my statement to those platforms utilized by Amtrak. I admit total ignorance as to the policy for LIRR platforms.

LIRR is part of MTA, which has a photo-permissive policy.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby geico » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:16 pm

chuchubob wrote:
Ken W2KB wrote:...It was my intent to limit my statement to those platforms utilized by Amtrak. I admit total ignorance as to the policy for LIRR platforms.

LIRR is part of MTA, which has a photo-permissive policy.


Penn is owned by Amtrak. 13-16 are shared. What happens if Amtrak and LIRR and NJT are loading at the same time.
I've seen Amtrak PD and MTA PD on those platforms
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby RussNelson » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:34 pm

David Benton wrote:what on earth is suspicious about openly taking a photo . ???

Terrorists always take photos of places they're going to attack.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby Tony Clifton » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:22 am

JimBoylan wrote:
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.


Irrelevant.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby atsf sp » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:34 pm

Penn is bad. Big cities are bad. That is where they want to get you. I have taken pictures of Amtrak out west from there platforms with about 5 other railfans around me and the people out there do not care. At South Station in Boston one time i didn't even have my camera but I was just walking on a platform to see the pre departed(1 hour before) LSL on a seperate platform and the conductor asked me to turn around and I did. He was kind about it though. Asked what I was doing, replied, wanted to see the P42s and he said yeah they don't like you going down there. I use to just go down the platforms every time i went to South to stand by the engines to hear them up close. If there are cops on the platform I don't take the picture. I was in Chicago at Union and and didn't take a pic of the LSL and a METRA train. Don't take pics on major terminal stations now. Go to rural platforms. I was at South Station two days ago and I found myself cursing Joe Boardman.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby geico » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:46 pm

atsf sp wrote:Penn is bad. Big cities are bad. That is where they want to get you. I have taken pictures of Amtrak out west from there platforms with about 5 other railfans around me and the people out there do not care. At South Station in Boston one time i didn't even have my camera but I was just walking on a platform to see the pre departed(1 hour before) LSL on a seperate platform and the conductor asked me to turn around and I did. He was kind about it though. Asked what I was doing, replied, wanted to see the P42s and he said yeah they don't like you going down there. I use to just go down the platforms every time i went to South to stand by the engines to hear them up close. If there are cops on the platform I don't take the picture. I was in Chicago at Union and and didn't take a pic of the LSL and a METRA train. Don't take pics on major terminal stations now. Go to rural platforms. I was at South Station two days ago and I found myself cursing Joe Boardman.


Its all just another way to continue gutting our rights in the name of safety, to "protect" our freedom.
Thanks but I'll take REAL freedom and be a little more at risk.
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