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Archive 2004 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:
  
 
smaug
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


Ricardo Maui wrote:
...but the poster is talking about photography freedom.............funny!


Yes, the original post was about photography. The problem is that a large portion of the replies have not been.

My personal opinion on this is to just show the ID and move on. If the photographer had done that we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. As was said earlier there is no better way to attract attention from authorities than to act as if you have something to hide. Having said that, I also think that the situation was handled poorly by the officials.

-Steve







Oct 05, 2004 at 05:34 PM
Photo Noob
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


I agree Gerry.


Oct 05, 2004 at 05:37 PM
Jim Sykes
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


Natron wrote:
Are you serious? You have to show police officers your ID when asked for it. You do not have to show anyone at department stores your ID. If you don't want to, you don't have to. You won't get your merchandise but you won't be arrested or fined either. You may want to think this through a bit more...


I am serious, its the exact same thing. He didnt have to show his ID to the security guard (that is who you are talking about as a normal citizen I assume) and gues what, there were consequences. Just as in my example the consequences are that I dont get to buy my product, in this case the consequence was that he got hassled and didnt get his photos.

But, in my case if I show the cashier my ID I get my stuff, in his case had he just shown the security guard his ID, he likely would have been left alone.

Natron wrote:
Hardly relevant to this situation though, really. That would be the equivalent of an officer walking past him, asking "so what are you up to today?" and then moving on. What would have been the equivalent to his experience in your situation would have been if the cops had stopped you and had you step out of the car, had you place your hands on the hood, called 5 or so other officers in as backup, they all surrounded you, they asked if the car was stolen, accuse you of illegally modifying the car, telling you you broke traffic laws
...Show more

Again, I say its almost exactly the same. Sure, me driving in the car is not the same, but when we have been stopped we were questioned and asked for ID. Thats the same. Again, I would allow them to do their search and all is well, in his case he caused a problem and acted stupidly and he got hassled for it. Point is we were profiled for having hot cars and being young. And yes, it was because at that time it was not as common as it is today and often young kids in hot cars WERE trouble makers.

None of what you described happened to this guy either. He wasnt made to stand against tthe car with his hands behind his back. He wasnt cuffed or taken in or even really harrassed that badly. He was asked some questions and asked for his ID. The more he resisted the more crap they gave him. C'mon, look at what you are doing. The more crap we defenders give you back the more upset you get and talk back. Its the same thing. The more he talked back, the more the guards and cops took it personally and gave him more crap back. Its human. Like I said before, he needs to chill out, he should have rolled with the punches and just given them what they asked for right off the bat and he would not have had the issues he did, I'm confident of that.

I'm not totally defending the cops, they can be assholes and have severe power trips. But they are also doing a job. My reaction is to instead of causing them more grief, which will inevitebly come back on you, kill them with kindness. Dont give them a reason to hassle you and you will not get hassled. Every photog I personally know that has been hassled for shooting photos is a hothead and generally an idiot. They bring it on themselves 99% of the time.



Oct 05, 2004 at 05:38 PM
CyberDyne
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


Just FYI...

It is enough to carry a camera.. one not need fit any other "profile"...

My latest international plane trip was just norht to Canada.

For the record I am a 38 year old red head. (very white... )

Apperently those of Norse decent are now number one on the Airport securities most wanted list as in all four boarding instances... it was me that was taken aside to have my camera gear rifled.

In this case it was the camera equipment.. not the photographer that aroused suspicion.

So... apperently camera equipment = terrorists now a days.

I'm waiting to be directed to even a single incident involving terrorists and cameras? I simply can not see the connection?



Oct 05, 2004 at 06:35 PM
daveperk
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


CyberDyne wrote:
In this case it was the camera equipment.. not the photographer that aroused suspicion.

So... apperently camera equipment = terrorists now a days.

I'm waiting to be directed to even a single incident involving terrorists and cameras? I simply can not see the connection?


This one is common sense. Camera equipment is dense, heavy and contains electronics. Camera bodies or lens cases could be filled with (equally dense) plastic explosive, and electronic equipment could be put to use as detonators. Anybody who did not check a camera bag did not do a proper job of security inspection.

It's all about the density and the technology. Nobody checks cellular phones, because they are not heavy enough to contain enough of a charge to destroy a plane. A camera bag could be carrying more than enough of such a charge.

I"m surprised I haven't been searched more often when I carry my heavily laden camera bag.



Oct 05, 2004 at 06:42 PM
Natron
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


Just a question... what is a security guard going to do with an ID? Look at it? And then.. what? Does he have computers that he can run it through to check his background and if he has any warrants or is a US citizen or anything? No. He can stand there and stare at the ID and pretend it means something to him and then give it back. My thought is if the security guy was going to call in the police saying a suspicious person who may be a terrorist is taking photos, he would have done it if he had been given an ID or not. He may have been a bit stubborn to the security guard and even said something that made the real officers upset but they responded unfairly as well, going beyond what needed to be done to someone who isn't completely submissive and frightened by them as some of them seem to want.

I'm still just saying I posted this because I feel he was treated unfairly. Him refusing to show his ID to someone with an overinflated sense or self-importance doesn't justify what happened. You shouldn't have to bend over backwards for big-headed egomaniacs just to NOT be harrassed.



Oct 05, 2004 at 06:42 PM
Jim Sykes
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


I can see how getting your ID out is really bending over backwards.

Who knows what he would have done. Maybe it would have simply shown him the kid was willing to cooperate and made him feel more at ease. Maybe he would have looked at it and still took it back to his office to run a check or to call the cops. We dont know because that is not what happened.

There is WAAAAY too much we dont know about the story to pass judgement.

What kind of security guard was he? If he is the security for a govt. agency, which it might have been if that was a govt. controlled lock, he is very likely to be very well skilled and trained. He had a dog with him, which means he is likely more than the normal rent-a-cop we might all think of when we hear security guard.

Again, if it was a govt facility, he might have been able to run that ID back at his office if the kid cooperated.

I'm not going to argue anymore, its obvious some see this as far more than I think it really is. It sucks for him, but I cant comment completely because all we hear is his side of the story. There HAS to be more to it that made them end up calling all those cops and the homeland security agents. They dont come out just for the fun of hassling someone. What was he doing? What might have made him look suspicious other than his race? What did he say to the original security guard that got him worried? What were his body actions, did he seem nervous, was he sweating? What was it that made the other cops continue to question him?

I refuse to believe these guys had nothing better to do than to just hassle someone for no other reason than he may have looked like he was from the Middle East.



Oct 05, 2004 at 07:12 PM
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


I just got done reading this thread and I think the most important question is, where can you go to get information about your rights and the laws in the area you are photographing.

If I had done some research and made sure that what I was photographing was not illegal in anyway then I would have no problem challenging an officer to go ahead and write me a ticket that i will challenge in court and have thrown out. Or heaven for bid take my camera so I can have the city buy me a better one when i prove that they had no right to seize it.

But with so many laws being added to the books due to the patriot act I can't be sure anymore what I can legally photograph and what I can't.

I have tried finding some information on the Internet But I find equal numbers of people that feel it is and isn't illegal to photograph certain government facilities now.

Does anyone here know who to contact to get information on laws like this?

Thanks,
James



Oct 05, 2004 at 07:32 PM
rsk7
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


Several points: There were lots of photographers in the same area taking pictures and they didn't hassle them or ask for ID's from everyone else... If it isn't allowed it isn't allowed for everyone..

Real good use of 8 officers time/tax payer money...

The US isn't the US if we ignore/repeal peoples rights.. it is something else..



Oct 05, 2004 at 08:04 PM
Heloplt
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:



DC.Paul wrote:

Well... the officers on the street are actually different from the ones on the street when a dem was in office. Though Bush fought the creation of the DHS, it is nonetheless his baby, and is responsible for at least a perception that policing methodology has changed radically.

I don't know which agency you work for, but I can tell you from firsthand personal experience that it has not changed me one bit when we changed from republican to democrat to republican presidents in the past, and it won't change me if we elect a democrat this year. If a democrat had been in office when 9-11 took place the basic change in law enforcement would have been the same on the street level. The street officers are paying more attention to suspicious activity relating to terrorism, but in the end the street officers job has always been to watch for suspicious activity. Everyone's (the publics' and the police) perception has changed, but the job on the streets is the same job that it has been in the last twenty years of my law enforcement career.

Now that you know something of my full-time background I want to add that I am also a photographer and will be long after my law enforcement career. I am in your shoes when I carry my camera around, the only difference is I have a perspective of what it is to be on the other side in these incidents. Don't get me wrong, there will be those times when you are absolutely correct and the law enforcement officer will be absolutely incorrect, but pointing that out after everyone involved gets hot is not likely to change the officers mind at that time and like it or not he is the one with the authority at that moment. Just walk away and then start calling bosses for a remedy. I like to head an incident off at the pass and try to talk to whomever is in authority before I shoot to let them know what I am going to be doing. That makes the security types happy because they know beforehand what is going on, and it doesn't hurt that I am stroking ego's by acknowledging authority (real or imagined). Should we have to do this while shooting pictures? I don't think so, but with maniacs flying planes into buildings, blowing up passenger trains and crowded marketplaces I don't think that there is a country in the world where the authorities aren't being more vigil in an effort to protect themselves and the public.



Oct 05, 2004 at 08:25 PM
 

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danks
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


Natron wrote:
...what is a security guard going to do with an ID? Look at it? And then.. what?


Just hope it doesn't DROP it!!

I saw a small telephoto lens dropped on a concrete floor covered only with indoor/outdoor carpet by a security officer at Denver Airport years ago.

If THAT happens, you have no recourse!

Fortunately, it wasn't mine!



Oct 05, 2004 at 08:38 PM
Philip M
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


I guess we will all have to stick to photographing the cat, since our cameras are such dangerous devices!


Oct 05, 2004 at 08:42 PM
danks
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p.5 #13 · p.5 #13 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


There is some pretty hevy stuff here. Seems to me to be time for a little levity. I do not know the sourse for the following material and I am neither for, nor against judicious racial profiling in these times. But it made me smile . . .

Choice test.... No need to keep score. The events are actual cuts from past history. They actually happened! Do you remember?

1. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and
massacred by:
a... Olga Corbitt
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzeneger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


2. In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


3. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in
Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


4. In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


5. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year-old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davy Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


6. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a U.S. Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


7. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


8. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


9. In 1998, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


10. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


11. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


12. In 2002, reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


Nope, I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, Secret agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning former Governors, and leave Muslim males between the ages 17 & 40 alone because of profiling.

Edited by Jeff on Oct 07, 2004 at 11:49 AM GMT



Oct 05, 2004 at 08:46 PM
Lexi
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p.5 #14 · p.5 #14 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


Many years ago as a college student I visited my relatives on Williams AFB in Arizona. On the last day of my visit my aunt & I realized I had not yet photographed dawn over Superstition Mountain. We decided to immediately drive out to the west side of the base to quickly catch the sunrise. We did not even bother to put on regular clothes, we were still in our bathrobes, which oddly enough were identical. But no one in the world is up at dawn, right? Wrong. We were at the entrance to the base dump and garbage truck drivers are up at dawn. One evidently called the base police. A patrol car arrived and this quite humorless individual started asking my aunt a jillion questions. I sat quietly trying not to cause trouble. But I saw everything she said was going worse and worse. I had visions of my career air force uncle having big trouble over my dawn photography. I decided I had better do something fast. I put on my very best bubblehead routine and began babbling about my visit and the sunrise and so forth. After a bit of this I saw an expression come over the officer's face that could be summed up as "These fools really mean it!" He then sent us back to my aunt's home with no further questions.

I have no problem at all with the military not allowing photography on the base, even if utterly innocent as in my case. I have an extreme problem with authorities intimidating and frightening citizens lawfully enjoying their lives elsewhere, which certainly includes photography.

The main difference 9/11 has made is it became more obvious we live in a dangerous world, which was true all along anyway. Unfortunately, instead of deepening our determination to safeguard our freedoms, the all too easily frightened public is willing to sacrifice en masse basic rights with no actual guarantee of any resulting safety. It is all too easy to defer to "authority" to take care of matters. This is despite Watergate and innumerable other fiascos (including both major political parties) indicating those in authority may not be interested in safeguarding freedom at all. That is why the Constitution has checks and balances, to prevent errant individuals in authority from running amok.

In a democracy, the citizenry is the biggest check and balance of all. Maintaining a viable democracy is not a passive process, but requires personal responsibility for valuing and protecting those freedoms. Eroding our freedoms does not make our country any safer, it just destroys what is valuable about our country even more rapidly.

It is our responsibility to defend our rights if we want to pass a free democratic country to our children and grandchildren. I say take pictures in a lawful way and do not allow anyone to overstep their authority in challenging you! It may look like a small matter, but the small matters often decide the large ones.

Lexi



Oct 05, 2004 at 08:50 PM
smaug
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p.5 #15 · p.5 #15 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


Uh... that about sums it up, danks.

Now, can we get back to photography?

-Steve


Edited by smaug on Oct 05, 2004 at 05:05 PM GMT



Oct 05, 2004 at 09:05 PM
ent2b
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p.5 #16 · p.5 #16 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


hey danks...

please tell me, what does a muslim look like? i mean, from choice (d) of your little IQ quiz you have there, share with us?

also, don't forget that Timmie McVeigh was a white male who served in the AMERICAN armed forces.



Oct 05, 2004 at 09:07 PM
mudlake
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p.5 #17 · p.5 #17 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


ent2b wrote:
hey danks...

please tell me, what does a muslim look like? i mean, from choice (d) of your little IQ quiz you have there, share with us?

also, don't forget that Timmie McVeigh was a white male who served in the AMERICAN armed forces.


Hmmmmm. . .Muslim extremists have committed hundreds (if not thousands) of terrorists attacks over the past 30 years and you cite *one* example of someone else commiting an act of terror as if that makes things equal. Don't bury your head in the sand. Muslim extremists are involved in 99% of ALL conflicts going on in the world today. It's not wrong to point out the obvious.



Oct 05, 2004 at 10:12 PM
Guest
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p.5 #18 · p.5 #18 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:



Took this downtown LA with no problems.
So far, I think I'm invisible because I've been fortunate not being hassled.
Knock on wood

http://mk2.smugmug.com/gallery/221541

http://mk2.smugmug.com/photos/8565840-L.jpg




Oct 05, 2004 at 11:39 PM
On Stage
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p.5 #19 · p.5 #19 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


This is indefensible and foul abuse of power by officials. As a US citizen I am sickened and ashamed. I don't have the answers to how law enforcement should deal with an era of terror, but we can be certain that they have the resources to do a better job than this.
Strong language? I couldn't mean it more.
john
P.S. Maybe I will aply for landed immigrancy in Canada (where I am currently working).



Oct 05, 2004 at 11:55 PM
gdlawson
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p.5 #20 · p.5 #20 · Please read this photographer's horrible story:


I am a Canadian. I was recently offered a free trip to California to photograph whatever/whereever for a week. No thanks. I don't need that kind of sh#*. I feel sorry for anyone who can't see where this os going.......


Oct 06, 2004 at 03:29 AM
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