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View Full Version : MTA Employee Arrested for "Unlawful Photography" in Subway



Matt Molnar
02-16-2009, 02:26 PM
An MTA employee has been arrested for taking photos in a Bronx subway station.

From SubChat.com (http://www.subchat.com/read.asp?Id=743327):

I was at freeman st on the 2 on the s/b plat taking pics...a officer(p.o mede/#6673)yelled to me just as I was getting on the train to leave....he asked for I.d; I showed him and he proceeds to tell me I'm not supposed to be taking pics...I told him that's not true, and I'm willing to bet your paycheck...so as we're in disagreement, his partner who is on the n/b side(p.o almonte/#3355)asked what was I doing...his partner said taking pics...he told me I had to delete them...I told him I'm not doing that....so he comes over to where me and the cop are at, and we proceed to go back and forth on what I can/cant do in regards to the photos....eventually, he called his sargent, and the sargent says I'm not allowed to take pics...I told him on t/a's rules of conduct it says we are....the sargent tells me their rules and t/a's rules are different....I told him, if you feel I'm in the wrong, give me a a summons and I'll see everyone in court...the sargent says to arrest me....so after being brought down to district 12 to get a warrant check and all that good stuff(mind u I told him I needed the bathroom and to make a call, and those things were denied until I was about to leave), I get my 3 summones(1 for the photography, one for discon/unreasonable voice, and the other for impeding traffic)....I go to court for the photography in march and the other 2 in april....I'll be weighing the other options and will look for a lawyer in addition to filing a few ccrb complaints.....so the controversy continues with whether or not we can or can't take pictures down here.....(I asked the cops what are u giving me a summons for before being handcuffed, they said you'll see it when u get it) *also, the photos were not deleted; I ended up keeping them......

The only time photography is illegal in the subway is if you are using a tripod, lights, reflectors, or other equipment without a permit. Mr. Taylor was apparently not using anything other than his camera.

Interview with Taylor on the Photography Is Not A Crime blog: http://carlosmiller.com/2009/02/13/mta- ... ay-trains/ (http://carlosmiller.com/2009/02/13/mta-worker-arrested-by-nypd-for-photographing-subway-trains/)

nikon50bigma
02-16-2009, 10:22 PM
Ok for his last two summons I kinda-sorta understand. But his first one for photography... makes no sense.

Matt Molnar
02-16-2009, 11:16 PM
Ok for his last two summons I kinda-sorta understand. But his first one for photography... makes no sense.
If he was arguing with the cops about the first charge, which is not an actual crime, then those are bogus too.

Delta777LR
02-22-2009, 12:25 AM
balony!! Its like saying that a camera is illegal to have.. Get real! Photography is not a crime... But Taylor in a way should have kept his cool though.. I would argue that too.. But the way I see it, Unless there is a sign that says (Pictures Prohibitit) or (No Pictures Allowed) then thats a different story. But these cops need to get real.. Catch real criminals!

Planesntrains
03-01-2009, 04:29 PM
It's amazing. NYPD has time to harass and arrest an MTA employee for photography, but they won't arrest the guy both them and I saw urinating between the cars in front of kids and women, while moving, on the 1 train last weekend.

It'll never end... :roll:

N746JB
10-17-2010, 12:22 AM
I could see this happening with someone trying to photograph 31L departures from the A Train on the Broad Channel section across the Bay.

-Jeremy :cool:

hiss srq
10-17-2010, 10:45 AM
NYPD cops have arrest and ticket qouta's.... It is a proven fact... I will look around for the recordings but a few cops have recently came out to the media with this and had recording of meetings that confirm and enforce on that.

megatop412
10-17-2010, 08:53 PM
There is no merit to ANY of these charges. What you see here is the classic power-trip displayed by most cops, because they are trained to be this way. Arrest first, ask questions later. Granted, I wasn't there to witness what was said and how it was delivered, but the bottom line is that nothing criminal was taking place, which is the only thing the police have the authority to respond to.

There is no arguing with the cops. Period. Run from them because you know they are trying to illegally detain you and you've done wrong. Don't run from them because you have nothing to hide and you've done wrong. With many (not all) of them, there is no negotiating anything. So the only way to deal with this is to either walk away every time you're asked, or to go through lawyers, if you have the money, and beat them at their own game.

gonzalu
10-17-2010, 09:29 PM
The law on Phtography on the Subway in NYC is well known to be:

--Allowed on the platform and in the train
--As long as you don;t shoot the tunnels or tracks directly.
--Incoming or outgoing trains are OK.
--Taking pictures of the conductors are OK as long as there is no interference with their duties.
--No professional equipment such as lighting, tripods etc.

Section 1050.9

http://www.mta.info/nyct/rules/rules.htm

and further good reads

http://www.nycsubway.org/faq/photopermits.html

Zee71
10-17-2010, 09:41 PM
Now if only the Port Authority was that detailed about photography at their airports!

puckstopper55
10-18-2010, 09:02 AM
What was the outcome of the court dates?

Derf
10-18-2010, 11:53 AM
I was thinking the same thing

DHG750R
10-18-2010, 07:43 PM
Just playing devil's advocate, could the cops legally use this provision?

1050.7
9. conduct himself or herself in any manner which may cause or tend to cause annoyance, alarm or inconvenience to a reasonable person or create a breach of the peace;

GrummanFan
10-18-2010, 08:05 PM
All three charges were dropped, and he sued the city, winning 30k.

http://secondavenuesagas.com/2010/02/10/unlawfuly-arrest-for-subway-photography-costs-city-30k/

Speedbird1
11-05-2010, 05:26 AM
I attended the Coney Island Costume Parade last week and was told that I was not allowed to take photos of kids; even if they are wearing masks. While this has nothing to do with aviation, I felt it is pertinent to the topic that sadly we photographers are all under-suspicion. Last week, the guy sitting next to me was sketching my face. Should I have called a cop? This is the land of the free? My grocery guy who comes from Yemen, says he sees people all the time taking photos at Sanaa International Airport. However, if you photograph a woman, you will be arrested!

george
11-08-2010, 09:52 AM
I attended the Coney Island Costume Parade last week and was told that I was not allowed to take photos of kids; even if they are wearing masks. While this has nothing to do with aviation, I felt it is pertinent to the topic that sadly we photographers are all under-suspicion. Last week, the guy sitting next to me was sketching my face. Should I have called a cop? This is the land of the free? My grocery guy who comes from Yemen, says he sees people all the time taking photos at Sanaa International Airport. However, if you photograph a woman, you will be arrested!

If I saw someone that I didn't know taking pictures of my son, wearing a mask or not I would not be happy with that person. It's one thing to take pictures of planes or trains and a totally other situation when you start taking pictures of people, especially children.

moose135
11-08-2010, 10:02 AM
If I saw someone that I didn't know taking pictures of my son, wearing a mask or not I would not be happy with that person. It's one thing to take pictures of planes or trains and a totally other situation when you start taking pictures of people, especially children.
The kid is dressed up in costume, in a Halloween Parade, and you would be upset that they are taking his photo? Just keep him in the house if you are that paranoid...

Derf
11-08-2010, 12:55 PM
If I saw someone that I didn't know taking pictures of my son, wearing a mask or not I would not be happy with that person. It's one thing to take pictures of planes or trains and a totally other situation when you start taking pictures of people, especially children.

Well the other week in Central Park there were at least a few dozen people taking pictures of my son blowing bubbles. If I like it or not, it is irrelevant being that we were in a public place. If I was elsewhere walking thru the park, it is still irrelevant as we were in public. It does not matter how I feel, the law says that people can do it, with or without a mask.
http://www.longislandwallpapers.com/photos/1082893688_DUnv2-XL.jpg

On a side note, I think my pictures came out better than theirs anyway! ;)

Sm0otHockeySpeeD
11-10-2010, 11:51 AM
I am a Transit employee myself (Conductor) and like most of you mentioned it is well documented that you can take all the pictures you want as long as you are not using a tripod. Although irrelevant, if this guy was in his uniform the cops may have never even bothered him. I think it's ridiculous that they continued to harass this guy after providing a Transit ID. Transit cops should know better...we all work together.

Anyhow...good to see he won his case.