Police question my photography

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by m II, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. m II

    m II Guest

    I was parked in a small shopping centre today. It was a nice day, around
    noon. The sun was shining off some of the commercial signs and the
    stripes of glare between the different coloured lettering made an
    interesting shot.

    I took a few pictures from the car window and put the camera down on the
    passenger seat. Then, I sat there for about four or five minutes,
    fumbling with some old gas receipts and papers that were cluttering up
    the small dash storage spaces.

    A police van pulled up and stopped behind the car, presumably to prevent
    my escape. He gets out and walks over to my window. He asks me if I've
    been taking pictures. I didn't know what to say. I reached over and
    picked up the camera to show him and said "Yes, the lighting was good".

    I asked what the problem was. He told me that someone had phoned the
    local police office and reported me for taking pictures. The car is a
    newer Toyota, with no bizarre characteristics to draw attention to it.
    I don't have horns. That camera was the sole reason for being reported

    He checked my license, registration, insurance..the works.

    Is this what the world is coming to? I'm still mad and I understand
    Ashcroft wants to make it worse.

    m II, Apr 25, 2004
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  2. m II

    PCportinc Guest

    interesting. Did the police write a summons? a report? post ovet at legal ngs.
    PCportinc, Apr 25, 2004
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  3. m II

    m II Guest

    No summons. He called in my licence number and drivers information.
    After head office got back to him he made a note in his little book and
    returned all my papers. Then he left.

    I just sat there, not quite believing what had happened. Heck..even if I
    wore a turban I'd be PO'd

    m II, Apr 25, 2004
  4. Yes. This is what the world is coming to. It's a curious phenomenon
    concerning the totalitarian impulse. Unchecked governments inevitably
    increase a certain activity and simultaneously restrict the same
    activity by citizens.

    Government: more surveillance cameras in public.
    You: more hassle and restrictions on photography in public.

    (In *this* particular case you may not have been on public property. I'm
    sure others will point that out. The general principle still applies:
    see bottom of page http://www.unclaimedmysteries.net/irmingham00.php for
    more, with a twist that a private security officer tried to exert his
    authority over me on public ground.)

    Government: accumulates more and more information about citizens.
    You: more restrictions on information about government.

    And so on. Our descendants will rightfully deride us for not waking up
    sooner, but at this point I'd be happy if we had descendants, period.

    My only advice is to download the "photographer's right" legal
    cheatsheet from ... http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm is the main page.

    Be careful out there. The screwheads are In Charge.

    Unclaimed Mysteries, Apr 25, 2004
  5. m II

    Lars Leber Guest

    I never had the police asking me what I was doing but I read
    more and more stories about people who are asked to leave/
    show ID/ ... :(
    Lars Leber, Apr 25, 2004
  6. m II

    Dave Cohen Guest

    From the cop's point of view, having been called by a citizen he had no
    choice but to check you out. Had the situation not been an innocent one and
    the worst took place, that cop would be in sorry shape if he hadn't.
    Hopefully the guy was polite and professional.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Apr 25, 2004
  7. Too bad all your "papers" checked out....If you had received a summons
    (like, for an out of date license, or something) you could plead not guilty
    on the basis of a violation of your fourth amendment rights. (unreasonable
    search) Of course, this would be a PITA for you, but then, securing/keeping
    our rights has never been easy....
    William Graham, Apr 25, 2004
  8. m II

    Ron Hunter Guest

    I don't think you can blame Ashcroft for this. The cop probably doesn't
    know him from Adam. What you CAN blame is an atmosphere of fear
    engendered by a violent, and cowardly, attack by people who hate us for
    what we have, and what they have not.
    You don't say what, if anything, the officer told you, or what the
    outcome was, but wouldn't you rather he check out suspicious activity
    rather than have an attack on the mall?
    Ron Hunter, Apr 25, 2004
  9. I do a lot of photography in downtown Fort Worth and Dallas both from
    my car window and on foot and have never been stopped..

    Colyn Goodson


    Camera manuals and mercury battery fix
    Minolta shooter (Colyn), Apr 25, 2004
  10. m II

    columbotrek Guest

    Part of the price of being at war. During WWII amateur radio operators
    were not allowed on the air. Any one who looked like the enemy was
    interned. Private pilots were grounded. You could not buy goods
    without government issued stamps. So I don't think that being asked to
    id yourself for loitering is really not all that bad. Is it better to
    loose a building or two each week. Or we could give in to the Muslims.
    Worship their Alla 5 times a day or die. Yes, now that sounds like

    "How can there possibly be liberty and justice for all, when, in the
    name of justice, people claim rights to income, food, housing,
    education, health care, transportation, ad infinitum? We can't. Positive
    rights to receive such things, absent an obligation to earn them, must
    violate others' liberty, by taking some of their income without their
    consent. They are really just wishes, convertible into benefits for some
    only by employing the government to violate others' rights not to have
    what is theirs taken." --Pepperdine Professor Gary Galles
    columbotrek, Apr 25, 2004
  11. m II

    m II Guest

    He was. I've always assumed they had to have a good reason to request
    identification. This was in broad daylight, with no suspicious activity
    of any kind going on.

    It's not the inconvenience that bothers me..it's the deeper implications
    of what is now apparently normal intrusive behaviour by civil servants.

    m II, Apr 25, 2004
  12. m II

    m II Guest

    This was my very first time and I sure hope it's the last. It felt like
    a violation of person.

    m II, Apr 25, 2004
  13. I agree..

    All Americans are to blame because we became complacent. Instead of
    blaming ourselvies, we want to blame the Government..

    Colyn Goodson


    Camera manuals and mercury battery fix
    Minolta shooter (Colyn), Apr 25, 2004
  14. m II

    Dale7 Guest

    What an idiot! What on earth does Ashcroft have to do with this? Maybe you
    are a pervert or a terrorist. That's why we have a police force, to protect
    innocent people. People are laying down their lives every day to defend our
    liberty. Are you some kind of wimp who would rather just hand everything
    over to the Muslim terrorists and sexual predators? BTW, did it really hurt
    you to show your ID? Do you have something to hide?
    Dale7, Apr 25, 2004
  15. Yes.....At 68, I remember WW-II and the loss of quite a few "liberties" we
    suffered during those years. The same talk about it existed then, but on a
    lesser scale, because the threat was more obvious than it is today. I know
    that this will blow over too, but I understand the complaints from the
    younger people.....And even I don't see any end to it, since terrorism is
    going to be with us in some form or other for a long time. - I wish I knew
    the answer, but it seems that we just can't have our cake and eat it
    William Graham, Apr 25, 2004
  16. m II

    Sherry Guest

    Strange, but it's been awhile since I've read this newsgroup and I
    remember seeing something *very* similar to this message. I wondered
    the validity of that message then, as I wonder now.

    I cannot imagine being questioned because you were taking pictures, but
    I can imagine being questioned because you were taking pictures from
    *inside* the car (don't most people get *out* of the car to take pics?
    I do. I wander around a bit looking for the perfect angle and framing)
    and then lingering for sometime afterwards. I would applaud a
    concerned citizen for being diligent enough to report suspicious
    activity. I'm sure they thought you were casing the shopping center,
    who knows? That would be my suspicion. A thief wouldn't normally use a
    car that would stand out. A nice middle-class Toyota would be a
    perfect car for one.

    Sometimes being *open* about what you're doing is the best way to avoid
    being questioned.

    BTW, were you in the States when you took these pictures? If not, what
    would Ashcroft have to do with you taking pictures in Canada?

    Sherry, Apr 25, 2004
  17. During WW-II, the French underground had a saying: "Walk straight into the
    heart of danger, for there you will find safety."
    William Graham, Apr 25, 2004
  18. m II

    Mike Guest

    I've been stopped and have been asked to give up my film-- in a public
    place. I complied not knowing any better at the time. Next time I will not
    Mike, Apr 25, 2004
  19. m II

    Mike Guest

    Have you read the Patriot Act?
    Mike, Apr 25, 2004
  20. Whenever you are asked to give up your film by a policeman ask him/her
    to have the shift supervisor check into the legality of taking your

    Colyn Goodson


    Camera manuals and mercury battery fix
    Minolta shooter (Colyn), Apr 25, 2004
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