PDA

View Full Version : Firestone 12-27-09



heeshung
12-27-2009, 09:15 PM
Less than half an hour after getting to Firestone, as I sat in my car waiting for the next big jet to show up, a Nassau county cruiser pulls up right in front of my car. Within a minute, two more show up. I get out of the car, and an officer confronts both my friend and I and ask for ID's. We both give him our licenses, and I explained our hobby to him. He asked to see my pictures as well. After I got my camera and as I showed him the photos, I noticed that the other officers were going through my car, including the center console, beneath the seats, and in the glove compartment. One even opened the trunk from inside the car. I never consented to a search of my car. I don't mind; I just thought it was weird.

They even asked to see my friend's iPhone, which happened to be displaying the scheduled arrivals for JFK on FlightAware. He asked about the site, which I explained was public information. He asked why I needed FlightAware, and I told him that I was interested in what to expect on the approach. Mat was also in the general vicinity, and the officers asked him for ID even though he wasn't holding a camera. He was suspicious that I was all the way from New Jersey. At that point, the first officer was already writing his report and jotting down information. As it got dark, they wrapped up writing their reports and told us we were fine, explained the possible suspicion especially following the incidents from Friday, and told us we were free to continue shooting. By that point, it was past dusk and we walked into Wendy's for dinner. The entire time I was eating, I noticed the patrol cars still parked in front of my car in the parking lot and peering inside.

I finished eating, and they were still there. I verified that I could leave, and I had to weave around the cruisers. Overall, it went pretty smoothly. At the beginning, they were incredibly hostile, but at the end after I explained what we were doing, they became a lot nicer, one even commenting on how much he liked El Al Airlines after I told him I had missed the 747.

All in all, this encounter didn't seem that different from previous police encounters to spotters. Everything that I've read on here stood true, that courteousness always goes a long way, to have ID, and to explain the hobby.

Did I break a record with three cruisers? :P

moose135
12-27-2009, 09:33 PM
What time was this? Eric and I were there much of the afternoon - I got there just before 1pm, and Eric was already there. We sat there until somewhere around 3:30, when we went over to Inwood Park to miss the Aeromexico B777. I headed home after that, I don't know what Eric did, but the whole time we were at Firestone, I saw a couple of NCPD patrol cars in the lot, but none came anywhere near us.


Did I break a record with three cruisers? :P
No. In addition to more than three patrol cars at one stop, I've had one of these roll on me at JFK:

http://www.moose135photography.com/photos/112768706_yzFc9-L.jpg

PhilDernerJr
12-27-2009, 09:51 PM
Tom T and I had 6 NAssua cops surround us in about 15 seconds in Costco some years back. GOTCHA BEAT!

Those things happen on occasion, especially after attakcs or attempts. It is a shame but it sounds like both you and the police handled the situaiton appropriately overall. Not a fan of entering your car without permission though.

Gerard
12-27-2009, 09:56 PM
After I got my camera and as I showed him the photos, I noticed that the other officers were going through my car, including the center console, beneath the seats, and in the glove compartment. One even opened the trunk from inside the car. I never consented to a search of my car. I don't mind; I just thought it was weird.

Wierd or illegal?
Legal experts here, is this allowable? Did they have proper cause to search the car?
Of course if you complain they can decide to be real pains figuring you dont know your rights.
Seems like already they are using the recent events to ramp up "harassment" of spotters. Hopefully
this was just isolated.
Of course maybe you being from Joisey had something to do with it. :lol:

fk6065
12-27-2009, 10:04 PM
They had no right to search your car and especially to open your trunk. They can look in your car through the windows, open window or open door and if they see something in plain sight then they can enter the car without your permission.

Otherwise your rights were violated. I realize you were making things go smoothly and I am glad it worked out for you.

PhilDernerJr
12-27-2009, 10:13 PM
Though I agree that what happened wasn't very constitutional, any resistance by us would probably be met with us being banned from the parking lot altogether since it's private property and we don't have a right to be there to begin with.

I agree it's I would hope that none of us go to spotting with anything illegal in the car and would all be willing to cooperate and agree to a search if the police asked. I would prefer to be asked first as well. But in this case it's almost a tradeoff I think; "Search my car, but let me spot". At this point that's the nature of our environment.

kc2aqg
12-27-2009, 10:44 PM
But in this case it's almost a tradeoff I think; "Search my car, but let me spot". At this point that's the nature of our environment.

I have to disagree with you there Phil, I think that is exactly how we rationalize this to ourselves as spotters since obviously we want to continue to spot. They could have just as easily requested those guys to leave the premesis. Just a few weeks ago after Thanksgiving, Nick, myself, and others were booted by an NCPD Auxilary officer with a chip on his shoulder after no search or anything. I am pretty sure he didn't even request ID's (or if he did, I didn't have to give mine). I am thinking that they are getting a little stricter at Firestone and even more so with the recent incidents, which is definitely expected.

And while I agree that obviously compliance with LEO's is always the best option, it was not right of the officers to enter the vehicle without consent or requesting permission. Obviously it's easy for these scenario's to turn hostile if we show any form of resistance, but I think that they would have been within their rights to question the officer regarding the search - even if there's nothing to hide and consent is given thereafter.

But who knows, I could be wrong anyway, but that's how it seems to me...

PhilDernerJr
12-27-2009, 11:01 PM
I just think that by saying "Excuse me, Officer, I didn't give consent to search my car yet," is a big risk for ruining a spotting location altogether. Just a risk that I am personally not willing to take.

I am one person that is very liberal with searching. I feel that I have nothing to hide and cops can search anytime of mine at any time. I do respect those that feel otherwise because we have those rights as Americans. So this is something that I don't necessarily urge to other spotters. All I can ask, as a spotter, is that people follow the law, respect authority and keep other spotters in mind when it comes to the consequences of your actions.

NIKV69
12-28-2009, 01:18 AM
I hate to be sounding like a dick here but are you sure you are telling us the whole truth? I know many guys in the 4th and just am finding it a little hard to believe they would not only search a car without asking consent but go as far to pop the trunk and go through that as well. I know we are fresh off a thwarted terrorist attack but this is a little much. There is still such a thing as procedure. I am not a laywer but I would think LO would need a little more than a camera or out of town plates to start that thorough a search without asking consent. This is scary.


is a big risk for ruining a spotting location altogether. Just a risk that I am personally not willing to take.



I wish we had some of this concern before we lost the cargo area due to actions of local spotters. I would tend to agree but I think we still should stand up for our rights to a point. Especially when we are talking about having officers just going through our cars like this without asking consent.

heeshung
12-28-2009, 01:54 AM
I'm not holding anything back, or, on the contrary, exaggerating at all when I say I was never notified that my car was going to be searched. I was literally talking to the other officer and then I turn around and see the two other officers leaning inside.

I paused my conversation with the first officer to briefly turn around and look at my car being rummaged through before returning to the conversation. No mention of the search was ever mentioned by ANY officer.

I never said anything about it, nor did they. I do, however, agree with Phil. I only occurred to me afterward that they shouldn't have been able to look through my car. Then again, I wanted as little trouble as possible, and I had no problem at all with my car being searched. If they had asked for permission, I would've had no hesitation granting it.

NIKV69
12-28-2009, 09:29 AM
I'm not holding anything back, or, on the contrary, exaggerating at all when I say I was never notified that my car was going to be searched. I was literally talking to the other officer and then I turn around and see the two other officers leaning inside.

I paused my conversation with the first officer to briefly turn around and look at my car being rummaged through before returning to the conversation. No mention of the search was ever mentioned by ANY officer.

I never said anything about it, nor did they. I do, however, agree with Phil. I only occurred to me afterward that they shouldn't have been able to look through my car. Then again, I wanted as little trouble as possible, and I had no problem at all with my car being searched. If they had asked for permission, I would've had no hesitation granting it.

I agree, though I am floored that any LO agency would just instantly go to your car without being upfront about it and asking persmission first. No matter what the circumstances or terror threat level we still have rights as citizens of this country and the state of NY. An officer could have simply said that they wanted consent to search the vehicle due to the recent events at DTW.

T-Bird76
12-28-2009, 03:35 PM
Something to ponder....after an attempted bombing of a U.S bound jetliner one has to assume the Police are going to act a bit more diligent in their encounters with people around airports. The same thing happened right after Richard Reid tried the shoe thing. I'd give it a few weeks so things calm down a bit.

Gerard
12-28-2009, 05:58 PM
[quote="T-Bird76"]Something to ponder....after an attempted bombing of a U.S bound jetliner one has to assume the Police are going to act a bit more diligent in their encounters with people around airports.

I agree and understand but the problem I have is them doing it without the consent of the owner of the
vehicle. I mean they didnt even say they were going to do it they just went at it. He had no idea until he
turned and saw them rummaging through his car. I guess they could use the excuse he was acting suspiciously
on private property but there are ways of doing things correctly and not acting like this is a police state.
And I understand that as spotters you dont want to start any problems that might get you booted from a
prime location in the future but you dont need to have your rights violated either. Hopefully it is a one time
incident and next time they use better judgement.
Hey maybe they are Al Roker fans!! :)