yeah, yeah, i know we have about 10 other topics regarding cops and airports but yet another comes out of ORD i felt i should share with everyone...
(before i start, i'd like to make the observation to those of you people who like to sling the term "racial profiling" around, i am tall, blonde, green eyes, and whiter than that whitest white of a male, so, logically no one bothers me, right??)
Here it is, 25 minutes at 27R at ORD. Thursday, Jan. 24 around 4:45pm. I made my way to probably my favorite spot anywhere in the world. (more due to its sentimental value rather than shooting opportunities, some of you *might* relate to that) it is along bessie coleman road, city property, outside the perimeter.
I did a good job staying pretty much out of eyesight, but 15 min. into spotting, an ORD maintence truck pulls up, friendly guy looks at me and says "yo man, i dudnt think yewz allowed ta do dat around hear, yew best get up and outta here 'fore them cops bust up on ya"
So i said thanks for the advice and i would keep it in mind...
5 minutes later, chicago police car pulls up next to me.
Cop: "hey there, you know you arent allowed to take pictures out here dont ya?"
Me: "well it's not against the law but i understand how it might make people nervous, would it be okay if i stay just for 5 more minutes before the sun goes down?"
Cop: *looks at his watch, raises an eyebrow..* well i suppose, just dont be hanging around here too long"
Here is where it gets interesting....
As i began to leave (the sun had just set and there was nothing on approach) a black malibu comes racing towards me and shreeks to a stop in front of me. The air was chilly, below freezing and my hands where in my pockets.
Immediately two guys in leather jackets jump from the car, the driver yells "Get your hands out of pockets and put em in the air NOW! we are police officers"
so i said nothing and put my hands up while he grabbed me and spun me around, patted me down and asked the typical "any needles or objects in your pockets i'm gonna prick myself on?"
The other officer leaned against that car looking on quietly, smoking a cigarette and staring at me constantly. Pretty soon the first cop tears my backpack off my back and drops it to the ground, (cement) i cringe at the fact my other camera stuff is in there, but said nothing.
He then shoves me in the back toward the car and says "put your hands on the car and spread your feet apart"
As he continues to pat me down, i quietly ask "am i getting arrested?"
"Not yet, just fuckin' relax" He said in such a tone as if i was an asshole creating a scene.
As Cop #1 looks through my things, Cop #2 askes me for my ID and says "what the hell do you need to take pictures for?"
"its a hobby, i enjoy it... i was taking some shots of the sunset... by the way, i do have airport and airline identification in my bag, i am a security coordinator for United" just as i said that, Cop #1 found the ID and both of them relaxed greatly. They asked a few other questions and looked through my things a few more times..
That was it, they gave my stuff back and got in the car and left. They didnt say "goodbye" they didnt say "sorry for the hassle" they didnt even say "we are gonna go get some cheeseburgers at mcdonalds, would you like one?" (i was hungry) They said nothing at all, and left...
People say "they are just doing their job" but what is their job?? I dont mind going through all that because i know i'm right... (and besides, i've been through the drill before, it doesnt make me nervous) but i see the way they act when i flash my airport/airline badge and realize how different the situation might end up being if i didnt have those little cards with me; i really feel for the spotters who dont have airport ID's, which, is most of you.
Anyway, that's my story... i hope you enjoyed it.
OH, and stay away from 27R at ORD, you might run into some trouble