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Author Topic: Detained For Photography in Baltimore  (Read 4930 times)
Peter McLennan
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« on: June 02, 2011, 11:11:18 PM »
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A brave photographer refuses to be intimidated by police.  Long video in two parts. Educational and inspiring.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iMr76atjUA&feature=related

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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2011, 03:33:27 AM »
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A brave photographer refuses to be intimidated by police.  Long video in two parts. Educational and inspiring.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iMr76atjUA&feature=related





I have watched the first video, and apart from the photographer's determination and the obvious (understandable) nerves in his voice, I see this as a typical stand-off where there is an impossible conflict between those who seek to prove a point from their perspective and those who seek to prevent possible danger to the public. It's a difficult situation, but as with most such events, common sense could easily resolve the thing, as would a situation where the opposing minds were able to compete on the same level. (Then think of the public pay structure that would require.)

From my personal point of vew, I think it quite reasonable that there have to be limits on what's freely open to recording. After all, should the guy have a real, legitimate need for such imagery then I would be surprised if permission were not granted. Its a dangerous, nervous world; why not do things in a manner that avoids confrontation and keeps everybody happy? There can never be total freedom to do everything: that opens the doors to crime. I can just imagine the stick those guys would get if tomorrow that railroad echoed Madrid and London. Reason and common sense is all it takes to keep life smooth.

Rob C
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2011, 04:30:27 AM »
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Well ... Rob .... that reminds me of that frog story ... if you throw him in a pot with hot water he'll jump out, but if you slowly heat it up the frog dies ...
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Rob C
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2011, 07:46:25 AM »
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Well ... Rob .... that reminds me of that frog story ... if you throw him in a pot with hot water he'll jump out, but if you slowly heat it up the frog dies ...




But the trouble with that lies within the frog: sensible frogs remain in different waters. It's just those daft ones that keep trying to 'test' the system that get cooked.

Rob C
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 08:26:27 AM »
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But the trouble with that lies within the frog: sensible frogs remain in different waters. It's just those daft ones that keep trying to 'test' the system that get cooked.

Nice try, however, in the same vein. It's not the frog testing the water, he gets 'water' thrown at him ... Wink

Cheers,
Bart
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feppe
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 08:52:50 AM »
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And I thought stranger danger was only used to scare kids.

I have watched the first video, and apart from the photographer's determination and the obvious (understandable) nerves in his voice, I see this as a typical stand-off where there is an impossible conflict between those who seek to prove a point from their perspective and those who seek to prevent possible danger to the public. It's a difficult situation, but as with most such events, common sense could easily resolve the thing, as would a situation where the opposing minds were able to compete on the same level. (Then think of the public pay structure that would require.)

And what exactly is the possible danger to the public in taking photographs in a public place of a public transportation system?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 09:03:11 AM by feppe » Logged

degrub
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2011, 09:38:48 AM »
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it's easier than taking notes and making drawings ( and sometimes less obvious) when you are trying to figure out how to place something to do the most damage or not have it be discovered.

Hence their nervousness and reaction.

Over the top, yes.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 09:43:43 AM by degrub » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2011, 09:47:41 AM »
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This is exactly why every photographer operating outdoors should have in his pocket a copy of Bert Krages one-page summary of the law: "The Photographer's Right." Here's a passage that applies directly to this kid's situation:

They Have Limited Rights to Bother, Question, or Detain You

Although anyone has the right to approach a person in a public place and ask questions, persistent and unwanted conduct done without legitimate purpose is a crime in many states if it causes serious annoyance. You are under no obligation to explain the purpose of your photography nor do you have to disclose your identity except in states that require it upon request by a law enforcement officer. If the conduct goes beyond mere questioning, all states have laws that make coercion and harassment criminal offenses. The specific elements vary among the states but in general it is unlawful for anyone to instill a fear that they may injure you, damage or take your property, or falsely accuse you of a crime just because you are taking photographs.

There's more in this little sheet worth being familiar with -- especially suggestions about how to handle the kind of situation in which the principal found himself.

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lightstand
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2011, 10:11:05 AM »
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"it's easier than taking notes and making drawings ( and sometimes less obvious) when you are trying to figure out how to place something to do the most damage or not have it be discovered.

Hence their nervousness and reaction."

I use to live exactly one block from that spot and the building in the background is a very popular art school the concept that photography is even remotely unfamiliar with that metro stop is quite ridiculous countless photo-students each and every semester are walking around taking pictures of everything in that vicinity including quite a bit of video.

Two other quick points I've spoken with a contractor (PHD - very smart guy) who worked in cooperation with DOD blowing up targets, according to him exterior photos would provide very little help in deciphering where to place charges and or how much.  This is such a misconception that photography has anything to do bombings (maybe capturing peoples IDs as they leave a zone but not the engineering designs of a ghetto metro stop in Baltimore)

Second and most important what the video does not show is the HORRIBLE crime (ghetto) one to two blocks away from that train station.  Most people won't use the light rail to visit the symphony hall to the right because of that.  I was assaulted two blocks away and with a bloody nose the cop I spoke with did NOTHING.  Finally that street has killed quite a few students and Baltimore and the art college always seem to cover it up with very little info and most likely because the intersection is horribly designed.  If a transportation student wanted to study that intersection and metro Baltimore shouldn't be harassing they should be going out of their way to get any intelligent suggestions possible to fix that death trap.
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degrub
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2011, 11:37:05 AM »
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yeah, well not every bomber or Sarin user is so smart.  This isn't a building implosion demolition they are trying for. The point was, as you mentioned, that is the perception reality on the ground and that is what people react to.
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Rob C
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2011, 01:49:31 PM »
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And I thought stranger danger was only used to scare kids.

And what exactly is the possible danger to the public in taking photographs in a public place of a public transportation system?



feppe, that's too disingenuous by far; nobody is worried about the act of photography, the trouble lies with the unknown usage and the reaction of a guy who, when challenged, obviously wants to fuck the system and refuses to see the understandable point of view (as most seem determined here, too) of those charged with public safety. As I said, think London, Madrid, and throw in Moscow for good measure; what on Earth makes you imagine the States has less than its fair share of nuts?

Rob C 
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2011, 02:04:50 PM »
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As I said, think London, Madrid, and throw in Moscow for good measure; what on Earth makes you imagine the States has less than its fair share of nuts?

Hi Rob,

The question should be, how many of those misguided perpetrators used photography to execute their orders?

Cheers,
Bart
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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2011, 02:35:46 PM »
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Hi Rob,

The question should be, how many of those misguided perpetrators used photography to execute their orders?

Cheers,
Bart



Only offer you a further question: who knows?

I always believed that spy planes, satellites, surveillance cameras, drones and even Minoxes had one specific purpose: know the ground. How naive I must have been; they're just to blow tax dollars!

;-)

Rob C
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alain
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2011, 03:21:51 PM »
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Well those MTA people clearly don't know there own company policy :

http://mta.maryland.gov/filmphotoapp.cfm

"MTA Film and Photography

We allow filming and photography on most MTA property that is open to the public, including local bus, light rail, Metro Subway, Commuter Bus and MARC. However, some activities require prior notice, a permit and insurance.

Do I need a permit?

    No permit required: A permit is not required for non-commercial, personal-use filming or photography by the general public that does not interfere with transit operations or safety.
..."

This is scary not one out of 7 "enforcers" did know it.

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lightstand
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2011, 03:26:10 PM »
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"The point was, as you mentioned, that is the perception reality on the ground and that is what people react to."

No the point is there are serious crimes taking place almost daily near that light rail stop - And there is no doubt in my mind that Officer never even suspected a terrorist activity when questioning the photographer  he was just doing STUPID busy work instead of using tax payer's money to truly make the streets of Baltimore safer. One could even argue the Officer was protecting the Photographer from showing off a shinny camera anywhere along Howard ave. Or preventing a juvenile stunt unfolding that could have dire consequences when dealing with a railroad car that can't stop on a dime. But nothing about terrorism

As for perception, call me cynical but I believe if a terrorist bomb blew up there or most places along the Baltimore light rail - most people even confronted with the evidence would believe it was a cover up by the MTA for a lack of quality control. No way would terrorist ever get their precious credit (idiots)

Let's also not forget why the terrorist where allowed to live here undetected.  Go two blocks from that stop and as long as you don't speak to the cops you can most likely hide out. Of course if you do speak to the cops a neighborhood away from that metro what happens.  Your nice neighbors nail 2x4s across your doors and set fire to your house.  Yes I guess terrorism especially with cameras are so prevalent that we should ignore all the real crime that happens in our cities.  The more the police make every situation even the minor ones a major harassment the greater the chance that ghettos will hide the truly bad people.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 03:28:01 PM by lightstand » Logged
alain
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2011, 03:30:16 PM »
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Only offer you a further question: who knows?

I always believed that spy planes, satellites, surveillance cameras, drones and even Minoxes had one specific purpose: know the ground. How naive I must have been; they're just to blow tax dollars!

;-)

Rob C

Well the requirements depends on what you want to do.  For blowing up a few trains in rush hour you only need to know some busy routes.  So anybody that's using public transportation is a suspect.  But off course if it uses bridges it also makes everybody suspect that drives a car under those bridges...  BTW a cell phone is handy to detonate it from a distance, so ...  

If you want to add some "listening devices" inside a business building, you probably need some drawings or accurate detailed info.  Dressing up as business people does help here.  Probably best is to dress like a security gard, nobody will ask questions ;-)
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feppe
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2011, 04:26:47 PM »
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feppe, that's too disingenuous by far; nobody is worried about the act of photography, the trouble lies with the unknown usage and the reaction of a guy who, when challenged, obviously wants to fuck the system and refuses to see the understandable point of view (as most seem determined here, too) of those charged with public safety. As I said, think London, Madrid, and throw in Moscow for good measure; what on Earth makes you imagine the States has less than its fair share of nuts?

I'm fully aware of the outrageous and ridiculous implication that the photos might be used to plan terrorist attacks.

We might as well ban Google since one can plan for attacks on chlorine production facilities, chemistry books for supplying bomb making guidance, or train schedules for allowing to plan for best concentration of trains. These are far less far-fetched and much more actionable than any set of photographs of any public transportation system taken in a public place.

Fear of photography is the stranger danger or boogey man of today, along with plenty of others born from terrorist attacks which occupy way too much mind share, but are useful in keeping the masses compliant and in fear.

I'm done with this BS.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2011, 05:26:36 PM »
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I've been watching old seasons of "24", first 135-6 episodes so far, with tons of terrorist acts, from nerve gas to bombs (including nuclear), and in no instance whatsoever there was photography involved. If Jack Bauer is not concerned with photographers, why should we be?  Wink Apparently, even script writers consider the idea too silly to be accepted as realistic.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 05:28:27 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2011, 06:43:54 PM »
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I've been watching old seasons of "24", first 135-6 episodes so far, with tons of terrorist acts, from nerve gas to bombs (including nuclear), and in no instance whatsoever there was photography involved. If Jack Bauer is not concerned with photographers, why should we be?  Wink Apparently, even script writers consider the idea too silly to be accepted as realistic.
HAH ! Slobodan ! You surely are a terrorist ! I can smell it !
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2011, 07:13:54 PM »
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HAH ! Slobodan ! You surely are a terrorist ! I can smell it !

Oh, you got me! Wink

Actually, my only "involvement" with terrorism is coincidental and post factum: I happened to be visiting New York and the 9/11 site precisely at the moment when a fire in the Deutche Bank building, originally damaged in the 9/11 attack, erupted and killed two firefighters on August 18th, 2007. This is my "artistic" rendition of the event, with the concept of Gotham City as inspiration:


Ground Zero Fire by Slobodan Blagojevic, on Flickr

P.S. For those new to Flickr, once you are there, click again on the picture to see it larger and on a plain, black background
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 07:26:15 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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