WNfan
Topic Author
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:27 am

Hassled While Spotting At ORD.

Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:36 pm

On Saturday, July 19 my wife and I enjoyed watching and photographing aircraft at O'Hare. We went to St Johannes Cemetery, which has a great view of aircraft landing on 9R, except for the two big fences that make photography difficult.

After about an hour of watching, the winds shifted, and the controllers routed incoming flights the other direction onto 27L. So we drove over to that great spot near Lawrence and Mannheim to enjoy incoming aircraft. I'm pretty sure it's a public road, as there are "no parking 2am-6am" signs along it. In the past I have seen Schiller Park PD drive by and not hassle spotters at all.

Well last Saturday, after we had been there a few minutes, a guy in an unmarked vehicle came up to us with blue and red lights flashing. He stepped out of the car and was wearing a Chicago Police shirt. He asked us for our identification, and we complied. He then logged our identities and the license plate of our car, as well as our home phone number. After a few minutes, he was done, and we asked what was going to happen. He said that people who "show and interest in and are photographing" airplanes get their identities logged and that "if anything ever happened to an incoming plane" then the FBI would call us.

I have some general questions to ask, including:

1) Who decided to record the identities of spotters at O'Hare?

2) Will this affect me when it comes to flying in any way? I know the TSA has a list of passengers, and that they are being very secretive about it. Am I going to be added to the list? I'm flying out of MDW on Friday and if something out of the ordinary happens, I'll report it here.

3) Do I now have a file with the FBI? Or perhaps if I did earlier, is this now appended to it? I have to think the answer is yes.

4) Is this really Chicago? It seems to me like the land might actually be in Schiller Park. And if that's the case, does the CPD have any authority to do what this guy did?

5) And what if I hadn't complied? I was thinking of maybe parking at the office building just south of the spotting area and riding my bicycle the few hundred feet to the spot, and intentionally leaving my wallet in the car. What would happen if I refused to identify myself?

6) And was I breaking any sort of law? I have to think I wasn't.

I'm looking forward to comments from the group. Thanks.

ps To add insult to injury, our photos from that day were rejected here at airliners.net  Sad That darned fence at the cemetery is too high.
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Hassled While Spotting At ORD.

Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:46 pm

you are probably on file with chicago pd, doubtful the fbi would care yet. i think what theyre doing is a good idea. you weren't hassled right?
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
LOT767-300ER
Posts: 8526
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 12:57 pm

RE: Hassled While Spotting At ORD.

Mon Aug 11, 2003 6:37 pm

Ill fill you in since I go to 27L practically 4-5x weekly (Away for summer though in Europe Big grin )

Indeed you can get some good shots there. Check under PolishAir42 if you want to see some of my examples.

Ill fill you in on this a bit further.

1. The CPD and other PDs check your plates to see if you have any tickets or pending warrants on you or anything like that. That is the major reason. The second is they compile a database of plates that they see along the airport alot. You can be sure that your now listed but have no worries. Next time its less likely a cop will come out and talk to you since he already knows what your doing.

2. Nothing will happen. My plates have been checked and my name taken down 100 million times. I just flew out of ORD to Europe on the 18th of June, no worries dude.

3. I seriously doubt it. You havent even broken the law, if you did something stupid then most likely yes.

4. Is it Chicago? Yes, It is Chicago up to the Interstate you see by 27L.

5. Not a good idea to resist the cops (I was almost arrested, before it clicked into me that it wouldnt work)

6. No you werent. Next time you can tell the police that directly like I have many times.

You really shouldnt be hassled at 27L. Hell Ive had friendly chats with the Schiller Park PD and the FAA there. Came with my dog once and a FAA Jeep stopped by me, thought I was gonna get shite. As it came out the guy just wanted to know if Goldens make good pets because his daughter wanted one..

 
tekelberry
Posts: 1309
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 6:37 am

RE: Hassled While Spotting At ORD.

Mon Aug 11, 2003 6:52 pm

5. Not a good idea to resist the cops (I was almost arrested, before it clicked into me that it wouldnt work)

They had nothing to arrest you for. Resisting arrest is one thing, but they weren't arresting you. Where are our civil liberties going in this country?
 
DoorsToManual
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:28 am

RE: Hassled While Spotting At ORD.

Mon Aug 11, 2003 6:58 pm

Maybe next time attach a huge adhesive to the back window of your auto PLANE SPOTTER - DON'T POOP IN YOUR PANTS

 Big thumbs up
 
IwantaBBJ
Posts: 916
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2002 2:14 am

RE: Hassled While Spotting At ORD.

Mon Aug 11, 2003 7:44 pm

@WNFAN: But he didn't ask you to leave, right?

Mike
 
LOT767-300ER
Posts: 8526
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 12:57 pm

RE: Hassled While Spotting At ORD.

Mon Aug 11, 2003 10:01 pm

"They had nothing to arrest you for. Resisting arrest is one thing, but they weren't arresting you. Where are our civil liberties going in this country?"

And you think I didnt realize that...Exactly why I got the guys badge number and reported him.
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Hassled While Spotting At ORD.

Mon Aug 11, 2003 10:54 pm

Where are our civil liberties going in this country?

down the shitter, serioulsy!
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
WNfan
Topic Author
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 4:27 am

RE: Hassled While Spotting At ORD.

Tue Aug 12, 2003 12:15 am

My wife and I were not asked to leave.

I have since looked at a detailed map, and it sure looks like the area is indeed Chicago. The "No Parking 2am-6am" signs seem similar to those found in the suburbs, though, many of which prohibit overnight parking on city streets. (Chicago has no such city-wide prohibition, of course.)

After having read some posts here since starting this topic, I'm a little less bitter about the entire affair. But it still bugs me, as I feel that the Fourth Amendment was bent a little. I know, he didn't search my car or belongings, nor did he ask too. But recording my identity, even though I was not under suspicion of committing or having committed a crime, seems to me like a violation of the spirit of the Fourth Amendment.