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Archive 2012 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...
  
 
veroman
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


The sheriff's deputy has no legal, justifiable reason for reporting you to that hotline. If he does, he's acting above and beyond his authority and is perhaps violating your civil rights. His only obligation as an officer of the law is to check your identification, confirm that you are whom you say you are, and inform you of the law pertaining to photographing the railroad tracks at such close distance.

Anything he does beyond that is to act without probable cause ... and that's a line no law officer is entitled to cross.

I agree with others who suggest reporting this to the sheriff's office (this officer's boss) and further if necessary. A letter to the mayor, a call to a tv station, a call to the ACLU ... all are appropriate. Not only have your rights been violated, your future and your reputation as a responsible citizen might very well be at risk. His intentions should not be taken lightly.

I've been stopped by police several times over the past few years. In no instance have any of them gone beyond checking my ID and informing me of the law. Your sheriff's deputy is acting well beyond the limits of his legal responsibilities.


- Steve



Mar 12, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Eyeball
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


I suspect you would do this anyway, Kent, but I would suggest contacting the sheriff's department but in a "non-volatile" manner.

I would just say I have two primary concerns/questions:
- Was I reported to a hotline? (given the grief that this may likely cause me in the future)
- Why? (given that I was apparently breaking no laws and I cordially identified myself to the officer and explained what I was doing)

I would stress that I understand fully the difficult job of law enforcement and that I had no problem with the inquiry but this seemed like an excessive and unjust reaction to someone taking a photo.

I would not make any threats, either direct nor implied, regarding escalation involving superiors, the ACLU, or news organizations. You always have those options available if THEY become belligerent, threatening, or dismissive to your valid concern.

Law enforcement folks often have healthy egos - it just sort of comes with the territory. I would do my best to resolve the issue calmly and sanely trying to avoid triggering any overt "ego defense" reactions from the officers.

I would also probably avoid using the "gunfight" analogy when talking to the sheriff's department.




Mar 12, 2012 at 03:35 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


+1 @ 550 sounding arbitrary. My reply to him was that 550 feet was "country mile" away.

I have a call in to meet/speak with the Sheriff's dept chain of command on the matter.

Virtually everyone I've spoken with this morning @ TSA,FBI,HS has actually laughed (then apologized) at the notion. Actually, I find their laughter soothing rather than offensive. They have all been very serious at trying to help me this morning, yet couldn't help letting their "human" side show through.

I'm not one to "squeak & squawk" just because I can, that only dillutes things (except in FM ) ... and would prefer to simply be "invisible" most times (Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happines) ... but that preference doesn't mean I'm going to "tuck tail" or "run & hide" just because someone said "Boo". I'd likely just ignore it and go about my business ... BUT, now that you've decide to impune my reputation on a Federal level for perpetuity ... THAT is a whole different matter.



Mar 12, 2012 at 03:37 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


No worries ... I won't be going in with "guns-a-blazing". But when Dirty Harry or John Wayne were "packin' heat", it meant they could be confident and calm @ dealing with a situation, knowing they COULD resort to the "big guns" if need be.

I used to do volunteer work with the DARE program a long time ago, and my grandfather was a Chief of Police (small town) so I have a little insight @ law enforcement perspectives.

I'm not out to CAUSE myself trouble ... only to PREVENT any real trouble. I've spoken with them over the years asking if I could be put on some kind of "he's okay" list. They take my name & numbers and say they will, then this happens.



Mar 12, 2012 at 03:47 PM
SoloHiker
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


I'm not sure what it's like in your area, bu the vast majority of train tracks and installations are NOT public property; they're the private property of the rail company. There is (legally) a certain distance that you *should* maintain from the tracks to be legal (ignoring the rediculous TSA hogwash). Southern Pacific (for example) really doesn't make a big deal about it around here, but as long as you aren't a hazard or set up on or very close to the tracks it really doesn't matter.

I'd check to see about the rail ownership in your area, and maybe drop them a line asking if it's OK for you to photograph them as a hobbyist. You probably won't have any issues, but bring the letter with you in case you get an overly "helpful" Sheriff's deputy like you report above. I'm regularly hiking on or shooting trains and tracks in my area (Reno/Truckee) and never had a single issue, but I don't do anything to risk either myself or the train in any way.



Mar 12, 2012 at 04:52 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


+1 @ RR property vs. public property ... I understand the diff, hence the plausability @ trespassing (technically speaking). I've tried to find more info @ who to contact, but I've been largely shut down so far as to who to "get permission" from. I'd prefer to get permission in advance, but have not found the right contacts just yet.

Spoke with the Captain for the Sheriff's dept. ... unaware of such a requirement. She is going to check with the Deputy to see if he has (lawful) info to support the 550 feet / must report to watch list / etc. Her position was that if it is a change to her understanding of the law, then she need to come up to speed along with others. If it is not correct, she needs to address that as well.

All in all, a pretty good chat ... pending her chat with the officer. The report hasn't been filed yet, so hopefully, this gets "nipped in the bud" before it becomes a problematic issue.



Mar 12, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Shappy
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


Not to split hairs here but isn't 1/10 mile 528ft and not 550ft? But more to the point - who is going to measure that?


Mar 12, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Micky Bill
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


The LASD also thinks there is a Terrorist Watch List that is used to threaten law abiding citizens (aka people who know their rights and recognize the issue of fighting the machine). I wasnt directly involved but a friend of mine said a sheriff told him about it without even getting out of his car. Sort of a scary sounding hey you kids get off of my lawn! Trespassing is different than terrorism, even to a deputy.

Good for you going to people in the know FBI, TSA etc.

But it may be like the Double Secret probation that Dean Wormer used against the Delta House.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0cF2piwjYQ




Mar 12, 2012 at 11:13 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


DSP ...

Actually, it was interesting to talk to the different agencies ... they all wanted to know that the "other" agencies had to say on the matter.

TSA was redirecting toward the FBI, who was pointing toward Homeland Security. My (VERY LOOSE) understanding is is that the FBI only houses the BIG database ... which is there for ALL agencies to query from and or input to. The "watch list" being but one of sub-databases associated with HS (which is a sub of the FBI) as established by the rules from the TSA under the guidance of HS as recommended from the FBI with determination of appropriateness by the individual agency reporting or requesting information on the third blue moon of the month every seventh Tuesday after daylight savings on or before leap year primary elections west of the mississippi, located in NY's Central Park after the fat lady has sung ... or something close to that. (I told you it was VERY LOOSE).

Okay, well it may not (or may) be THAT convoluted, but it is definitely "intertwined" amongst them ... i.e. not a straightforward THIS is THE answer.

No word back from the Sheriff's dept. yet. I'll likely have to follow up tomorrow. The FBI has actually requested I apprise them of how the Sheriff's dept. responds. It has been an interesting day ... although I can't say quite as much regarding productivity.

But, collectively the three agencies that I spoke with all had the same response (laughter) at my story ... and were very willing to try to offer direction ... although they really didn't know where to send me because they had never even heard of such a thing ... even to the point of suggesting I try to Google for the information from the other agencies.

Oh well ... at least I'm "grinning" about it a bit now ... tomorrow may be a different story depending on the Sheriff's dept. response. But it's good to know I've got some "big guns" on my side (conceptually) should I need to break out the "heat".

Edited on Mar 12, 2012 at 11:48 PM · View previous versions



Mar 12, 2012 at 11:36 PM
rhyder
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


The only terrorist here is the local LEO. Like Trenchmonkey said he's pullin' your chain. He saw the opportunity to bully someone. If he really thought you were up to something, he would have pulled you in.


Mar 12, 2012 at 11:41 PM
 

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RustyBug
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


I didn't really feel like he was bullying ... but I think he may be confusing a few things and spewing them out incorrectly.

Interesting to note that in concert with the TSA website is the "First Observers" reporting. This is essentially a Teamsters driven (truck drivers) database where transportation professionals (or anyone) can make a report based on what they've seen as an adjunct to TSA / law enforcement and it feeds elsewhere for possible investigation by LEO.

I'm guessing that the ABILITY for ANYONE to make a "First Observer" report (non-LEO) is being confused with a REQUIREMENT for (LEO) EVERYTHING to be reported ... since it is linked in with TSA @ their web page / etc.

The "First Observer" organization that I spoke with was quick to point out that they are NOT actually an official part of TSA, but merely a citizen group aligning themselves and willing to offer their "eyes" to the cause of being ever watchful. I've also got a call in to a RR specific member of TSA ... but no return call today.

I'm guessing the officer has mistakenly associated the "First Observer" organization hotline as being a DUTY of "first responders" to use their hotline. At least, that's the only thing that I've been able to piece together that makes any rational sense to me as to what/where the officer is possibly (albeit errant) coming from.



Mar 12, 2012 at 11:56 PM
jeraldcook
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


RustyBug wrote:
DSP ... .

The "watch list" being but one of sub-databases associated with HS (which is a sub of the FBI) as established by the rules from the TSA under the guidance of HS as recommended from the FBI with determination of appropriateness by the individual agency reporting or requesting information on the third blue moon of the month every seventh Tuesday after daylight savings on or before leap year primary elections west of the mississippi, located in NY's Central Park after the fat lady has sung ... or something close to that. (I told you it was VERY LOOSE).
...Show more

Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised if that was exactly how the system worked.



Mar 13, 2012 at 01:19 AM
RustyBug
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


Okay ... so here it is.

The Captain called me back and here is what her officer informed her.

The State of Illinois has its own database specifically for law enforement officials to report AT THEIR OWN DISCRETION anyone they feel has been doing something that they felt was suspicious or unwarranted EVEN IF IT IS NOT A REPORTABLE OFFENSE.

The acronym for the database is STIC (I think I got that right). and apparently is not widely known about (DSP) yet ... but this particular officer who is a member of the larger tactical force has already been made aware of its development.

The Captain informed me that I was NOT put on the list and that the officer mis-spoke @ the REQUIREMENT to do so vs. the ABILITY to do so. The Captain and I spoke regarding some strategies at how I might continue to shoot and help alleviate concerns @ LEO.

I have yet to find out the details of STIC ... but it doesn't sound good. I don't know if it stays in Illinois as part of the tactical "maybe bad boy list", or if it feeds up to the Federal stuff. Sounds like some sort of "little black book" that Illinois LEO is sharing within the state. Of course, I don't know much about it yet, so I'm only guessing right now.

There are all kinds of things that one can conjure up from this point @ this. I'm glad to learn that I'm "off the hook" on this one ... BUT ... BUT ... BUT ... okay, you guys can fill in the rest. It wreaks of McCarthyism-like mentality ... a paranoia driven list at the discretion of authoritative suspicion without a a meritable objectivity requirement.

Again, I don't know much more @ STIC (yet) other that what the Captian told me, BUT apparently it is a real-life "double secret probation" ... in the State of Illinois anyway.

Thoughts ...

Edited on Mar 13, 2012 at 01:40 AM · View previous versions



Mar 13, 2012 at 01:29 AM
jeraldcook
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


This homeland security nonsense is getting way out of control when you can get put on a list for perfectly legal actions. [\rant]


Mar 13, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Micky Bill
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


Just like every state and little town and community wants their own Urban Assault (er..Search and Rescue) Vehicles and stealth helicopters, Surplus Ninja like Military gear and now drones paid by Uncle Sam, they all want to have their own red lists...just like 50s!

As far as bullying goes, anytime a LEO puts the name of a citizen on a "list" without any sort of reason or due process, IMO its bullying and intimidation even if he is polite about it. Maybe you will get this kind of treatment from your local deputy...

http://www.policeone.com/media-relations/articles/5238679-Controversy-as-Calif-chief-orders-PIO-to-reporters-house

Like Barney says, "Nip it in the bud!"



Mar 13, 2012 at 03:42 AM
RustyBug
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


Well, I didn't feel bullied, and I was NOT put on the list ... but I was "misinformed" @ the list.

I won't deny the error in what the officer said, and will afford him "to err is human" ... with his intent being to get me to give proper consideration to my activities (which I already do). He gave me the benefit of my benign intent @ trespassing ... I can reciprocally extend his benign intent (still errant method) to the benefit of trying to sway me from being where I wasn't authorized to be.

I get from the tone of his supervisor's voice when she called back, that she knows her officer was both correct @ the database existence, yet errant in how he presented it. That'll be for them to work out. I only wanted to get to the bottom of it (and I feel as though I did) to ascertain the truth. I wasn't expecting to learn about Illinois having a "DSP" database in the process.

Interesting to note ... while I was talking with the officer, a train came from the opposite direction (see WA for details) and I had to make a frantic dash to recover my camera from harms way (directly over the track). The point being that I was definitely behaving in a manner that was "unsafe" by any sensible standard. I know that, and I know it is his duty to recognize that and address it as part of his public service.

Even though the officer "mis-spoke" ... that doesn't bother me as much as the FACT that Illinois has established a "DSP" list that is available for LEO to use wholly at their discretion ... without any objective/legal requirement. Part of me wants to think it is only like cops keeping their own "notes" in an electronic "little black book" (Jack Friday @ Dragnet) and sharing them with each other (no biggie). The other part has me thinking this "DSP" database wreaks of McCarthyism-like mentality ("OH SH*T, HERE WE GO AGAIN !!!").

Of course, given the historical notariety of Illinos politicians ... the "DSP" STIC database was probably started as a place for LEO to put Illinois governors, mayors and presidents on their "suspicious" list even when they didn't have sufficient evidence to arrest them.

Anyway ... thanks for the help / encouragement ... time to call the FBI and update them on what I learned @ the matter.

Thanks again.

Edited on Mar 13, 2012 at 01:30 PM · View previous versions



Mar 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Micky Bill
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


Its good that you aren't on the list because you took action but no matter how polite the misinformed cop is he still goes around and puts innocent people on alist of potential terrorists.

You being unsafe and trspassing is one thing and that's where the story should've ended. You are lucky you didn't got shot or tased when you made a mad dash to cover your gear.

Multiply this guy by the hundreds of other over reaching misinformed officers in Illinois and CA and xxx ...Feel safer?

Edited on Mar 13, 2012 at 05:01 PM · View previous versions



Mar 13, 2012 at 01:29 PM
JohnBrose
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


Thanks for the updates. It is really frustrating how much the government gives itself especially in the name of anti-terrism. I haven't had negative dealings with the authorities while shooting yet, but have had my equipment swabbed for "powder residue" in the airport. I just live in a very rural area so we don't have the police force that has the extra time. Hopefully if it ever does come up, the officer will have some common sense. I was shooting a senior on the tracks going through our town and a police officer stopped by, but he just asked if we needed any help basically(my car was parked along the street) and then drove off. The tracks in our town are about 20 feet from the street and you can see a train from about 3 miles away so pretty safe shooting. I just visited another town that has a nice trussel RR bridge near by and one of the photographers uses them as backgrounds for many of his images and he did not mention any problem with ever being cautioned about it from the police. I wonder if Kent that takes pictures of trains has had problems?


Mar 13, 2012 at 01:49 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


Micky Bill wrote:
he still goes around and puts innocent people on alist of potential terrorists.


not quite correct ... he may have "mislead" me to THINK he is putting me on a list of potential terrorists.

He has the ability to put people on a "suspicious persons" (i.e. NOT TERRORIST) list in Illinois. I get that nobody likes what the officer said, and he was clearly wrong in what he said (or I heard him to say) ... but, if we are going to expect LEO to be fair with us, we should likewise be fair with our LEO.

The allegation that he puts innocent people on a list of potential terrorist is unfounded. The FACT that he TOLD me he was obligated to do so was his WRONG DOING ... not that he is actually putting innocent people on such a terrorist list (for which there is clearly no legal basis to do so in this case).

IMO ... the officer has "intertwined" the two databases in his mind and has spewn a convolution of them. He is WRONG for doing so. While "wrong is wrong" ... there is a difference between ACTUALLY DOING vs. misrepresenting (also wrong). I/we have no way of truly knowing if the misrepresentation was a benign "mis-spoke" or an intentional "mis-leading". I'll extend the benefit to the officer @ benign "mis-spoke" ... as he accepted my trespassing @ benign as well.

Both the officer & I were "wrong" @ one form or another. Mine was 100% clearly intentional & deliberate trespassing. I can't ascertain with that degree of certaintly as to whether or not the officer was benignly mis-speaking ... vs. ... intentionally misleading. Given the other factors of his demeanor and decorum with me, I'm left to opt @ benign "mis-spoke"

I get that people want to "witch hunt" bad LEO. I want to preserve my rights and keep things on the "straight & narrow" as well as "nip it" ... but I'm not inclined to "witch hunt" our LEO. Given that I took this through TSA, FBI & HS ... then approached the local LEO directly with my guns loaded ... I don't think one could reasonably assert that I've been "drinking the kool-aid" or am otherwise deluded by the establisment. I'd like to think that I'm "on guard" yet, being "fair" to those who are here to "serve & protect" ... even when they are errant. NONE of us are perfect and we ALL should be afforded opportunity for correction without being "burned at the stake" ... and that goes for our LEO as well as ourselves.

Of course ... I live in a very different place from many of you. LEO that constantly deal with gangs & drug lords with assault weapons get conditioned very differently than those who deal mostly with "Barney Fife" trying to get a cat out of a tree. I have nothing but respect for our LEO ... yet am more aware of the fact that "bad cops" exist than I hope anyone would ever have to learn firsthand.

My (extended) family has had personal experience of BEING a "bad cop" of such a heinous and repetitive nature (think the worst, you can't be far off) before being caught, that I am fully aware of it's existence. Accordingly, I'm not gonna "burn" the officer trying to keep me safe from harm's way ... but I do know one (former ISP) that being "burned at the stake" would still be insufficient punishment for his actions.


Edited on Mar 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM · View previous versions



Mar 13, 2012 at 01:57 PM
cineski
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Anti-Terrorist Watch List ...


Freedom is not free and must be fought for. Constantly. When the people stop fighting, a government forms where absolute power corrupts absolutely. They take more power from the people through the guise of their protection. Welcome to the new America. Papers, please.


Mar 13, 2012 at 02:21 PM
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