NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

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NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby painterman » Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:07 pm

Photographer arrested for taking photos on platform in Penn Station - was shooting for Amtrak's photo contest. This guy even had train tickets!

Read about it at Carlosmiller.com.

Edited by a Moderator (perfecting url) 12-27-08 241PM CST
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby Kaback9 » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:36 pm

Here we go again. He should have asked, first explained what he was doing it for and there probably would have been no incident, now Amtrak will look like the bad guy and this guy will get off with some money. JUST ASK BEFORE SHOOTING especially in places where they frown on photography.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:37 pm

Ohhh brother. Geez what a shame for the photographer considering he was trying to participate in a contest initiated by Amtrak. Not that Amtrak is the bad guy or that photography is a crime because its not,but NY Penn Station would be the last place to take pictures in my mind with the massive amount of Armed Guards with nice machine guns patrolling the station. In my mind , its more trouble then its worth. These guys give Amtrak employees a hard time. I recently was inspecting the outside of my locomotive and a cop plus an armed guard came at me yelling at me for what I was doing then I showed them my id which was visible to begin with and they just walked away.
Last edited by BuddSilverliner269 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby gprimr1 » Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:00 pm

My thoughts exactly, and I've been to Penn station plenty of times, I don't see how he could have gotten a good enough photo without using a tripod and other equipment, which would block passenger movement. I've always maintained as well that Penn station is not the place to take pictures.

But the article does bring up an interesting point about Amtrak's photo contest and one hand not knowing what the other is doing.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:03 pm

Same photographer had problems on NJT only a few days before, and based on how he describes how handcuffs were put on wrong , he was not a Debutant at this.
Normally is acces to platforms restricted to only passengers of the trains listed ??, seem to remember not getting acces to platform till boarding time.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby Greg Moore » Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:28 pm

Well according to the article he was on the train when it arrived. So then you get into a somewhat arbitrary "how long can you remain on the platform after a train has departed" debate.

My personal take. Both sides are partly at fault. Sounds like he has a history of being arrested. Now, granted, he may in general be in the right, but IN MY EXPERIENCE, people like this often cause just enough problems to be arrested in order to make their point. I won't exactly say, "he had it coming" but I wouldn't be surprised if he did a bit more than described.

That said, on the same token, it seems fairly clear that the Amtrak officers involved messed up.

Now, if I were to become a lawyer and fight this, I think it is probably clearly legal on first amendment grounds. In addition, one could argue for false arrest and possibly false imprisonment if he indeed was detained and restrained without being presented with any charges or read his rights.

In any case, not good all around.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby Kaback9 » Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:47 pm

If he did not comply with the police than he is liable to be arrested. I have had officers ask me what I was doing, and b/c I have been very polite, they have said continue what you are doing there is no problem here. Its all a matter of how you handle the situation, the police have no clue what you are doing down there even if you have your camera out.


I also wonder how he was planning to win this thing shooting in NYP, thats about the last place I would think to go if I was going to win it.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby HarryP » Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:18 am

Mr. Kerzic should be supported, as he's only exercising his right guaranteed by the Constitution. As far as I can see, in no way was he creating a nuisance by taking some photos after exiting his train.

What is this country coming to? No wonder we're losing all our civil liberties! I can't believe the "maintain public order" mindset of some of the posters on this and other railfan message boards. Would they prefer a so-called benevolent dictator to lead and guide us and keep us "safe?"

I hope Mr. Kerzic gets his justice and his day in court. God bless him! (And by the way, I'm a retired police officer.)
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby Greg Moore » Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:28 pm

HarryP wrote:Mr. Kerzic should be supported, as he's only exercising his right guaranteed by the Constitution. As far as I can see, in no way was he creating a nuisance by taking some photos after exiting his train.

What is this country coming to? No wonder we're losing all our civil liberties! I can't believe the "maintain public order" mindset of some of the posters on this and other railfan message boards. Would they prefer a so-called benevolent dictator to lead and guide us and keep us "safe?"

I hope Mr. Kerzic gets his justice and his day in court. God bless him! (And by the way, I'm a retired police officer.)


I agree with most of this. However, I will say the article appears to have a particular bias. We really don't know the details and whether or not he was creating a nuisance. But overall, I tend to agree, if he was there legally and not creating a safety issue or a being a nuisance, the charges should be dropped completely.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby Kaback9 » Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:39 pm

The problem I have is that NYP is not the place to be photographing, you are expecting trouble if you plan to do it.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:29 pm

I can almost guarantee you that this guy wasn't arrested for taking photos. Almost always, there is another side to the story that neither the arrestee nor the media brags about.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby Spokker » Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:44 pm

Blaming the victim. Not just for rape cases! Train nerds do it too!

The guy was taking bad pictures. He was surely not going to win the contest. Therefore I feel no empathy for him or his situation!

The guy should have known about the unwritten rules about taking pictures inside train stations. The nerve of this guy, taking photos of trains. Therefore I feel no empathy for him!

Blaming this guy for getting arrested is indefensible and you should be ashamed of yourselves.
Kaback9 wrote:The problem I have is that NYP is not the place to be photographing, you are expecting trouble if you plan to do it.
If I were in New York I would happily join this guy in photographing and be arrested for it. There was a protest staged on the Los Angeles subway a few months ago where a bunch of photographers got together with their cameras, traveled through the system, taking photos the entire time. New York could use a protest like this.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby Kaback9 » Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:00 pm

3rdrail wrote:I can almost guarantee you that this guy wasn't arrested for taking photos. Almost always, there is another side to the story that neither the arrestee nor the media brags about.


He must have said something that got him in trouble. I'm sure had he been polite to the officers none of this would not have happened.

Spokker, I have taken pictures in Penn Station before, but I asked the cop if I could go down and do it he said it was fine, I have taken photos of the NYCT Subway and been hassled but b/c I was polite they left me alone. I'm not saying don't go photograph but make sure your smart about how you do things.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby gprimr1 » Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:24 pm

I'm inclined to agree, there's more to the story than we are hearing. We need to know more before we can decide who's at fault.
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Re: NY - Amtrak PD arrest photog shooting 4 Amtrak photo contest

Postby Chessie GM50 » Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:10 pm

I've always been polite to officers when they question me. But, I swear. I've gotten hassled just sitting on the platform at Princeton Junction, but NEVER when I had my d60 if front of my face. I guess they figure that a terrorist wouldn't buy an SLR just to take pictures of something to blow up.

But on the topic of the story... if this guy isn't rude, and explained to the officer as to what he was doing, he'd probably be fine.
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