Photo ban issues still out there

Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

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jtunnel
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Photo ban issues still out there

Post by jtunnel » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:17 pm

About New York: No Photo Ban in Subways, Yet an Arrest.
By JIM DWYER, NY Times, February 17, 2009
In the map of New York’s most forsaken places, it would be hard to top the Freeman Street stop on the No. 2 line in the Bronx, late on a February afternoon. Around 4:30 last Thursday, Robert Taylor stood on the station’s elevated platform, taking a picture of a train. “A few buildings in place,” he noted. “Nice little cloud cover overhead. I usually use them as wallpaper on my computer.” Finished with his camera, Mr. Taylor, 30, was about to board the train when a police officer called to him. He stepped back from the train. “The cop wanted my ID, and I showed it to him,” Mr. Taylor said. “He told me I couldn’t take the pictures. I told him that’s not true, that the rules permitted it. He said I was wrong. I said, ‘I’m willing to bet your paycheck.’ ” Mr. Taylor was right. The officer was enforcing a nonexistent rule. And if recent experience is any guide, one paycheck won’t come close to covering what a wrongful arrest in this kind of case could cost the taxpayers.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/nyreg ... way&st=cse

[please only post short summaries, do not copy and paste whole copyrighted articles - omv]

Fan Railer
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Re: Photo ban issues still out there

Post by Fan Railer » Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:23 am

stupid cops think they're actually helping... someone needs to hold a seminar about photography in the subway, you know, to get things straight.

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Otto Vondrak
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Re: Photo ban issues still out there

Post by Otto Vondrak » Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:44 pm

Fan Railer wrote:stupid cops think they're actually helping... someone needs to hold a seminar about photography in the subway, you know, to get things straight.
I dont think there's any stupid cops out there... they may be misinformed however.

I have it on good authority that the charges against Mr. Taylor were dropped, except for a silly charge of "blocking the platform" or some such nonsense. We'll see how that pans out.

NYPD Transit District 12 is based across the street from 180th Street Station, and the Captain is a smart guy who knows his job well and knows what transit buffs are. I'm sure we wont have many incidents like this happen again on his watch.

The best course of action when confronted by police is to act courteous and be cooperative. Carry a copy of the MTA policy in your pocket or camera bag for reference.

-otto-
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diffusedmind
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Re: Photo ban issues still out there

Post by diffusedmind » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:01 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:the Captain ... knows what transit buffs are
I don't know if I should be shocked or relieved. Do you know the guy?

Fan Railer
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Re: Photo ban issues still out there

Post by Fan Railer » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:58 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:
Fan Railer wrote:stupid cops think they're actually helping... someone needs to hold a seminar about photography in the subway, you know, to get things straight.
I dont think there's any stupid cops out there... they may be misinformed however.

I have it on good authority that the charges against Mr. Taylor were dropped, except for a silly charge of "blocking the platform" or some such nonsense. We'll see how that pans out.

NYPD Transit District 12 is based across the street from 180th Street Station, and the Captain is a smart guy who knows his job well and knows what transit buffs are. I'm sure we wont have many incidents like this happen again on his watch.

The best course of action when confronted by police is to act courteous and be cooperative. Carry a copy of the MTA policy in your pocket or camera bag for reference.

-otto-
well that's good to know, but i still think that there should be a seminar or something.

diffusedmind
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Re: Photo ban issues still out there

Post by diffusedmind » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:58 pm

Fan Railer wrote:well that's good to know, but i still think that there should be a seminar or something.
Not enough people care for it to become an issue.

BMTLines
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Re: Photo ban issues still out there

Post by BMTLines » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:23 pm

diffusedmind wrote:
Fan Railer wrote:well that's good to know, but i still think that there should be a seminar or something.
Not enough people care for it to become an issue.

More people care than you think. The NYCLU is suing the NYPD to force them to issue memos to their officers with respect to photographers' rights. So far Ray Kelly and the NYPD brass are refusing to do that. I have my suspicions but the reason is anyone's guess.

The problem is that the issue is affecting a lot more than just railfans. Street photographers of all kinds are being harassed. About a year ago there was a well-publicized case of a photographer who was forced to surrender his film for taking pictures at Coney Island. A woman was detained and questioned by cops for taking pictures of Christmas decorations. A photographer was hassled for taking a picture of the Empire State Building. Photographers are complaining virtually on a daily basis of being harassed either by cops or private security guards for doing what they are legally entitled to do - that is take pictures from public streets and sidewalks. Add to that the thousands of photographers who just quietly "move on" as the cops order them to and this is a big problem.

Whatever settlement the NYCLU reaches with respect to officer training will ultimately benefit all of us.

Kaback9
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Re: Photo ban issues still out there

Post by Kaback9 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:33 pm

The cops doing things like this make it seem as if the terrorists have won, we now live in fear of taking photos. That being said just be careful and safe, if a cop bothers you just comply and walk away, comeback later and get your photos.
Brandon Kaback
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diffusedmind
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Re: Photo ban issues still out there

Post by diffusedmind » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:32 pm

BMTLines: don't get me wrong, I feel this is an issue just as much as anyone else here does. The problem is that until we start to see these things on the 5 o' clock news then the majority of people won't even take notice. I don't know about you, but I never saw anything about the Freeman Street incident on the news. In fact, searching Google News for "freeman street station" returns two results: the NY Times article and one from the "Photo District News".

BMTLines
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Re: Photo ban issues still out there

Post by BMTLines » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:48 pm

diffusedmind wrote:BMTLines: don't get me wrong, I feel this is an issue just as much as anyone else here does. The problem is that until we start to see these things on the 5 o' clock news then the majority of people won't even take notice. I don't know about you, but I never saw anything about the Freeman Street incident on the news. In fact, searching Google News for "freeman street station" returns two results: the NY Times article and one from the "Photo District News".
One step at a time. Getting this story in the "Times" was a bigger news coup than we have had in a long time. The recent Amtrak incident resulted in a "five figure" settlement to the photographer after it was highlighted in the Colbert Report. The Union Station DC photography issues were highly publicized and yes - appeared on Television and resulted in Congressional hearings against Union Station management. The problem is that most photographers simply obey the order to "move on" and come back another day or forget about that location. If instead more photographers filed complaints with the NYCLU and publicized their experiences on photo rights sites eventually the TV news would take notice.. I am not saying argue with cops - I am saying comply but complain like a banshee afterward. The silence and acceptance of the harassment on the part of photographers is why the issue isn't publicized more.

According to Photo District News the Taylor story got to the Times only because he complained about the incident on Subchat:
Taylor wrote an account his arrest on the Subchat, a message board popular with subway fans. The story made its way to two photography blogs, War on Photography and Photography is not a Crime, and ultimately to The New York Times, which published a story about Taylor on Wednesday.

UpperHarlemLine4ever
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Re: Photo ban issues still out there

Post by UpperHarlemLine4ever » Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:34 pm

In today's New York Post 6/30/09, it is reported that Mr. Taylor is suing the city of New York for $2 million dollars.

Fan Railer
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Re: Photo ban issues still out there

Post by Fan Railer » Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:47 pm

UpperHarlemLine4ever wrote:In today's New York Post 6/30/09, it is reported that Mr. Taylor is suing the city of New York for $2 million dollars.
MAN, it's about time...
I would pay to see the face of that cop who pulled him off to the side, and i hope 1 % of it is deducted from his paycheck. (if his paycheck can even make that one percent, it'd be pathetic if it didn't, but i'm sure city cops get payed more than $20,000. :P )

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