Bigphilnyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 4073 posts, RR: 56 Posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4982 times:
I was at JFK all day with several folks, but when everyone left mid-afternoon, it was just Art Brett, his wife Anne, and myself enjoying JFK.
We were at one location next to a field for 13L and R arrivals when a couple of Soccer Moms pulled up to us and asked us why we were taking photos of airplanes. We explained our actions and they seemed somewhat satisfied with the answer and they left.
The Bretts and I then changed locations (to Bayswater, two miles or so away), and after a minute, some guy walked up to us. It turns out someone saw us at our previous location and called this man (who said he was ground secuirty for JetBlue), and we were followed to our current spot (in a public state park). We again explained our actions and he smiled, seemed pleased and left after I gave him my business card, saying he was at first worried and now felt a lot better. Weird but, whatever.
About 20 minutes later, four police officers (NYPD) showed up and start asking us the usual questions. We get questioned every now and again, so it's no big deal, we know the drill. In these post-9/11 times, of course people can get a little worried or concerned when people are seen taking pics of airplanes.
Usually it's just them checking our ID, running our name through the system for warrants and to see if we are on any watch-lists and then leaving us be.
This time, they escorted all three of us to the park's front gate, where another polic SUV showed up with a Seargant, where we were told to get into a police van, one officer driving my Art's truck (which was my ride for the day) to the precinct.
I was taken in first and sat down with a detective. He asked me a whole bunch of questions, and I provided him with websites that he could see examples of my work and what we do. After a while, he became pleased with the answers and then, the three of us were released, with Art and Anne not being questioned.
This was my second time being detained. The first one, last year, was a lot tougher and a lot longer with a lot more attitude and attempted intimidation from Suffolk County Police (if you folks remember).
Personally, I just hate it that when I want to go out and practice my very legal passion, that I have to look over my shoulder as though I'm a criminal I my own hometown where I pay my taxes. Where when I go back to a location, the local fishermen near the water who know our faces and wave to me look at me and my fdriends as "the people who get dragged away by cops in a van with lights and sirens on" (yes, the flashing lights were on, with the cops "woop woop"-ing through intersections.
It is unfortunate that the same place that I once enlisted in the US Navy to defend my land from acts like terrorism, is where I get accused and treated like a terrorist myself.
It is unfortunate that this has to happen these days. But such is the modern life of a photographer post-9/11, aviation or not.
JohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1620 posts, RR: 3 Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4891 times:
Scary story, Phil. I've been out to Bayswater on a number of occasions and it's very disturbing to hear of your treatment in light of the fact that you were in a state park, which is VERY public property. Bayswater is one JFK location I wouldn't expect to be hassled - Costco is private property, the soccer field on the 22L approach is, I believe, part of a school and it wouldn't surprise me to get hassled there. But not Bayswater. Sounds like you handled the situation very well. It would have been difficult to keep from losing one's temper in a situation like that.
SuperHornet From United States of America, joined May 2004, 89 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4850 times:
I have empathy for you experience and have been question and asked to move from different locations several times. My suggestion is and this is what I did is that the next time you are confronted volunteer for a security check if the police will give you some kind of badge. I had to do this and it has worked out pretty well even when I am approached by security that I don’t know. If you at least have some names of other security people that will vouch for you they generally leave you alone. Realistically in places like NYC, LA and around military bases and facilities it is naive to believe that these areas are not be watched however if you can show the locals that you are a long time resident with no criminal record or extreme political affiliations. I would start to look for constructive means to resolve this issue with your local authorities. If they are not helpful or understanding remember they have to have probable cause to detain you and it doesn’t sound like they had that cause particularly if you where in a public park. If they continue to harass you I would take it to the news media and let the authorities and media slug it out your right to peaceful assembly. I suspect you can constructively resolve this issue (I was able to) and won’t have to go to the extreme which is protecting your constitutional right.
QantasA332 From Australia, joined Dec 2003, 1500 posts, RR: 35 Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4851 times:
How annoying! Is it too much for authorities around the world to simply have people apply for recognition of being aviation enthusiasts, screen them, do whatever checks are necessary, and issue some sort of I.D.? That would probably be the ideal (but rather unrealistic) solution to stop continual and unfair heckling...
JeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 53 Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4831 times:
"Is it too much for authorities around the world to simply have people apply for recognition of being aviation enthusiasts, screen them, do whatever checks are necessary, and issue some sort of I.D.? "
Why should they go to the expense? Or are you willing to pay the few thousand dollars a simple background check can cost? And, what would stop a terrorist from applying for one?
QantasA332 From Australia, joined Dec 2003, 1500 posts, RR: 35 Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4816 times:
I understand that something like that would be unfeasible (hence my saying so in the last sentence of my above post), but annoyances like that shouldn't just keep happening! At some point aviation enthusiasts have to be recognized, somehow...
Cicadajet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4823 times:
Sounds like fun Phil.
Thats what you get for taking pictures of "soft targets".
Like NJ Gov McGreevey says in those ads all over NY radio everyday, "if you see something suspicous", or "even if you just have a feeling in your gut" call the cops.
Pretty serious stuff.. I'm sure his lover thought so too, put in charge of "homeland security" at taxpayer expense.
Kerry promises even tougher homeland security... wonder if they'll get around to screening air cargo or inspecting more than 5% of shipping containers, increasing NEST to sufficient levels, or realizing chain link fences are feeble protection at airports, before every spotter and rail fan is detained in our area.
One can only hope....
They were standing in a public place, took a picture of a building, a plane happened to be flying by to LGA. The picture looks like an aircraft flying into building. I guess.
Cops come by and say you can't take pictures (of anything any time
anywhere anymore?) and before you know it, because of that picture,
they are detained by all kinds of polite people from all kinds of
enforcement/security agencies . . . for hours . . . and in the end they have to
turn over their CF cards or delete ALL their digital photos.
Klgaviation From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 243 posts, RR: 4 Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4678 times:
I've stopped spotting on my own for that very reason. But isn't that what they want??
I think it's time for NYers to get permits or some other widely recognized ID card that'll show everything cops would need to know as well as what exactly we ARE doing. A confrontation would never need to go past the standard questions. Anyone ever pursued this?
There is a fine line between a picture and a photo. The latter seems to be disappearing.
Ryan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1451 posts, RR: 1 Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4664 times:
After hearing this it shows that cops sometimes don't use the stuff between their ears.
Stories like this have put me off coming anywhere near america.
Sure they have to check what you are doing, but this is extreme. I can make people resent authority.
Futterman From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1301 posts, RR: 49 Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 4633 times:
One thing that still seems odd to me is why you had to be publically embarassed by riding in a police van to the precinct, when all they wanted to do was ask some questions--which could've very easily been done on the side of the road.
Anyone ever pursued this?
I'm against working out an ID card program--gives them too much control of 'our' turf.
Aagold From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 542 posts, RR: 52 Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4594 times:
What fun your adopted (aviation) Dad and you can have in a day But, did you have to expose your adopted (aviation) Mom to the embarrassing and humiliating experience of being escorted (not hauled) off to the local precinct? You should be ashamed of yourself. And just to get even with you I'm going to show you the best picture from the day. And no one can accuse me of a plug fest since it's not on A.net and never will be
Now I know you're wondering why that's the best picture from the day. Remember when the officers asked us to accompany them to the park entrance to meet with their sergeant for a few questions? ... that was just before they asked up to hop in the van and cruise to the precinct with the "woop-woop" going through the intersections and that woman officer driving my SUV. I went over to one of the officers, the nicer one, pointed down to the end of 13R where the Air France Cargo 74 was lining up for departure and asked if we could wait a minute so that we could get the photo of that aircraft departing. I believe I told him we'd been waiting specifically for that one. Of course the response was an immediate "no" with no real thought at all as I expected. So I packed up some stuff, gathered my belongings and checked that Anne had gathered hers too ... killing enough time to make sure the AF started rolling. About the same time we started walking and I kept turning and looking at her progress along 13R. At the appropriate time I stopped, turned and aimed my camera at her as he was climbing out. With the extreme low light she had trouble focusing and maybe my being a bit apprehensive with the officers telling me to keep walking I still got the picture. Of course it's blurry as all Hell, but who cares. I stopped and took the picture which was well within my rights.
You guys can feel free to click on it and I assure you I'll keep jumping the imaginary hit counter in my head. LOL
Tappan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1538 posts, RR: 46 Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4569 times:
Sorry to hear it Phil/Art etc....
This is the reason I have only uploaded 180 ish pics......Maybe just 12 in the last 3 yrs (since 9/11) I am sick of the stares and glares of neighbors and then a smile and then 10 minutes later I meet a cop or two :-(
G-d damn Osama.....
and Osama if you're reading this, you're a peice sh*%
Liskatze From Germany, joined Jun 2004, 44 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4568 times:
it's really a pity you couldn't get this picture in the usual way. Two weeks ago I've been there at Bayfront Park together with you and three other photographers, couldn't imagine that there will be problems like this a few days later.
In Los Angeles in August there was a similar situation with another photographer on Imperial Hill who was treatened by Homeland Security in a unbelievable manner.
I'll come back to the US in a few days, stay in ORD for a longer time and thought about buying a ticket to JFK for a day or two, the pics I've taken there at the soccerfield and Bayfront Park together with you were fascinating. But now, after reading this experiences, I'll give up this idea.
Miamix707 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4518 times:
Sad to hear law enforcement has so much power, yet you dont have to be very smart to be a cop. The funny thing is none of these guys heralded as heroes will ever be able to stop a terrorist, but whatever.. great job guys for bothering aircraft photographers, keep it up.
Good one Art, good one. You did what you had to do.
Klgaviation From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 243 posts, RR: 4 Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4338 times:
I still go for the ID card... in reality it'd make our lives a whole lot easier AND the cops lives easier.
I'm against working out an ID card program--gives them too much control of 'our' turf.
Well, they already have the control, so in my opinion we should make the best out of it. I wouldn't mind having to "punch in and punch out" whenever I was going out. That's why I love TNCM so much... NO authorities! Finally somewhere where I don't have to constantly scan for police or worried eyes. LAX was the same deal. I'd be at the In n' Out and I'd see a parade of byciclist cops going by and would immediately stuff my camera in it's bag.
All I want is worry free spotting.
There is a fine line between a picture and a photo. The latter seems to be disappearing.
Lga777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1101 posts, RR: 22 Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4325 times:
Phil, Art,and Anne, as others have mentioned here. very sorry to hear of your experience ! I do have two questions, the first is once you where released did the officers/detectives say anything about it was okay to go back and resume shooting or was that not mentioned ?
The second question is as they now have information on you guys. if questioned in the future by officers from that precinct would the process be minimized I hope ?
Regards Ron Peel
25 Speedbird2025: Man sorry to hear about your story Phil. It sure is unfortunate that spotters like us can't enjoy our hobby as we used to. HPD is always on the look o
26 Bigphilnyc: As for us going back, the detective that questioned me gave both myself and Art his card, and told us that when returning to that spot (Bayswater), to
27 Mirrodie: Hey Ron et al, Would the process be minimilized?? Well, considering what Phil and I went through for THREE hours with SCPD, on July 4, 2002, you would
28 Aagold: Ron, by the time we left the park the Sun was already down to the point where we were shooting on fumes. So asking to go back was not even a possibili
29 MartinairYYZ: One of the most ignorant statements I have read on here in a long time. Huh?!? Maybe not tottaly well worded but I do agree that if a policeman doesn'
30 Danny: A friend of mine from Poland was visiting US few weeks ago. He went out for 22L approach at JFK where after 20 minutes got detained by 3 agents in unm
31 Patroni: @ Danny: Everything ended up well and they gave him a ride back to an airport where he took a plane back to Europe. Sorry, could you please clarify th
32 Vir380: Funny ...... same pretty much the same happened to me today .... only at PVD ! Stood in the open ... on a main road when we were maybe reported by som
33 Miamix707: Eric, I think you know me better then that. I don't take very many things personally, especially anything from here. Everyone is entitled to an opinio
34 JeffM: "haha why? were u turned down applying to be a cop? " Haha. No. I did laugh seeing the word "genius" in any post of yours though. But I know and have
35 Cancidas: jeez, that's a first! usually NYPD is a lot calmer. maybe they're still hyped up from the RNC. anyhow, glad you all came out ok from this. also, i hop
36 Bigphilnyc: Yes, NYPD is usually MUCH more calm. Keep in mind if was the day after the three year anniversary of 9/11. I think the situation could have been handl
37 DLKAPA: I hope the next time you need one, they are all studying. Funny cause one of the guys my sister works with told me and I quote: "The next time you nee
38 Danny: "Sorry, could you please clarify that? a) Was he anyway on his way home or b) did he wish to leave the USA as fast as possible after this encounter or
39 JohnJ: "Funny ...... same pretty much the same happened to me today .... only at PVD !" PVD is (or was....) the one bastion of sanity in this new world order
40 FlyingColors: Phil, Its time to turn up the heat just one notch... Sorry folks but in light of the FACTS here the above party was violated of their civil liberties.
41 JeffM: "Sorry folks but in light of the FACTS here the above party was violated of their civil liberties." Mike, do you know the "facts" as you say from the
42 Aagold: I almost hate to really get involved in this as I know someone will always have some alternate opinion and start to take the thread to a place it does
43 Miamix707: as long as you have smart****s such as JeffM who want to make excuses for the many bored, unpolite officers out there in need of better human relation
44 Tappan: Didn''t they see Phil in the Concorde video?
45 JeffM: "make excuses for the many bored, unpolite officers out there in need of better human relation skills and information about the aviation hobby.. " Don
46 Bigphilnyc: Yes, we need to learn exactly what our rights are, and what we cna do in these situaitons. Something certainly needs to be done so that we don't have
47 Miamix707: In addition while 5 plus cops wasted time and resources: how many drug dealers,hookers and child abusers were passed twice along Mott Ave during this
48 Jakbar: Art (and others)... Here's some light reading for you: http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=12126&c=207 After you've made your way throu
49 FlyingColors: Art and Mario, very good points and rants here, yet sad. Well guys looks like we need to sacrifice a spotting day/slide show or two to seriously pinpo
50 JohnJ: Having stumbled across Art and crew at Bayswater one day recently, I can attest to his statement of what the officers saw when they arrived. It's righ
51 Aagold: Mario wrote ... exactly, Mike you have the right idea. I know it's difficult but when one gets stopped, take a deep breath, compose yourself and refre
52 Miamix707: Art I don't come off as a "know it all citizen" if a police officer comes up to me and asks questions. In fact I try to be as friendly and courteous a
53 Bigphilnyc: Miamix707, I think you're taking it a bit far, and that you don't have an understnading of how law enforcement operates. If the police DIDN'T check us
54 FlyingColors: All I can say for sure is, we have to try. John J does have a good idea, it may inspire. Sounds constructive. And sure is better then just sitting on
55 Mirrodie: well, great points are all being raised, but how about we all take it to the next step? I mean, we tlak about an ID card, but how about drumming up su
56 JeffM: Sure, the I.D. card idea sounds wonderful. I approached our Deputy Director of Aviation Security with the idea months ago while we were in the heat of
57 Ryan h: As someone said earlier that he was out with a british guy and after their encounter the british guy would have gone home vowing never to return. So w
58 Sulman: It's a sad and tragic state of affairs, but I fear it won't stop until people stop letting paranoia about terrorism become today's 'reds under the bed
59 Henks: Wow... I guess it was shortly after I left!! It would have been interesting to be there and talk to the officers etc. (Well, I might be the only one f
60 Aagold: Now, onto the lighter side ... In spite of how the day ended we did have a good day and one of the highlights was getting to meet Henrick. He joined A
61 JohnJ: Ah, but I bet the 150 other people were fishermen, not photogs. Here's another idea: do something akin to what the NYC subway riders did to protest th
62 Miamix707: Wow now those are 4 mean looking terrorist lookalikes Miamix707, I think you're taking it a bit far, and that you don't have an understnading of how l
63 Bigphilnyc: I dont think you understand the obligation that the officers have to investigate, or you're really that oblivious to how suspicious our hobby DOES loo
64 SuperHornet: I believe enough has been said on this topic now you may take construct to help alleviate this issue if it truly is a problem. I would start by being
65 JeffM: "I believe enough has been said on this topic .." Obviously others don't share your belief. I'm sure the New York City Council members and the NYPD wi
66 Cancidas: mike, you're very right about thier rights being violated. the problem is that no one is going to care about this situation. taking it to court is a w
67 USAir1489: I was out at EWR Tuesday night with a friend of mine (he wanted to show me the Ikea spot). I was shooting video and he was taking stills and some vide
68 Dahlgardo: This being my first post to this forum, I must apologies for the negative content. The incident described above strikes me as very sad. Either the off
69 Aagold: Some good points have been raised by many in this thread. And I believe some were constructive. I know, for one, I intend to brush up on my legal righ
70 Bigphilnyc: Yes, I do agree that, if there was proper briefing among the NYPD about how to deal with such suspicious scenarios, that once our IDs were checked tha
71 Visityyj: Most of us hung up our cameras for a decent and sensible interval following 9/11/01, but sadly the scenario related here has been repeated many, many
72 Dehowie: Its a pretty simple fact that many Police all over the world rely upon threat and intimidation to get there way. "You cant film here"."Photography not
73 Bigphilnyc: People keep asking me (by IM and email) why I don't sue because I felt humiliated and embarrassed to be escorted by several police in front of a group
74 Miamix707: Or hobby DOES look very suspicious, and I have no problem with them checking my ID. Maybe it's just a New York thing, but 9/11 was a big event and peo
75 JeffM: "Sarcasm and all, I know that you know what that poster wrote is true, and as an aviation enthusiast or whatever you are in this site for, you dont ma
76 Bigphilnyc: Miami, I wasn't bitching. I was sharing an experience that affects us all as enthusiasts and photographers. I don't like your tone. If you don't like
77 Klgaviation: Let me rephrase what I think Phil's trying to say because I have semi-similiar views. It's the duty of Americans to report suspicious activity or to a
78 Miamix707: You don't know a thing about me, and you never will. Yet you feel compelled to suggest a new profession for me? LOL... all sarcasm aside, you can ki$s
79 Aagold: I just want to add ... I don't think Jeff was questioning our side of the story, he was only stating that we hadn't described the complete story step-
80 JeffM: "Funny to watch a 40 year old sink to the middle school level .." Well, as I continue to deal with your remarks, I may just have to keep matching them
81 Bigphilnyc: Miami, You're right. My tone was not much better, if not worse, than yours. My apologies for coming off like that to you. I may disagree with your vie
82 NorthStarDC4M: i think a few people need to understand something: A Police Officer's 1st duty is to PROTECT THE PUBLIC GOOD, not enforce the law, at least in most of
83 JeffM: "The US frankly is going far too far in many of its security areas.." I'm sure that statement sits well with the families of the 3,000 or so that died
84 NorthStarDC4M: Jeff, if you'd read the entire statement you'd realise thats NOT what i said: The US frankly is going far too far in many of its security areas. This
85 SuperHornet: “If you think writing a few letters or staging some type of protest will make a difference, have at it. I am more of a realist. I had the same thing
86 JeffM: "The US frankly is going far too far in many of its security areas. " Peter, this sounds like your opinion, unless you have some irrefutable facts to
87 JumboJet: I cant find the article, but just the other day, the port authority police arrested a man who had his van, parked on public property,near JFK, loaded
88 Flybhx: Jumbojet, I'm a Police Officer in the UK but I can't say that I've had any problems with the Security folks/Police in the US. The only run in was with
89 FlyingColors: Jumbojet, your experience is a fine example of how "out of whacked" the ID system of identification is. And just what would the authorities do with yo
90 Jakbar: don't forget, that other precious commodity, TIME. Your time was squandered. Wasted, for nothing. Simple questioning and ID checks in the park would h
91 FlyingColors: Jakbar, Your story is an excellent example of what should happen these days! I would have no problem with the above experience. Glad you and your part