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dlx737200
06-18-2006, 03:53 PM
Ok so myself and my friend Joey Collura were visiting NYC last week, which we had awesome time at JFK on the 11th with all the guys who came out. Thanks again. Anyway, on the 13th, we woke up at 8am, expecting less than perfect weather but hoping for Northeasterly winds for landings on 4. So we got up, took the subway to 125th and Lexington in Manhattan and then the M60 over to LGA. As we got close, we could see landings on 22 and takeoffs on 13. Not our desired configuration so we decided to try the inside of the terminal out for shooting. The weather still wasn't great but I just wanted to get Piedmont at 10am, as Ron Peel tipped us off to. So we get inside, I call Brian Futterman. He gave me directions of where to go exactly and when we got to the top of the escalator, he told me to use the courtesy phone on the wall to call Airport Police and it shouldn't be a problem. So I did. Here was the convo:

Male Officer picks up the phone: "Airport Police!"

Me: "Hello sir. Myself and another photographer are calling to just make you aware we are placed on the third floor in the main terminal near the windows overlooking the Air Canada gates and we will be shooting some pictures for a little while if thats ok with you."

Officer: "Absolutely not. Thats a big negative sir. I'm sorry you cannot be taking pictures past security. If you take pictures from there I'll have to have an officer come and confiscate your camera gear and/or film."

Me: "No sir, we're not past security. We are on top the escalators of the main terminal overlooking the Air Canada gates."

Officer: "Well sorry you cannot be taking pictures from there."

Me: "Well we're visiting from Florida but we have friends who live here and do this quite often. From my understanding, they usually call this extension and talk to you all, and sometimes you all send out an officer to check IDs and that's that. We just want to spend a little time up here this morning getting some pictures of LaGuardia traffic. It's not usually a problem for our friends."

Officer: "Where are you at again sir?"

Me (for the third time): "We are on top the escalators of the main terminal overlooking the Air Canada gates."

Officer: "Stay where you are I'll send an officer over there."

5 minutes later, an black lady officer comes up the escalators, hangs up on a phone call she was on and starts eyeing our cameras and lenses sitting up against the windows and it goes like this:

Lady Officer: "Hello gentleman. What are we doing up here?"

Me: "Hello Officer. My name is Justin Idle. Myself and my friend Joey here are here this morning to take some pictures of LaGuardia Airport traffic. We are up here from Florida and part of the reason we have travelled up here is for this hobby."

Lady Officer: "Well I'm sorry but you all can't be doing this at this airport."

Me: "Well ma'am, it is my understanding that several of our mutual friends through this hobby who live here come to LGA often and have no problems with taking pictures. I only came here through the exact instructions given to me by one of those friends who often visits this location for photography. Why is it they can take the photos with little hassle but you won't let us?"

Lady Officer: "I do not know who gives them authorization sir but you need a permit to be up here shooting pictures."

Me: "Well if not for our sake, for our friend's sake, how does one attain this permit?"

Lady Officer: "Well they'd have to contact Port Authority Offices and get one. But you can't just come up here and take pictures. Not since 9/11."

Joey (under his breath but loud enough for her to hear out of frustration): "Yeah we've heard that excuse before."

Lady Officer (directed at Joey): "IT'S NOT AN EXCUSE!!! THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS!!" (or something to that extent)

Me: "Ma'am you have to understand our disappointment. We have traveled up here from Florida and one of our main goals for this trip was to shoot some photos at LaGuardia. We are supporting the tourism of this city, paying airfare, hotel, transportation costs, and now you're telling us we have to leave. We just endured an hour commute from Manhattan to here just to do this and you're turning us away. What does it hurt just to let us stay? You can run our IDs, we have nothing to hide. We just want to enjoy our hobby."

Lady Officer: "Well I'm sorry but you all have to put your camera gear and away and leave this area."

Me: "Fine."

We pack up our gear and I call Futt. She goes downstairs and 5 min later after I get off the phone with Futt, we go downstairs to see her at the bottom waiting to make sure we came down. We got back on the bus and went back to Manhattan. What a waste. Oh well. That was our LGA experience.

-Justin

Joey, feel free to add anything she said that I might've forgotten about.

NIKV69
06-18-2006, 05:03 PM
This is why I am against calling the PA to tell them you are going to take pics. Why would you do this if you are doing nothing wrong?

Here is an exerp from this article I made reference to in the July issue of Pop Photography.

"since the terrorist attacks it was illegal photograph bridges, airports and refineries..This is a CROCK, There's no law in California or anywhere in the US that prohibits shooting such places from a public locale. You can even photograph inside airports, if you don't point your camera at security checkpoints. These laws just don't exist, a law that attempts to prohibit photography from places open to the general public would be unconstitutional"

All you did by taking Brian's advice was let the gestapo invent another law and run you off. And put us back even more than we are now.

There is no need to call anybody when you are doing something within your rights.

dlx737200
06-18-2006, 05:09 PM
All you did by taking Brian's advice was let the gestapo invent another law and run you off. And put us back even more than we are now.

There is no need to call anybody when you are doing something within your rights.

Hey, as a out of towner, I was just respecting the rules and procedures of the locals, as I would expect visitors of my home airport to do. Had he not mentioned it, I would've just sat there and taken photos. No one would've probably bothered me anyway. Perhaps I should've gone with my old saying, "Tis better to ask for forgiveness than permission." However, like I said, being from Florida, I just wanted to do what was recommended to me.

T-Bird76
06-18-2006, 05:10 PM
They probably saw you guys were young and said "oh easy target." I would have marched right down to the P.A's office and asked to speak to their commanding officer and requested to know what law you were breaking.

Alex T
06-18-2006, 05:14 PM
They probably saw you guys were young and said "oh easy target." I would have marched right down to the P.A's office and asked to speak to their commanding officer and requested to know what law you were breaking.

Agreed. It is not illegal at all and I would have gone to and TELL THEM what my plans were and say im doing such and such. If they say it is illegal asked to be given the book/code whatever it is that states so. there won't be any.

Sorry you weren't able to experience it.

Alex

NIKV69
06-18-2006, 05:16 PM
Hey, as a out of towner, I was just respecting the rules and procedures of the locals, as I would expect visitors of my home airport to do. Had he not mentioned it, I would've just sat there and taken photos. No one would've probably bothered me anyway. Perhaps I should've gone with my old saying, "Tis better to ask for forgiveness than permission." However, like I said, being from Florida, I just wanted to do what was recommended to me.

That's all well and good but all you did was make things worse. We need to KNOW our rights and act accordingly. Take Tommy's advice next time because he is spot on. I appreciate your effort in heeding Brian's advice but photographers treatment as a whole in public has gone downhill fast and if we want to have any hobby left we need to be a little more assertive and less passive.

dlx737200
06-18-2006, 05:26 PM
[quote="T-Bird76":423ff]They probably saw you guys were young and said "oh easy target." I would have marched right down to the P.A's office and asked to speak to their commanding officer and requested to know what law you were breaking.

Agreed. It is not illegal at all and I would have gone to and TELL THEM what my plans were and say im doing such and such. If they say it is illegal asked to be given the book/code whatever it is that states so. there won't be any.

Sorry you weren't able to experience it.

Alex[/quote:423ff]

No one ever told me it was illegal. Just that we couldn't be doing it. Trust me, had they pulled the, "it's illegal" bit, which I've been told before here in Orlando, I would have asked to be shown where it said that, as I have here in Orlando.


Being that this was not my home airport, I figured this was not my battle to fight. I will deal with my home airport's problems (MCO and TPA) and let the locals up in NYC deal with LGA. I am not a passive person. But we were also not in the mood for a major police confrontation. We were just on vacation trying to enjoy our time. I didn't want it turning too sour.

-Justin

PhilDernerJr
06-18-2006, 05:39 PM
I think Justin handled this perfectly.

We were told that this is the procedure that we should use, and we've employed it for years. It is sad that we are suddenly having difficulty.

Nick, I completely understand where you are coming from, but thisis our way of cooperating with them. Sure it might be legal, but should we resist or go against the grain, it would be easy for them to actually put forth a law forbidding it. Then we have NO chance.

Justin respected our local procedures. He didn't go and run out onto the roof of a hotel at someone else's airport (Nick). HAHAHA :-p

Mellyrose
06-18-2006, 05:39 PM
Justin,

We really appreciate that you went above the expectations of respecting our "turf." Especially since some people would be even more careless at airports they visit with the mentality that it wouldn't effect them in the longrun.

Even though you missed out in the end, you did do the right thing by listening to Futt's suggestion. Hopefully one day soon, we won't have to deal with such ignorance.

NIKV69
06-18-2006, 05:40 PM
No one ever told me it was illegal. Just that we couldn't be doing it

What does that mean? Last I checked if a person from law enforcement tells you that you can't be doing something that is pretty clear.

As for your home airport I applaud your courtesy but you are a photographer and you were getting bullied, it is your fight.

dlx737200
06-18-2006, 05:46 PM
Thanks Phil and Mel for the support. Mel, on side note, still want a print of that Times Square photo? Email me and we'll arrange something.

-Justin

NIKV69
06-18-2006, 05:58 PM
our "turf."

Since when do we own the rights to our local airports? So if I travel to an airport outside of NY I have to respect the local spotters? Come on, this is about police intimidation, plain and simple. Nobody said anything about being carless either, it's merely standing up for ones rights.

Mellyrose
06-18-2006, 06:01 PM
I meant our HOME TURF. I didn't mean we owned it, I just mean that it's where we spend most of our spotting time.

NIKV69
06-18-2006, 06:07 PM
Also, why are you getting defensive about the careless comment, I wasn't referring to you.

I know you weren't. I just don't think we need this "our turf" concept involved with this encounter, it has nothing to do with who is from where. It's about law enforcement using ignorance and intimidation to bully someone out of doing something totally within their rights.

mikephotos
06-18-2006, 07:04 PM
You screwed up at the part where you said "if it's okay with you". If you're gonna call, you should say/make it feel like you're doing it as a courtesy and not asking permission. That just left it open for them (the bad ones, most have no problem) to say no. Personally, I never call in advance because I've been shooting in the terminals for over 20 years now (long before most PA cops have even been stationed at LGA or passed their PD tests) and I've never had a problem. Everytime I'm approached, I handle it at that stage and it's always (to my luck) a positive outcome.

You tried to do the right thing and got screwed, no fault of your own...welcome to NY :) I would not have left so easily. The more they "win" these 'incidents' the worse it gets for everyone.

Mike

dlx737200
06-18-2006, 08:12 PM
You tried to do the right thing and got screwed, no fault of your own...welcome to NY :) I would not have left so easily. The more they "win" these 'incidents' the worse it gets for everyone.

Mike

Another reason I didn't fight the order to leave, was because the weather sucked. Had it been clear, beautiful weather, I might've fought more. But the weather straight up sucked. Between the weather and being foreign to the airport, in my reasoning, it just wasn't worth the battle. If it were MCO and in clear weather, I would've fought it till the point when they attempted arrest on me. But it just wasn't worth arguing for crappy shots on a, so far at the time, great vacation that I didn't want ruined.

Also, I didn't know how the locals would take it if they heard I had argued with the cops at LGA. I've always read on this website a warning to visitors and even locals: "Be courteous and professional with cops, and always bring ID." I did just that, I did not argue to any great extent and honored the airport's wish, as messed up as it may be. I cared more about what the locals thought about my behavior at their airport then what kind of shots I got. I've heard of one spotter's foul attitude or disregard to the cops wishes ruining one cop's opinion/view towards ALL spotters/photographers at that airport. I did not want that happening because of me. I didn't wanna ruin it for the locals.

-Justin

sluger020889
06-18-2006, 08:36 PM
Nope Idle, you've hit the nail on the head. Spending time in NY I learned to question the cops more and not be so passive, but like Idle I didn't want to worsen anything more for the locals, so I made my one comment and left.

But as far as "turf" goes I agree with Justin. We all have our home airports, TPA for me, MCO for Idle and JFK/LGA for all of you guys. I for one would be pissed off if an outta towner was around braking the rules and making it harder for the locals. Calling TPA police is standard procedure around here, and we never have problems, that's just the way it is. Plenty of visitors have done this and never had a problem. So I guess it just depends on where you are.

But I had so much fun on the 11th that it didn't even bother me in the end, thanks again guys!!!!!

NIKV69
06-19-2006, 04:47 AM
Another reason I didn't fight the order to leave, was because the weather sucked. Had it been clear, beautiful weather, I might've fought more. But the weather straight up sucked. Between the weather and being foreign to the airport, in my reasoning, it just wasn't worth the battle.

Not worth the battle? Our rights just got set back God knows how long, it's not about the weather, or who is from where or what airport you are in. It's about a person enjoying something totally within the law and their rights to do so being trampled by some unprofessional, narrow minded badge flasher. Who is too lazy to fnd out what the law is and would rather just run someone off. I find this ridiculous and would hope that someone would take a little bit of a stand instead of looking out the window and saying the wx sucks so I will just leave.


Also, I didn't know how the locals would take it if they heard I had argued with the cops at LGA. I've always read on this website a warning to visitors and even locals: "Be courteous and professional with cops, and always bring ID." I did just that, I did not argue to any great extent and honored the airport's wish, as messed up as it may be. I cared more about what the locals thought about my behavior at their airport then what kind of shots I got. I've heard of one spotter's foul attitude or disregard to the cops wishes ruining one cop's opinion/view towards ALL spotters/photographers at that airport. I did not want that happening because of me. I didn't wanna ruin it for the locals.


Well this local would have been fine with the fact you stood up for yourself and asked the officer what law you were breaking, you are not arguing with anyone. Let's remember that law enforcement is by no means perfect, this is why internal affairs exists and a system exists where you can file a complaint with any officer that is is out of line. I think Tommy said it best. We need to start writing down badge numbers and getting names and letting their superiors know we are not going to sit by and be bullied and if we are doing something that is within the law we are going to continue to do it.


Calling TPA police is standard procedure around here


No offense but I think this practice is the most foolish thing I have ever seen. It's bad enough that some law enforcement officers do not want us around even knowing we are allowed to be, yet we have call them and tell them we are there? No, get your camera and go enjoy yourself, you are doing nothing wrong.

dlx737200
06-19-2006, 08:58 AM
Calling TPA police is standard procedure around here


No offense but I think this practice is the most foolish thing I have ever seen. It's bad enough that some law enforcement officers do not want us around even knowing we are allowed to be, yet we have call them and tell them we are there? No, get your camera and go enjoy yourself, you are doing nothing wrong.

Of behalf of Joey let me say this. Nick, it's one thing for you to tell us how much we've set back the progress in NYC by doing what we thought was the right thing but DO NOT tell us how to operate our photography procedures here in Tampa. We have built up a relationship with the police here in TPA. Before, if we had just gone out, they would always have to come out and do the ID check and waste their time and OUR time, most importantly. A couple times, they've even kicked people out. Then, one police officer gave us a phone # and recommended we call ahead of time. We have done that ever since. It has worked marvelously. Now, at the most, they might drive by us and say, "oh are you the guys who called? Ok then, have a fun time. Get some good pictures!" Tell me how the heck that is wrong? It has shown the police that we are serious about this hobby and that we are very co-operative to their wishes. I guess we could have your attitude and just go out there every day without calling and they keep bothering us. Then when they do bother us, we could argue with them for 10 minutes or so asking what law we've broken, etc, etc, presenting a negative attitude to them. Then they could grow a bad attitude towards all of us and then NO one could photograph at TPA. Yeah, that method is much better. :roll:

Listen man, I'm sorry you don't agree with the way we handled LGA. But for me, yes, it wasn't worth it. I do not care what you say. I'm not going to go to some Port Authority office (which by the way I didn't even know where the hell it was) on my vacation to stir up more hassle and confrontation just to take pictures in nasty weather through dirty windows of standard traffic I can get here at home.

NIKV69
06-19-2006, 09:30 AM
they would always have to come out and do the ID check and waste their time and OUR time

Ok I get it so a PO checking someone near an airort is wasting their time? No sir, it is what WE pay them to do! They are paid by my tax dollars to make sure I am just what I am, a law abiding citizen doing nothing wrong, after this he is to leave. It's when they have to cross the line and try to scare us and invent crap that I take issue.


I guess we could have your attitude and just go out there every day without calling

Give me a break, there are plenty of spotters that go out and shoot without calling everyone and their grandmother. There is no use for it. As you saw all it takes is one narrowminded cop and your call resulted in one thing, getting the boot.

dlx737200
06-19-2006, 09:33 AM
they would always have to come out and do the ID check and waste their time and OUR time

Ok I get it so a PO checking someone near an airort is wasting their time? No sir, it is what WE pay them to do! They are paid by my tax dollars to make sure I am just what I am, a law abiding citizen doing nothing wrong, after this he is to leave. It's when they have to cross the line and try to scare us and invent crap that I take issue.


I guess we could have your attitude and just go out there every day without calling

Give me a break, there are plenty of spotters that go out and shoot without calling everyone and their grandmother. There is no use for it. As you saw all it takes is one narrowminded cop and your call resulted in one thing, getting the boot.

Wait a moment... one second your complaining about the cops bothering us... the next second your saying we pay them to bother us. Okay, yeah makes sense Nick.

In my comment about going out without calling, I am speaking of TPA. I go out to MCO all the time and never call anyone. But as far as TPA, we ALWAYS call if we plan to be out there for more than 1 plane. It works every time and we will forever continue to use this method, at least for TPA.

T-Bird76
06-19-2006, 09:45 AM
Ok I think we need to calm down a bit. Everyone has their own way of doing things and if it works that's fine. Both Nick and Justin have valid points. Justin has setup a way where he has developed a relationship with the police to ensure them we are not a threat. Nick contends it is out right and he has a point. We can't sit here and debate what procedures each of us use.

The fact of the matter is the P.A officer was dead wrong; you by all means can take pictures in an airport, whether you’re in or out of the secured area. People do it all the time. We need to ensure we stand up for our rights, if that is calling the Police and telling them what we’re doing or going about our business on our own in the end we need to stand up for our rights, that’s what counts.

sluger020889
06-19-2006, 09:51 AM
I call everytime we go out to TPA and I never had a problem. On one such occasion, before I used to call, I found myself surrounded by TPA Airport Police, including their "swat unit." After talking to the officer he said, and I quote "All you had to do is call and let us know you were coming out and all this could have been avoided." So he gave me a number and I call everytime before I go out and I never have a problem, some of the officers even know me on a first name basis. They even over-ruled the people who run the parking lots and said I could stay their and that I was perfectly fine. Doesn't sound so foolish to me???

NIKV69
06-19-2006, 09:57 AM
Wait a moment... one second your complaining about the cops bothering us... the next second your saying we pay them to bother us. Okay, yeah makes sense Nick.


Jeez, I have no problem with police encounters, just when they cross the line, I would hope a PO would come up to me if someone called them saying they see some suspicious activity. It's when the threats and the lies start. If you are content with letting that happen to you just because the wx is bad and the traffic is boring that is fine, but I would like to be able to do something in public without the crap (and I mean being told what I am doing is illegal, wrong or whatever you call it, so you understand this time) What you are doing down in Fla is great and I am happy for you, but I feel it is nonsense. If the NY area spotters want to call the PA I would think it would make more sense to get a contact, someone with the PA that is aware of what we are doing and also knows we are allowed to do it. By contacting the same person or having contact with him you would avoid what happened at LGA. When you call.

Futterman
06-19-2006, 02:35 PM
All you did by taking Brian's advice was let the gestapo invent another law and run you off. And put us back even more than we are now.

Nick, you really have to stop referring to all forms of law enforcement as "gestapo" -- this isn't WWII Germany. It’s disgusting and extremely inappropriate. A number of members on these forums are in fact police officers, and while my advice may or may not be appropriate, your repeated use of the term on this PUBLIC website is not helping our cause any, either.

When the NCPD showed up at Costco on Sunday 6/11, they let us stay, but one of them actually said to Phil, "Yeah, you're the one with that site, right?" That could just have easily have been: "You're the one with the website that keeps calling us Nazis, right? Leave, and don't come back."

________


I agree with Phil when he said that Justin handled the situation perfectly. When he called me back to tell me what happened, I was actually very surprised – especially considering the fact that for almost the past year, I had made the same phone call at least two or three times a month without incident. So it seemed weird that he would come across trouble right now.

Considering our track record, I’m leaning towards giving the Port the benefit of the doubt on this one; it was a weekday (we seldom spot in the terminal on a weekday), and Al-Zarqawi had just been killed. Who knows... Whatever the case, I really appreciate Justin and Joey taking the initiative to do as the locals do. If I was there, I would have stayed and pursued the matter down to the Port Authority Operations desk in the basement, but since Justin and Joey are out-of-towners, I think they were better off just leaving.

Now, personally, I have taken the issue up with the Port Ops office numerous times, and always got the all-clear to shoot from the top of the escalators. But here’s the doozie: When I asked for written permission to give to a cop in the even that a problem did arise, they turned me down. Why? Permission to shoot in the terminal is “granted” on a case-by-case basis, and it’s impossible for the Port Authority to guarantee us a hassle-free experience every time we go out. We have to acknowledge the fact that there could be (and are) a number of events going on that we’d be a hindrance to – security drills, VIP guests, investigations, etc. Multiple people from the Port Authority have told me to do as we have been doing, and call the police department each time we go up to make sure we won’t be in the way of anything.

Granted, the cop on the phone used 9/11 as an excuse and had no real substance to his argument (as far as I know), so things still aren’t perfect. But we’re working on it.

Bottom line in this case is that New Yorkers are better suited to dealing with the New York authorities, just as Floridians are best left to deal with their local law enforcement. Sorry you had a bad experience, Justin and Joey, but as you well know by now, **** happens.


Come on, this is about police intimidation, plain and simple.

This isn’t a war, Nick. You may try to be stand-offish, but the rest of us are looking to do this with as little conflict and compromise as possible.

Brian

NIKV69
06-19-2006, 03:37 PM
Nick, you really have to stop referring to all forms of law enforcement as "gestapo" -- this isn't WWII Germany. It’s disgusting and extremely inappropriate. A number of members on these forums are in fact police officers, and while my advice may or may not be appropriate, your repeated use of the term on this PUBLIC website is not helping our cause any, either.

When the NCPD showed up at Costco on Sunday 6/11, they let us stay, but one of them actually said to Phil, "Yeah, you're the one with that site, right?" That could just have easily have been: "You're the one with the website that keeps calling us Nazis, right? Leave, and don't come back."



I wasn't going to justify this with an answer but if you look at the situation Brian I never referred to ALL law enforcement as Gestapo, only the ones that use threats and intimidation to get us to believe that what we are doing is illegal, and in other ways wrong and then scaring us enough to leave. If you know anything that is very gestapo. Also don't try to generalize my words as detremental to the site, it's nonsense. We are also not referring to an encounter at Costco either.


Considering our track record, I’m leaning towards giving the Port the benefit of the doubt on this one; it was a weekday (we seldom spot in the terminal on a weekday), and Al-Zarqawi had just been killed. Who knows... Whatever the case, I really appreciate Justin and Joey taking the initiative to do as the locals do. If I was there, I would have stayed and pursued the matter down to the Port Authority Operations desk in the basement, but since Justin and Joey are out-of-towners, I think they were better off just leaving.

You want to the give the PO the benefit of the doubt, that is great Brian, but I don't share your view, who cares if it was a weekday? Not everyone has off on the weekends or choses to spot on the weekends like you Brian, nor do I buy this lame out of towner argument. Can't anyone enjoy the hobby of photography at a said place? What about someone who is travelling and doesn't have the luxury of returning, what if your buddy Justin was from another country and the PSA bird was at LGA and the sun was out? He had that one chance to get it and he was told to leave or had his camera confiscated? Then what would you do? That makes it different? Of course it doesn't. Al-Zarqawi shouldn't enter in the equation either, what happens if we start catching or killing high ranking members of Al-Qaida on a regular basis, guess we better leave when some PO tells us to leave then.


Now, personally, I have taken the issue up with the Port Ops office numerous times, and always got the all-clear to shoot from the top of the escalators. But here’s the doozie: When I asked for written permission to give to a cop in the even that a problem did arise, they turned me down. Why? Permission to shoot in the terminal is “granted” on a case-by-case basis, and it’s impossible for the Port Authority to guarantee us a hassle-free experience every time we go out. We have to acknowledge the fact that there could be (and are) a number of events going on that we’d be a hindrance to – security drills, VIP guests, investigations, etc. Multiple people from the Port Authority have told me to do as we have been doing, and call the police department each time we go up to make sure we won’t be in the way of anything.

Brian, your confusing the issue big time here, why would you ask for written permission for something that you can do without it? When you make your phone call to PO to shoot you are doing it as a COURTESY, not permisson. We are allowed to shoot inside the public area of an airport as long as we don't point the camera at security checkpoints. I don't care about being guaranteed hassle free shooting, you can check my ID all day if you want, you can hang out with me and insult my mother while you are at it, just don't threaten me, bully me or tell me what I am doing is wrong or illegal.



This isn’t a war, Nick. You may try to be stand-offish, but the rest of us are looking to do this with as little conflict and compromise as possible.

Never said it was war Brian but its violation of our rights, just because it's Law enforcement and it's a post 9/11 era at an airport doesn't make it right.

Matt Molnar
06-19-2006, 04:12 PM
Hey everyone, as this thread has become (understandably) one with strong opinions, just a friendly reminder to attack ideas, not people. Thanks.

Now for my humble $0.02...

While I am not out spotting nearly as much as many of you guys, and I've never had an encounter with the police, I do know quite a bit about the problems photographers of all sorts have had over the past 5 years.

I am in agreement with everyone else (I think) on this board that photographing planes does not pose any security risk whatsoever. But I think in the long run, whether it's justified or not, and whether the constitution is on our side or not, if the police and/or the PA and/or the airlines get fed up enough with people photographing from inside the airport, they will simply make the currently open areas inaccessible to non-passengers. It would be extremely easy to do.

Every negative encounter with the cops brings us a tick closer to it, even if it is the cops who are in the wrong. There will be no public outcry, the majority will be against us. The odds of winning will be slim.

So I think for shooting from inside the airport, giving the PD a heads up is a good idea. Shooting from outside the airport, off of airport property is a whole other story.

PhilDernerJr
06-19-2006, 06:18 PM
I think a lot of people in here have great points. As you've all heard me say, I think it's important to remember that what we say here can represent our entire community, now over 300 strong.

One point was made saying that if it's legal, then that's it, which is not necessarily true. Though it might be legal, powers that be do have the power to prohibit various activities.

In FACT, the Port Authority at LGA does prohibit photography from airport grounds without prior permission. For a while, our calls to the police desk gave us that permission, but as several examples shows us, it seems that is not the case.

Photography from inside the terminal is generally only done when there are rwy 22 landings and there's no where else to go, and even then, you're shooting through dirty, thick, green glass windows. That, along with the recent developments, make me now urge people to use other off-airport locations for spotting in this runway configuration. This is for the time being, as things may change one day. It's just adaption to the powers that be at this point in time.

I also need to remind people that NO ONE without MY permission, is to tell or call ANYBODY and say that they are a member of NYCAviation, unless a person in an authoritative position asks you (never lie to police). NYCAviation.com in no way represents you, nor do you represent NYCAviation. If someone drops the NYCA name to police in a bad police incident, you will lose all of my support for potentially tarnishing the reputation of myself and this site (reputation is subjective, but you get the idea lol).

FlyingColors
06-24-2006, 05:58 PM
I could say something........but no matter what its going to be wrong..

Tom_Turner
06-24-2006, 10:27 PM
I could say something........but no matter what its going to be wrong..

took the words out of my mouth... :wink:

SengaB
06-25-2006, 12:16 AM
I know when to keep quiet. Sometimes its just better to listen.

Senga

NIKV69
06-25-2006, 05:05 AM
took the words out of my mouth...

I remember this encounter..

http://www.nycaviation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1838

Glad you didn't take the "the wx is bad" or the "out of towner" mentality Tom and followed up and visited the precinct. If you read both Justin and Tom's encounters carefully you will find some pretty disturbing things. I am not saying we have to be rude to law enforcement, just have to be a little assertive to the ones that trample our rights. Once again Tom great job.

PhilDernerJr
06-25-2006, 08:35 AM
Nick, but we do not have a RIGHT to photograph airside at LGA. There is a rule against it, set forth by the authority there.

Tom_Turner
06-25-2006, 11:32 AM
okay..I'll go ahead and say something wrong... :)

I am not sure the Port Authority has a genuine "rule" against photography. They are very careful *not* to post such a "rule" anywhere that I have seen. Is it written down anyplace - on any document - they have ever produced? If they have, I am interested in obtaining a copy.

My suspicion is that its not written down anywhere - the reason being the Port Authority has more leverage this way and does not want to risk losing in court. Not that they should lose, but they might. Notice how homeless bums were allowed the run of Terminal A at EWR last time I knew..and for years and years Hari Krishnas could carry on their celebrations (and even solicitations?) in airport terminals all across the country.

Last I knew Port Authority had a clever de facto "don't ask, don't tell" policy - although at LGA it seems recently modified to a "ask first - and maybe we'll let you shoot" and over at EWR its a de facto - "shooting isn't allowed"/"you need a letter" policy. [Interestingly, I don't know if any of you guys have met him (I don't believe I have), but if I am correct fellow enthusiast "Wasim" was actually able to obtain such a letter a few years back at EWR and present it to airport employees/authorities when questioned..]

Of course there are varying views on Airport authorities these days... the locals in Boston seem to view MassPort as a soveriegn kingdom..."They can do what they want" - CASE CLOSED. Personally, I am more inclined to the Don Boyd/MIA spotters view that airports are "public" land/faciilities and if you aren't doing anything wrong.... Things have gone alright there for the most part, and at W-DC because the local spotters have worked successfully with the airport authorites.

Nick and all - back to LGA, New York and calling ahead specifically - if enterprising folks amongst us are endeavoring to establish a working relationship with Port Authority (and others) for the greater good of the hobby, then I am fully supportive of the sentiment behind these goals/strategies -and modifiying our behavior in some reasonable way(s).
Lets keep in mind the "big picture" and lets see what happens...

[by the way, people have been bothered by those windows for years..sometimes ... and sometimes they were left in peace after a name was dropped.. that won't help out-of-towners or anyone without the proper contacts of course.]

If though, over time, as a group, we fail to see *any* gains (collectively) and the only reason to call ahead (letting common sense, The Constitution, justice etc be thrown out the window) is some servile/pathetic hope that next week the dice roll differently or it is an effort to "preserve" the one little crumb the Port (and others) have inadvertently left for us - after they have eliminated 99% of the viewing/shootable spots PRE-911 for reasons having nothing at all do with some A.net geek not getting along with a specific police officer or security guard..then I say just shoot in whatever way floats your boat...

Lastly - I think we have to realize two things...

The first being we are going to have to "respect" for lack of a better term - the fact that we all make our own shooting decisions. WE don't have to agree with each others decisions, but few here amongst us have *never* at some point, ventured to rationize a decision to get a shot - it might be "tresspassing", it might be shooting through the fence at EL AL, or Halmar, or atop the Parking Garage, after we've been told to stop/without asking/whatever, it might be shooting at LGA terminal without calling ahead, shooting from the College tower, stopping our car on the roadways, bypassing the fence at the mounds, etc.. ..and this is only amongst ourselves..a nice group of folks...

With some locations published and others openly discussed at a number of sources on the net, and the hobby growing, its inevitable people are going to show up from out-of-town or locally - and basically do what they want. Why wouldn't they?

Tom

FlyingColors
06-26-2006, 08:40 AM
"and at W-DC because the local spotters have worked successfully with the airport authorities. "

This is good goal we should try to accomplish....

HOWEVER, from what I've gathered from many here is IF it don't work, then we could be accused of shutting down photog/spotting all together in our area.

Matt Molnar
06-26-2006, 10:55 AM
Something to think about...while the PA is a pseudo-government-agency, the courts have classified their facilities private property in at least one recent ruling in regard to trespassing. (Case involved RNC protestors on the sidewalk next to Ground Zero.)

NIKV69
06-26-2006, 10:55 AM
I am not sure the Port Authority has a genuine "rule" against photography

Well is there or is it just something they choose to enforce when they feel the need to run someone off?



HOWEVER, from what I've gathered from many here is IF it don't work, then we could be accused of shutting down photog/spotting all together in our area.

This is way off base. We are trying to work successfully with the authorities, the reason of this whole thread is the fact that someone went above and beyond and was run off. We need to do what Tom did at Howard Beach.

FlyingColors
06-26-2006, 12:28 PM
What Tom did was wonderful.

But like I hear from many, if the powers to be don't "go for it" it could be very very easy for them to just slap up some signs stating no more of this allowed.

But if the group wishes to make an effort then by all means count me in.

G-BOAD
06-26-2006, 02:11 PM
bad your day got ruined by this. what i do is go next to a window frame and lean against the window. they would see the camera, and they never bothered me. ( i used a normal digital camera, not one of the really good long ones)

FlyingColors
06-27-2006, 05:27 PM
"Well is there or is it just something they choose to enforce when they feel the need to run someone off? "

According to my run in with the FBI their is no law prohibiting photography of commercial jetliners, with military being an exception.

I chose not to question air shows and 699 trillion military photos taken in the US alone.

Nuff said.

Futterman
06-27-2006, 07:02 PM
With regards to being "too afraid" to take a stand, the fact of the matter is that the Port Authority can't close down Planeview Park. Or Howard Beach. Or even Costco and McNeil Park. I'd be surprised if they even have a valid enough excuse to acquire the support and the funds for a "no photography" sign (the enforcement of which, by the way, would require active patrolling that we've already seen to be irreperably inconsistent and controversial).

The Police Department isn't the one putting up signs in the airport. It's the Port Authority. And as unlikely as it may seem, they are our greatest (only, actually) chance for being recognized and supported. But the people we have to talk to about this -- as spotters in Toronto and DC have demonstrated -- are the administrators, the supervisors, the managers, and executives, not "Detective" Cheech or "Sergeant" Chong. Working with the big-wigs will offer the greatest chance of achieving something akin to us becoming the clichéd "extra set of eyes and ears".

It's no secret that the only way to really succeed in the aviation industry is to network. Consider the fact that, as a group, we have an incredibly impressive amount of credibility at our disposal -- we've worked for over a dozen different magazines, been featured in the New York Times, and cooperated with a countless number of major airlines and organizations (including the PANYNJ) in arranging things as "sensitive" as access to the airfield. With all this under our belt, it's rediculous to believe that a few confused cops and their nonsensical excuses will jeopardize our hobby.

Brian

NIKV69
06-27-2006, 08:40 PM
not "Detective" Cheech or "Sergeant" Chong

Seriously Brian, you made a great point but there is no need for your little personal "caste system" comment about low ranking law enforcement, it is true that there is a small percentage of them that though ignorance and bravado try to use their badge to bully us into believing our hobby is illegal but for the most part they are hard working people that actually put their lives on the line for us when they go to work, I would show some respect.



It's no secret that the only way to really succeed in the aviation industry is to network. Consider the fact that, as a group, we have an incredibly impressive amount of credibility at our disposal -- we've worked for over a dozen different magazines, been featured in the New York Times, and cooperated with a countless number of major airlines and organizations (including the PANYNJ) in arranging things as "sensitive" as access to the airfield. With all this under our belt, it's rediculous to believe that a few confused cops and their nonsensical excuses will jeopardize our hobby.

The credentials are impressive Brian but all we need to do is spot responsibly and stand up for ourselves as Tom did. I don't mean to drag his encounter into this discussion every time but if you dissect it it's the perfect example of the ignorance we encounter and how it has no right to try scare us from this hobby.

jakbar
06-28-2006, 08:29 PM
but there is no need for your little personal "caste system" comment about low ranking law enforcement

and


I would show some respect

Are you serious??? This coming from the person who called law enforcement "the gestapo" in this same thread... :roll:

It's comical that no matter what Brian says and regardless of whether you agree with what he said (which you say you do here), you'll find something to get on his case about, even if it means taking such clearly inconsistent positions.

NIKV69
06-28-2006, 10:20 PM
This coming from the person who called law enforcement "the gestapo" in this same thread...

Unfortunately Josh you are generalizing much the same as your buddy Brian does about anything I say. Please remember my gestapo comment was used solely for the small percentage of law enforcement that uses threats and erroneous laws to treat us in the manner we are talking about here. I never referred to all law enforcement in this manner, as much as you and Brian would like everyone to believe.


It's comical that no matter what Brian says and regardless of whether you agree with what he said (which you say you do here), you'll find something to get on his case about, even if it means taking such clearly inconsistent positions.

Actually Josh I am not searching for something to get on his case about, his clear disdain for people he deems inferior (which is something you are no stranger to as well) is totally not needed in this discussion, not to mention totally tasteless.

jakbar
06-28-2006, 10:57 PM
This coming from the person who called law enforcement "the gestapo" in this same thread...

Unfortunately Josh you are generalizing much the same as your buddy Brian does about anything I say. Please remember my gestapo comment was used solely for the small percentage of law enforcement that uses threats and erroneous laws to treat us in the manner we are talking about here. I never referred to all law enforcement in this manner, as much as you and Brian would like everyone to believe.



Here we go again with your paranoid delusion that Brian and I are somehow out to poison everyone's mind about what you say. Nobody but you believes this, so get over it already. I don't give a **** what people think of you, and I have far better things to dwell upon. I suspect the same is true for you. And don't insult my intelligence by stating that you don't look for opportunities to take jabs at both me and Brian. DON'T. If you honestly don't realize what you're doing, you need help, pal.

You completely missed the point of what I said. It has nothing to do with your so-called "generalizations". Rather, my point is that you are in absolutely no position to criticize someone for calling a small group of law enforcement officers (i.e., those that come up with their own laws) by a certain name when you yourself did the same thing. Ever hear the expression "talking out of both sides of your mouth"? You just provided a prime example of it. I couldn't help point it out since I found it genuinely hilarious that you actually agreed with Brian but still couldn't help yourself with trying to put him down, and then the only way you could come up with is to make a total hypocrite of yourself. I am 100% positive that every member of this forum saw that for the total b.s. that it was.



It's comical that no matter what Brian says and regardless of whether you agree with what he said (which you say you do here), you'll find something to get on his case about, even if it means taking such clearly inconsistent positions.

Actually Josh I am not searching for something to get on his case about, his clear disdain for people he deems inferior (which is something you are no stranger to as well) is totally not needed in this discussion, not to mention totally tasteless.

Give it a rest already with this whole b.s. about thinking people are inferior. The only thing going on is that you pick and choose isolated words out of my posts (and Brian's posts) to craft your false and offensive accusations about me. Would you like it very much if people started calling you a Nazi and a Jew-hater because you decided to use some rhetorical flourish in your posts by employing the word "gestapo" to describe the police? I think not. My advice to you -- and this is very strong advice -- is to drop this whole bit about making public accusations against me and others based on your own selective reading of my posts. It will not serve you well to continue to do so.

T-Bird76
06-28-2006, 11:57 PM
Ok I think its time this post be locked. The above threads by you guys serve no purpose what so ever of dealing with the original situation at hand. Whatever problem one has with another use the PM to discuss it. Accusations and threats just serve no purpose at all. The fact of the matter is Port has absolutely no procedure for dealing with spotters other then checking us out like they do. Sitting here debating what should be done and what shouldn't be done is pointless! Here's a clue go out take some pictures and don't break the law.

NIKV69
06-29-2006, 04:51 AM
Here we go again with your paranoid delusion that Brian and I are somehow out to poison everyone's mind about what you say

Not at all Josh, read what Brian wrote.



Nick, you really have to stop referring to all forms of law enforcement as "gestapo"

This is clearly not what I said, It's not a delusion, I am responding to soemthing actually said.


Rather, my point is that you are in absolutely no position to criticize someone for calling a small group of law enforcement officers (i.e., those that come up with their own laws) by a certain name when you yourself did the same thing

Your wrong again Josh, I can criticize someone when they violate my rights and try to bully me when I am doing nothing more than enjoying a hobby that is on the right side of the law. Brian on the other hand chooses to criticize out of disdain for people he deems below him, "Det Cheech"? Are you joking me? Much as have you done the same, it's no secret you and Brian act this way and trust me I am not the only one that sees it.


Would you like it very much if people started calling you a Nazi and a Jew-hater because you decided to use some rhetorical flourish in your posts by employing the word "gestapo" to describe the police

Wouldn't bother me at all, because with the exception of you and Brian everyone here knows the context I am using it in and knows I am not an anti-semite.

PhilDernerJr
06-29-2006, 05:42 AM
This thread has gone off the wrong direction at this point. Unfortunately it has to be locked.