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JohnJ
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Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 12:31 am

For my first photography outing since I visited Boeing Field in Seattle a couple of weeks ago, I went out this afternoon at Boston. Boeing Field was probably the most photographer-friendly airport I’ve ever visited. Boston, not so much. I’d never had any trouble at Boston before, but today I got my just rewards.

For my last few Boston trips I’ve been using the Black Falcon Building grounds, which is on the waterfront overlooking Logan on the approach to Runway 4R. It’s Massport property but open to the public; there is a bench and a coin-operated telescope, and lots of fishermen are always on the seawall there. It’s a nice spot, and I’ve never had a problem there before. There is a sign marked “no public access beyond this point”; I stayed well back from that even though a group of fishermen was in the off-limits area.

I’d been taking pictures for about 45 minutes when a Massport officer rounded the corner in his cruiser. He spotted me immediately, screeched to a halt and asked me what I was taking pictures of. I answered “I’m an aircraft enthusiast and I’m taking pictures of the airplanes”. His response was “Wrong answer!” He got out of his car and demanded identification from me, which I provided. He continued to pepper me with questions, such as why I was in Boston (my car has Connecticut plates), who I worked for, how long I’d been there, etc. He asked to see my photos, and I complied. After viewing a couple of them he told me I’d have delete them from my camera. I told him carefully that I’d complied with his request to stop taking pictures, but that I wasn’t going to delete the images. His response to that was that if I didn’t do it, he’d call in the State Police, who would confiscate my equipment. I then agreed to delete the shots, but told him I’d like to have his name and badge number so I could follow up. I asked several times if photography is illegal, and the reply I got each time is “it’s suspicious”. Before making me delete the shots, he ran my driver’s license for outstanding warrants (negative). A man showed up somewhere during all this with a point-and-shoot camera, saw what was going on with me, and he asked the officer if he could take pictures. The officer said “yes, as long as you don’t take pictures of the airplanes.”

About this time another Massport officer and the State Police arrived, and the questions began again. How long was I in Boston? Who do I work for? Where I am I from originally? How many kids do I have and what are their ages? Am I married? Where am I staying? How long have I worked for my company? What do my job duties entail? None of these guys was in the least nice. I kept my composure through all of this and never raised my voice or got upset. I asked the Statie if photography is illegal, and got the same response as before, “it’s suspicious”. I told him I understood that, and was more than willing to identify myself and tell them what I was doing there, so why the trouble? No reply to that one.

So, in the end the Statie agreed that they couldn’t make me delete my shots and told me to get lost. The original Massport officer told me that if I’m caught on Massport property again a trespassing warrant will be issued against me. And that’s that… unless I’m on the terror watchlist now, which wouldn’t surprise me. The original officer made a point of letting me know he had my information and would be filling out a report.

[Edited 2011-05-25 18:24:50]
 
middleken
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 12:53 am

holy smokes John - that is pure BS!

I don't know what you could do to follow up on this, but do you plan on it? At least you should see if a report is filed, and get a copy
 
JakTrax
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 1:22 am

Don't the photography laws operate in much the same way as they do here in the UK? I know that police in the US can request I.D. but this guy was nothing more than a security guard. The land may well be private but that doesn't always mean it's not public.

I know for a fact that photography from public land in the US isn't illegal, and as long as the property you shoot from isn't government/military I believe the rules follow suit.

I normally keep my composure but if an event like that happened in the UK I would very firmly argue the toss, and if he said anything to me like, "Wrong answer!" I'd tell him to f*** off and mind his own business! There's being co-operative with genuine questions then there's putting your foot down and refusing to be bullied and treated like a kid!

Karl
 
JohnJ
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 1:29 am

Karl, I agree with what you say but Massport Police is more than a security guard - they're full law enforcement officers. I fully believe this guy would have thrown me in jail if I'd put up any more resistance than I did.
 
megatop412
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 1:42 am

It's too bad you felt intimidated enough to agree to delete photographs that you lawfully took.

I would never, ever agree to this, and if they pressed the issue, I would quickly remind them of the monetary settlement I would be receiving from their agency via the lawsuit I would file. The last time I checked, people tend to get good money from suing the police when they overstep their bounds and violate your Constitutional rights. In America, at least.

Hope you didn't lose any really good shots.
 
Calibansa333
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 1:50 am

If you were on property open to the public and there is no law against photography, file a complaint against the port authority officer and state trooper. You unfortunately were the victim of a couple of officers having a bad day. That being said, this type of reaction from a port authority officer and a statie is unacceptable.
 
JohnJ
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 2:01 am

To be clear, I didn't lose any shots. But I believe the officer would have given me the hassle of a lifetime if I didn't comply with his request, and I'd probably have spent the next 6 months trying to get my camera back. I was going to do delete the shots, recover the photos after the fact using software designed for that and then follow up long and hard after the fact with Massport officials. The State Police officer got there before the shots were deleted, and while he was far from pleasant he at least overruled the Massport guys on that issue.
 
boeing71234567
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 2:16 am

I am really sick of these cops. Same thing happens at BDL, and once when I was spotting by myself, a cop came over and made me show ID, then made me delete all of my video camera recordings. I am only 15 years old, and it shocks me that a trooper could do such a thing to me. Luckily I had my school ID me. Is it really illegal to take photos of planes? If it is, I want to see proof of it, which I am not getting from the troopers. They just tell me to leave the area and not to mouth back to a cop, when I just ask questions. Ridiculous....
 
dumbell2424
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 2:25 am

Quoting JohnJ (Thread starter):
I asked several times if photography is illegal, and the reply I got each time is “it’s suspicious”.
Quoting JohnJ (Thread starter):
I asked the Statie if photography is illegal, and got the same response as before, “it’s suspicious”

Since they kept saying that, I'd be like cool story, bro and keep shooting. Can't detain you if you aren't breaking a law. While the trespassing charge may be loosely-based, it isn't much for them to stand on
 
commpilot
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 2:41 am

Since BOS was a starting point for a certain time in history, they are probably trying to cover their you know whats. I did a day trip to BOS a few years ago and got nothing but total BS from a cop at the security checkpoint when I showed him the security document I had printed at my origin airport earlier in the day. Since it wasn't on normal ticket stock, but on a flimsy paper from a kiosk, he sent me packing as if I was trying pass off a fake document.

Should have told him to go check out A.net and get back to you when he finds 100s of BOS pictures. On the flip side had you been taking pics of national monument, you would have been any ordinary tourist.
 
zbot69
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 2:42 am

Hi John,

Sorry to hear about your encounter. I think you did just about all you could do under the circumstances. I disagree with you on one thing. When he stated he thought your behavior was suspicious I would have rejected it offhand. Basically, he needs to have "suspicion" of wrong-doing to launch his fishing trip. Yes, it's good you kept your composure and complied with the officer, but you didn't have to agree with him. I think insisting to him to state the statute that prohibits airplane photography was the way to go, although the problem is that the officer wasn't inferring what you were doing was illegal, he was stating it was suspicious... e.a.... Global War ON TERROR evildoer type stuff, so....

I still think the pastime of aviation photography in the US has an expiration date, and that date is drawing closer every passing day. Who knows, probably everywhere else as well. I've had encounters like this in Hong Kong too. Fortunately in the rest of world you can tell police officers to go take a flying leap in the most indelicate of terms without incurring an automatic arrest, although diplomacy probably buys you more mileage.

Enjoy it while you can. We'll all be stamp collecting soon enough.

[Edited 2011-05-25 19:46:22]
 
sovietjet
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 2:49 am

Quoting dumbell2424 (Reply 8):
Can't detain you if you aren't breaking a law.

The problem is they can detain you, wrongfully so, but they can still do it. They can just make up something else like "insubordination". Then you will spend some time in jail until they actually figure out you did nothing wrong, which in turn wastes your whole day. The problem with these kinds of "encounters" is that you are verbally bullied to think you're doing something wrong. Fighting it out on the field will just waste loads of your time. Complying to his request will end everything real quick but it is wrong. So there is a fine line, is it really worth it to get arrested (wrongfully but still) for some shots of some RJs and Boeings? Probably not. Unless I have something really valuable on my camera or some rare aircraft/motive/etc that I specifically came out for, I would just comply, leave, go get a bottle of soda from a gas station and come back there 10 minutes later. Cops know most people wouldn't argue with them and they love to take advantage of this. And the public is like sheep so nobody dares to say anything. While most cops are in general reasonable people, you probably got the guy who was picked on during high school and is angry at the world.

And by the way, BY LAW, he is required to give you his name, badge number, and the reason why he is questioning you. This is THE LAW. Much like how you must provide ID.
 
zbot69
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 3:34 am

Just food for thought:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

Law school lecture titled, "Don't Talk to the Police."



Cheers.
 
JohnJ
Topic Author
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 3:51 am

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 11):
The problem is they can detain you, wrongfully so, but they can still do it.

I think this says it all regarding my behavior today. All indications by these officers were that if I didn't comply with their demands I'd see some jail time. It seemed to really piss off the first officer that I refused to delete my images, and in fact he told me the reason the second Massport officer and the State Police got involved was that I initially refused to delete my photos.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 6:03 am

Quoting JohnJ (Reply 13):
Quoting sovietjet (Reply 11):
The problem is they can detain you, wrongfully so, but they can still do it.

I think this says it all regarding my behavior today. All indications by these officers were that if I didn't comply with their demands I'd see some jail time. It seemed to really piss off the first officer that I refused to delete my images, and in fact he told me the reason the second Massport officer and the State Police got involved was that I initially refused to delete my photos.

Yeah, I don't question your behavior at all. I know I would be more than a little nervous if that happened to me, and the last thing I want to do is spend even a few hours in jail.

Even though I'm from MA and love it dearly, the cops (especially the staties) can be absolute pricks sometimes. Luckily for me, I haven't had to deal with it.

The only time I got questioned was when I was working a split shift. During my two hour break, I parked over by KBED and watched some GA takeoffs and landings. No commercial or military flights anywhere in sight; nothing but Cessnas, Pipers, and the occasional Learjet or Gulfstream. After being there for maybe 15 minutes, a squad car approached (I don't entirely remember, but I THINK it was Concord police). The guy was pretty nice - just asked me what I was doing, where I lived/worked, asked to see my work ID, and then basically said, "I have to ask you to leave - the tower called us to report a vehicle parked here....Look, you're a kind-of-middle-eastern-looking guy parked near a runway, you can see how they might react" or something to that effect.

Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Hell, this is Boston - the city where we had a bomb scare over what were basically Lite-Brites.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 6:46 am

Quoting calibansa333 (Reply 5):
officers having a bad day

I'm sorry, but it simply isn't acceptable for civil servants to 'have a bad day'. They seem to forget that they are there to serve you, not to bully people just because they have a shiny badge.

It may work differently here in the UK but I always ask them to carry out their threats and see what happens. They normally back down, as if they know deep down they're just trying it on. Sure, they can put me in jail for an hour, but I've done nothing wrong and haven't broken any law so let's see what happens when I have them later for wrongful arrest!

Complying with these idiots just feeds their egos and they become more powerful. They actually start to believe they are the law, and it often takes someone with balls to stand up and fight them all the way. Okay, I see that you didn't want to be arrested and detained but I really do wonder if they'd have gone though with it if you'd been more awkward.

If we let them walk over us, it will continue and get worse.

Karl
 
darreno1
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 7:00 am

Give a douche a badge and a gun and all the training in the world, and all you'll end up with is an armed douche - a dangerous combination. The time it took him to harass you, he could have probably thwarted a potential crime somewhere else in the neighborhood. From your description, it seems he was targeting you for personal reasons. He probably just saw you, and like someone mentioned here, got on your case to compensate for a miserable childhood.

I would not be happy if something like that happened to me. I did get called on once down here at Mia but I totally understood why - a friend and I were sitting at the entrance (off to the side) of a motel. We sat there for about an hour before the cop showed up. He was really cool and didn't even have to tell us to leave. He even pointed us to other locations around the airport. I really hope it stays this way.


If I were you and want to continue taking pics there, I'd get really familiar with the applicable laws and possibly consult an attorney regarding your rights.
 
NIKV69
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 7:57 am

That is quite sad. I would at least go have a talk with his Sgt or something. He didn't have any recourse to ask you to delete anything and the couldn't take your equipment.
 
raedervision
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 8:57 am

Many cameras now have HD. Turn it on, record it (sound). If they take you downtown the gloves need to come off. If you don't the land of the free will continue to erode. Sometimes the little people with big sticks need a common sense adjustment. My brother recently went through a non aviation deal like this and the last thing the police supervisor said to him before he left was "when you start suing people, start with those two" (pointing to the little people with big sticks).
 
Dehowie
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 9:37 am

I'd be sying its of to the Police to file a harassment complaint as the first order of the day.
"Demand" to see a superior and file your objections to being treated as such in person to a direct superior/supervisor and put in the paperwork.
If you do nothing, nothing will change..
 
JakTrax
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 10:43 am

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 19):
nothing will change

It will. They'll begin to expect their demands to be met and it will get worse. If nothing is done, it will become the norm, and will be passed along to the next generation of idiots with a badge.

Karl
 
ANITIX87
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 10:57 am

Quoting raedervision (Reply 18):
Many cameras now have HD. Turn it on, record it (sound).

This has caused a lot of issues in recent times. Google "arrested for recording police" and just check out the sheer number of articles. The people arrested got their rights defended but had to deal with a lot of time in court. This wouldn't be my recommendation.

If Massport has a photography guidelines page, you should print it out and carry it with you. That's what my company (engineering contractor) does when taking on-site photography for NYC Transit, NYCDOT, or NYSDOT projects on their property.

TIS
 
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dvincent
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 2:14 pm

You'd think a terrorist would want to be as inconspicuous as possible, not toting around big cameras with white (or silver   ) lenses. It shames me that my sales and income tax dollars pay for this.

I would honestly call Massport and complain.
 
saintex
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 2:21 pm

Quoting middleken (Reply 1):
I don't know what you could do to follow up on this, but do you plan on it? At least you should see if a report is filed, and get a copy

Being from out of state it might be difficult to do, but I'd pay a visit to
FHQ Troop F Headquarters
Logan International Airport
MASSPORT
2 Service Road
East Boston, MA 02128

(Telephone# 617-568-7300)
and demand to see any report filed about you (I seriously doubt there was one) and ask which statute you are alleged to have violated. Ask for a written statement of their photography policy.

The Massport police are a joke, they are appointed on the basis of who they know not by any semblance of ability and are accustomed to doing anything they feel like. Corruption at its worst. The one(s) who accosted you were just being ***** for the sake of being *****, but it is a dilemma what you can do about it. You seem to have hit the middle ground between being completely cowed and ending up in the slammer, so well done.

This [email protected] isn't going to change anytime soon, luckily there are still plenty of places in the US where you won't be abused, just cross BOS of the list  
 
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dvincent
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 2:26 pm

I'd just avoid the Black Falcon at this point. Just like the garages for average folks, it's a place just best left alone.

At least I can get special dispensation for the garages if I need to. At the usual spotting places (castle island, Winthrop, beaches, etc) the only run ins I've had were all cordial. I've had more issues with jerks who live in the neighborhood than actual law enforcement.
 
Dazed767
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 4:11 pm

I say we plan one hell of an a.net meet up then one weekend  
 
boeing71234567
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 6:15 pm

Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 25):
I say we plan one hell of an a.net meet up then one weekend

Agreed!
 
Calibansa333
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 6:52 pm

Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 25):
I say we plan one hell of an a.net meet up then one weekend  

Right on, get 10-20 of us up there and see what happens.
 
JohnJ
Topic Author
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 7:29 pm

Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 25):
I say we plan one hell of an a.net meet up then one weekend

That would be hilarious - the more the merrier, I envision 50+ people milling around with cameras.

I sent the Logan Massport media relations officer an e-mail this morning; as of now he hasn't responded. I'll give him another day then run this up the flagpole. I want Massport to tell me one way or the other if photography is illegal at that spot. If they say no, I think their police department and the Mass. State Police have some explaining to do.

By the way, the page at the link below has a description of the locattion where I was. It's actually not the Black Falcon cruise terminal, but a building known as 88 Black Falcon Avenue. There are pictures on the site, too. I was standing near where the fishermen are in the large image. Logan is in the far left background across the water.

http://www.bostonharborwalk.com/placestogo/location.php?nid=6&sid=46
 
cargolex
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 7:47 pm

I'm sorry this happened to you John, it was nice meeting you, if only briefly, at BFI a couple of weeks ago. Very inappropriate behavior on the part of the police here, but kudos for how you handled it.

I was going to suggest e-mailing Massport's PR team about it.

I looked up Logan Airport's Facebook page - which looks to be run by somebody in Massport's Media relations department. Quite a few photos of airplanes at Logan, taken by various spotters, some possibly from right where you were, are on the Airport's Facebook page. Obviously somebody at Massport values those photos or they wouldn't put them up as, basically, advertising for the airport.

If you don't get an answer at all from the PR folks, maybe you could post about your experience there? It's quite contradictory for one part of Massport to say that photography is illegal and another part of Massport to show airplane photography at the airport to the public as an advertisement for their space.
 
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dvincent
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 7:48 pm

John, the guy to email is Phil Orlandella. He has been responsive to issues in the past.
 
Spunker
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 8:20 pm

I am so sorry about your experience John. These guys were truly out of line. I was just out at the Black Falcon 2 Saturdays ago with a bunch of other spotters and was passed by Boston Police, Massport Police and Mass State Police not one stopped and most even waved to us. I agree with dvincent let Phil Orlandella know about what happened. Were you able to get any badge numbers?
Gene
 
saintex
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Thu May 26, 2011 8:34 pm

Quoting JohnJ (Reply 28):
That would be hilarious - the more the merrier, I envision 50+ people milling around with cameras.

Bit too far for me otherwise I'd sign up for the flash(  ) mob. Make sure the media knows about it or at least have their phone numbers handy when the other (blue) mob arrives.
 
jenf777
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 1:02 am

John, I was so incredibly upset when I read your posting! I am one of hundreds if not thousands of aviation enthusiasts in Boston. We have a great spotting group of over 100 members who photograph and film all the time!!! I love filming all I can in and around Boston Logan airport. I love the planes, the activity, the wildlife and so much more. It is a cherished hobby for people young and old. I tell you what, check out my YouTube site (jenf777) my house is 800' from 4R/22L, I have one of the best spotting locations you'll ever find anywhere. The next time you are in Boston, you are my special guest and we are going to have the best aviation photography/film party Boston has never seen!!!
 
TeeLee
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 1:54 am

I suggest that you go to Boston Logan International Airport facebook page and publicly complain. They are very sensitive to public complaints. I don't know if it will do any good but if enough complain then something my be done.
 
Dehowie
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 2:58 am

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 20):
Quoting JakTrax (Reply 20):
Quoting Dehowie (Reply 19):
Quoting JakTrax (Reply 20):
Quoting Dehowie (Reply 19):
nothing will change

It will. They'll begin to expect their demands to be met and it will get worse. If nothing is done, it will become the norm, and will be passed along to the next generation of idiots with a badge.

Karl

Pretty sure thats exactly what i said Karl...but you miss quoted me...

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 19):
If you do nothing, nothing will change..
 
Dehowie
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 3:03 am

The idea of a facebook campaign run by photographers being harassed is a great idea.
Get as many involved as we can and post on the site which uses pictures which according to Massport are illegally or suspiciously obtained.
Be a PR disaster and would definitely cause a stir and then some...
Public shaming is a particularly good idea..
 
NIKV69
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 6:24 am

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 36):
The idea of a facebook campaign run by photographers being harassed is a great idea.
Get as many involved as we can and post on the site which uses pictures which according to Massport are illegally or suspiciously obtained.
Be a PR disaster and would definitely cause a stir and then some...
Public shaming is a particularly good idea..

Actually it's a horrible idea. You really want to go head to head with law enforcement? Piss them off enough and we can lose many spotting locations on private property.

This isn't a law enforcement problem, it's a bad apple problem. Know your rights, know how to push back right and if you get pushed by a bad cop get his badge and name and file a complaint by talking to his superiors. This will make them think twice about treating photogs unprofessionally and preserve the relationship we need with owners of businesses and police.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 7:37 am

Darren,

You quoted, "Nothing will change". That means it will get no better; no worse. In reality, it will get worse, because the more they push people around, the more it will become the norm, and the more the public will learn to accept it.

Karl
 
Dehowie
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 7:42 am

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 37):
Actually it's a horrible idea.

So i assume you would rather just submit to being treated as a second class citizen because you choose to shoot images of aircraft.
Whats next your not permitted to photograph buildings? Or maybe people?
Sorry but the erosion of your "rights" is a major issue and taking it to the people who are actually conducting it and breaching "your rights" as a citizen should be a concern.
If you get push back from the airport because of bad publicity generated by unfair treatment of the very photographers whose images "they" use on the airport facebook page will generate all the pressure you would ever need.
How contradictory...to infringe the rights of the guys who support the airport.
Far more effective than standing your ground is swaying public opinion on how your rights have been infringed..in addition to filing complaints which is a part of the process.
But if nobody knows its going on do you really think there excessive behavior is going to change? Really...
Public opinion is a powerful tool..far more powerful than a complaint form when iyt comes out people's rights are being infringed by overzealous police..
 
NIKV69
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 8:15 am

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 39):
So i assume you would rather just submit to being treated as a second class citizen because you choose to shoot images of aircraft.
Whats next your not permitted to photograph buildings? Or maybe people?
Sorry but the erosion of your "rights" is a major issue and taking it to the people who are actually conducting it and breaching "your rights" as a citizen should be a concern.
If you get push back from the airport because of bad publicity generated by unfair treatment of the very photographers whose images "they" use on the airport facebook page will generate all the pressure you would ever need.
How contradictory...to infringe the rights of the guys who support the airport.
Far more effective than standing your ground is swaying public opinion on how your rights have been infringed..in addition to filing complaints which is a part of the process.
But if nobody knows its going on do you really think there excessive behavior is going to change? Really...
Public opinion is a powerful tool..far more powerful than a complaint form when iyt comes out people's rights are being infringed by overzealous police

Did you bother to read any of my post? Obviously you didn't.

I have lived through the world changing here as it pertains to what people do around airports. You seem to want to ingore the real problem and start lobbing out the bombs. Well as I have said your idea was a terrible one. To alienate law enforcement is not the answer. It's not our right to shoot planes from parking lots or any other private property. Public property is a whole other issue but we in the states still rely on spots that are not public and we need to behave in a way that keeps these spots preserved.

That includes not starting fb pages that start a pissing contest with anyone. It includes addressing the real problem. The small % of police that for whatever reason want to treat us different than other people. You will get a lot further by standing your ground. Knowing what you can do and what you can't and if worst case scenario develops getting the officers ID and pursuing it the proper way with the tools you have. No officer wants any civilian complaint on his record and it would be a lot more effective in addressing the bad officers. Instead of lumping them all into one basket and starting a war you can't win.

Not to mention how bad it would make it for future spotters. So though I enjoyed your "public opinon" story please remember that it's the majority of public opinion that leads to the phone calls that ususally puts the bad apples in a frame of mind that leads to these encounters. It's a post 9/11 world and anyone pointing anything toward an aircraft will be treated as suspicious. It will never change. I don't like it but I am not going to start some silly crusade that will only make it worse.
 
JakTrax
Posts: 5267
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 8:19 am

Can't believe I'm actually agreeing with you Nik, but you do put across a very good point.

Karl
 
ckw
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 9:06 am

I'm proud to say that in the UK we have been doing something about it.

Following a number of well publicised cases of photographers being prevented for shooting in public places

1 - a petition was created and sent to parliament. The net result was a statement in the house (quite a big deal) asserting photographers rights to shoot in public.

2 - a protest in London took place

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8476318.stm

Ultimately, the laws haven't changed - UK police still have 'stop and search' powers, however, the above actions have made stopping and searching photographers a little more of an issue, and most, if not all local forces have been 'reminded' of the laws regarding photography and to be sure that any prevention of photography is fully justified.

On a personal note, I also emailed my own MP requesting a clarification of my rights as a photographer, and got a positive response. Let your representatives know you have a problem. That's what they are there for.

I agree with Nik up to a point - turning up en masse at an airport is most likely going to result in the errection of fences or other means of dettering 'pesky kids' (which is how it will be spun).

But there are bigger things at stake than your ability to shoot at an airport. The approach to take is the erosion of photographer's rights in general. Make it an issue and all law enforcement agencies will need to toe the line, regardless of location.

Cheers,

Colin
 
Dehowie
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 9:30 am

Can see your point Nik i just believe that the small minority of police on a power trip will not change.
The only change in those type of people comes from above and generally by a direction from an employer.
Its not about pissing people off its about showing the airport what is happening in the real world.
Examples of harrasment put up on there facebook page is not a pissing competition.
Its about informing and showing management what happens to normal everyday people being harrassed by police being overzealous.
As Colin has pointed out its taken protests in the UK to bring it to public attention. Its only via that route by demonstrating that "some" police are over exerting their authority that change is required.
Why would that as you say "piss off" police who are doing the right thing?

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 38):
Darren,

You quoted, "Nothing will change".

Sorry Karl i said

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 19):
If you do nothing, nothing will change..

Thats a completely different thing to the way you quoted me.

My point was the same as yours..if people do nothing then nothing will change...
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 10:39 am

Something I meant to mention regarding action at a specific airport.

In the UK (and I think it is the same in the US) photography of people, planes etc. is OK in a public place. And by this is meant any place either publicly or privately owned to which the general public has free access.

BUT and this is an important, but, in the case of privately owned property, the owner has the right to refuse permission to allow photography - indeed, the owner is technically able to have someone removed from the property.

In practice this means that if you don't ask for permission to photograph, you're OK. If you ask - and are refused permission, then you can't, even if someone who hasn't asked is taking pics beside you.

Its a bit weird, but that's how the law stands (in the UK at least). Of course its a result of the fact that it is seldom the case that a single piece of legislation covers any given situation - its generally a mix.

So my caution would be when approaching an airport authority, by what ever means, remember they have the right to reply with an official no. And their decision will be based on a whole bunch of factors besides your rights as a photographer. If their perception is that the majority of passengers would prefer not to see things pointed at aircraft, you can guess what the official line might be.

Cheers.

Colin
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 10:53 am

I meant to add ...

Your real concern should be the "right to bear cameras" in general. The real threat is not from a few airport cops, but public perception at large. Your ability to shoot at a local airport is more than likely to be impacted by an issue that has nothing to do with you.

In the UK, there is almost a paedophilia hysteria, and it is a brave photographer indeed who shoots children in a public place. It does not require a huge stretch of imagination to envision a set of circumstances in which legislation is enacted requiring the sort of control over cameras that exists for guns. In any democracy its those that shout loudest (or have the most influence) that get their way. Photographers in any field need to be sure their voice is heard.

Cheers,

Colin
 
NIKV69
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:27 am

RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 11:38 am

Quoting ckw (Reply 45):
Your ability to shoot at a local airport is more than likely to be impacted by an issue that has nothing to do with you.

That happened already. We call it 9/11
 
JohnJ
Topic Author
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 2:10 pm

First off, I appreciate all the replies and support here - thanks!

I spoke to Phil Orlandella from Massport this morning; he's a nice guy and told me the incident should never have happened. He apologized profusely and said that Massport officers will be told in their staff meetings that people have a right to take photographs, even of airplanes. This will go out to all Massport locations, including Hanscom and Worcester.

I'm not sure what else to expect, and I guess I'm satisfied. All I want is to be left alone to pursue my hobby, and if what Phil told me today is followed by the officers, that will meet my goal. One thing that bothers me is that the Massachusetts State Police was also involved in this mess, and I doubt Phil has any jursidictions with those folks.
 
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dvincent
Posts: 1592
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 3:20 pm

Quoting JohnJ (Reply 47):
I'm not sure what else to expect, and I guess I'm satisfied. All I want is to be left alone to pursue my hobby, and if what Phil told me today is followed by the officers, that will meet my goal. One thing that bothers me is that the Massachusetts State Police was also involved in this mess, and I doubt Phil has any jursidictions with those folks.

The state police answer to the state congress and the governor. The ones to complain to in this case would be the leaders of Troop F based at Logan Airport.
 
cpd
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RE: Major LEO Encounter At Boston Today

Fri May 27, 2011 3:32 pm

Complaints to superior officers is one thing (I know very well how that works) but if that doesn't work, public opinion is the other way to go about it.

Nothing gets senior public officials moving faster than what we call "damage control". They don't like negative PR like this.

Otherwise, you need to lobby the lawmakers very hard - make it a big issue for them. If you don't do that, other people who are anti photography will.

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