Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 26

Thread: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

  1. #1
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    8,064

    1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    I spent the day spotting with Colin from Hong Kong, and we had two very different encounters with local law enforcement. We started at Howard Beach in the morning, got there around 9:45. After about 30 - 45 minutes, a brown Buick sedan pulled up behind us, and three men got out - they were in plain clothes, but showed us NYPD badges & ID. They asked us to get out of the car, and asked what we were doing. I told them we were photographing aircraft as a hobby. They asked for our ID, and let us get back in the car. After about 5 minutes, 2 marked NYPD units arrived, and the group of officers conversed a bit. They asked us to get out again, and asked a few more questions about what we were doing. One of the plainclothes officers asked if he could "check me" and gave my pockets a quick pat. One of the uniforms had Colin put his hands against the car and patted him down. The lead plainclothes officer kept asking "You understand why we have to do this?" After recording our information, they wished us well and departed.

    We stayed at HoBe until a little past Noon, then went to lunch. After lunch, we went to Firestone for some arrivals. After about an hour, a Nassau County PD unit pulled up next to us (driver-side to driver-side). He opened his window and said "You guys are taking pictures of airplanes, right?" "Yes, officer." "You guys come out here all the time, right?" "Yes, officer." "So you know the drill - the friendly neighborhood watch called. They said you were taking pictures of airplanes, then getting back in the car. Well, no sh*t, it's about 20 degrees out here. Have a nice day!" And off he went.

    Today was the first time I've encountered NYPD while spotting, and the attitude of the officers was very different from what I've seen from NCPD or PAPD. They initially approached us with suspicion, wanting to know what we were doing and why we would be taking photos of aircraft. I understand they have a difficult job to do (one that I wouldn't want to do) and while it ended well, it's the first time I've felt uncomfortable during one of these meetings.

    At least Colin got the full New York Experience :D and I've got about 700 shots to go through!

  2. #2
    Senior Member lijk604's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    4 air miles SE of ISP.
    Posts
    4,143

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    You know, checking out ID's I fully understand, and have NO ISSUE complying with. What the HELL gave them reason to "pat" you down? I know there was no way it could have been attitude, as being with Moose plenty of times when we were ID'd, he is the most diplomatic, friendly spotter our group has, hands down. (Sorry if that offends anyone, but it's the truth). Very strange, sorry you had to go through all that Moose.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cancidas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    traffic two o'clock two miles southbound flight of four C-130s
    Posts
    6,088

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    i agree with john. they had no reason to put hands on you. had you made a threathening move towards the officers i could understand, but aside from that they went too far.
    it is mathematically impossible for either hummingbirds, or helicopters to fly. fortunately, neither are aware of this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Bronx, New York
    Posts
    3,117

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    Moose, I hope this isn't to personal but in situations like this do you show your retired Air Force ID as I would think/hope that would work in your favor ? Also was Colin surprised based on how spotting and law enforecement is in Hong Kong towards our hobby ? Very surprised you where patted down, I agree with Matt that went to far.

    Glad they at least did not tell you to leave, many of my experiences at/around JFK back in the 90's where two choices, you can leave or you can go to jail, and that was after displaying my LGA Port Auth Photo ID and my USAir Photo ID, with most it did not seem to matter, although it helped a lot almost anywhere else in the world, just not 8 miles down the Van Wyke where it SHOULD have.

    Cheers

    LGA777

  5. #5
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    IFP, ISP, JFK, IGM, SAN, VCV, LGA, LAX, SEE, LAS
    Posts
    4,258

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    Though we rarely if at all see someone get patted down is basically a non-issue. I got pulled over by a NYPD once driving near Central park and he was the biggest *sshole. Never told me why he pulled me over, looked through my car and kept asking me if I had pot in the car had me get out and patted me down. I got agitated and told him I never touch the stuff and he left as fast as he pulled me over without saying much of anything, much like when I was shooting at Costco once alone, the wx was so nice I had my driver side door open and myh leg out. A plainclothes guy told me to get my leg in and closed my door in a way I wasn't happy with and then like the NYPD after he ran my ID basically threw it at me and left without much convo. Some of thesr officers may be experiencing this type of interaction with spotters for the first time. Go figure. These guys encounter all sorts of people all sorts of situations. I think if you look at the big picture they are actually hassling us less and just running out ground balls when they get phone calls which they still probably get besieged with from concerned citizens.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gerard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    4,851

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    >"So you know the drill - the friendly neighborhood watch called. <

    Since there are no homes around there who is calling? The business owners? You would
    think they would be used to the spotters by now. Have you guys talked with them explaining
    the hobby?

  7. #7
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    IFP, ISP, JFK, IGM, SAN, VCV, LGA, LAX, SEE, LAS
    Posts
    4,258

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    Since there are no homes around there who is calling? The business owners? You would
    think they would be used to the spotters by now. Have you guys talked with them explaining
    the hobby?
    This begins to start to show how insular thinking has become. We are not by a long shot the only ones who frequent the "spotting locations" we do. Have you ever been to the Howard Beach spotting location? Spotters make up the minority of people that park there. Many are locals that are doing a variety of things. Like eating lunch, walking on the beach, using metal detectors, feeding the water fowl etc. They are the ones who are calling because to some of them who have no idea what we are doing think it's suspicious. It has nothing to do with being used to us. Also when you say "getting used to us" I almost think you feel that it is our location to spot. It's not, it's a public location and we are subject to every thing anybody else is. If that means LO checking on us after they have received a call so be it. Some officers are experienced with us and some are not. Explaining the hobby to them is great but unforunately thanks to Osama we will run into this from time to time. As long as you have your ID and act accordingly it's a non-issue and ususally the interaction will last a couple of minutes and your back to shooting.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gerard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    4,851

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    >This begins to start to show how insular thinking has become. We are not by a long shot the only ones who frequent the "spotting locations" we do. Have you ever been to the Howard Beach spotting location? Spotters make up the minority of people that park there. Many are locals that are doing a variety of things. Like eating lunch, walking on the beach, using metal detectors, feeding the water fowl etc. <

    I was actually talking about the Firestone/BK/Costco locations in reference to the "neighborhood watch". I've been
    to the HoBe location and amongst other things going on there in the past were people doing illicit and possibly illegal
    things in their cars. Not sure if that is still going on but that might explain the police presence there also.

  9. #9
    Senior Member emshighway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Middle Village
    Posts
    2,060

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    They did a simple "stop and frisk"and filled out the 250 form. Think about the other side, you come upon two men sitting in a car. You don't know what they are doing or may have on them. You would like to go home to your family so you take the precaution of doing a quick patdown to ensure you are not going to get shot or stabbed. As you stated the lead plaincloths officer was letting you know this by his "You understand why we have to do this?" comment.
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' "
    Ronald Reagan

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    A word to the wise...keep it under your hat...no one is to know...
    Posts
    3,027

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    Scratching out a UF250 is fine but really you can't tell me vice doesn't have more constructive ways to get their numbers. If it was me, a stop and frisk in this case would only be warranted if Moose or Colin went for their wastband or pockets. Otherwise it's 90y and 98.
    R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    #DeleteThePickleSmoocher
    LETS GO CAPS!
    [URL]http://www.sopicturethis.net[/URL]

  11. #11
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Queens, NY
    Posts
    12,470

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    If they go for their waistbands or pockets, I think the situation would have been worse than just a frisk.

    I view this situation as nothing more than "unfortunate". It's the environment we live in, and until awareness improves, we may have to deal with this on occasion.

    Thank God it was someone as mildly tempered and smart as Moose.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Little Ferry, New Jersey
    Posts
    476

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    About 3 years ago myself and 2 guys I was with had an interaction with PAPD over by the college and Planeview Park.

    All 3 of us were made to put our hands on the car and were given the pat down. The lieutenant came over, sent most of the cops away and explained that the sergeant who he had sent away didn't like spotters and that is why we were given a hard time and the detectives had been requested to attend.

    If a cop wants to give me a hard time, I just let him do his thing and if he asks me to leave, I leave- simple as that. It's easier to leave and go somewhere else than the alternative of being handcuffed and sat in a jail cell until someone in higher authority or a lawyer gets involved.

  13. #13
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    IFP, ISP, JFK, IGM, SAN, VCV, LGA, LAX, SEE, LAS
    Posts
    4,258

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    All 3 of us were made to put our hands on the car and were given the pat down. The lieutenant came over, sent most of the cops away and explained that the sergeant who he had sent away didn't like spotters and that is why we were given a hard time and the detectives had been requested to attend.
    Well this is a different thing entirely. First off, getting patted down is something more routine than anything and I think Moose's encounter is basically that. I mean again we are whether unconsiously or otherwise beginning to get a feeling of entitlement in these spots. As I said before they are places that many others frequent and as Phil said in a post 9/11 world it will happen. BUT and officer of any rank that has a personal feeling toward a group of people that effects his treatment of them is stepping over the line a bit. Whether he views spotters as nuisances or whatever LO still has to treat us fairly and though Moose's case it sounds like they were more than fair I would hope if anyone encounters an officer that tries any tactic such as making up his own laws, intimidation, telling us to leave in a public spot where we have every right to stay etc, would stand up for themselves in a cordial manner. We have seen that the majority of LO is fair and professional but there will be always that one who won't be.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

  14. #14
    Senior Member Tom_Turner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    2,193

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    Quote Originally Posted by emshighway
    They did a simple "stop and frisk"and filled out the 250 form. Think about the other side, you come upon two men sitting in a car. You don't know what they are doing or may have on them. You would like to go home to your family so you take the precaution of doing a quick patdown to ensure you are not going to get shot or stabbed. As you stated the lead plaincloths officer was letting you know this by his "You understand why we have to do this?" comment.
    Thats odd though. The last several hundred times this happened locally, no one "had to do" this.

    Which is it? They "have to" do this, or they don't?
    "Keep 'em Flying"

  15. #15
    Moderator Matt Molnar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    9,302

    Re: 1/25/08 - A Tale of Two Encounters

    Is there any probable cause needed to warrant performing a frisk?
    Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem.
    All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control.
    I trust you are not in too much distress. —Captain Eric Moody, British Airways Flight 9

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •