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sovetskii52

Printing and carrying Rules of Conduct

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I have been stopped by MTA employees, and cops 3 times for taking a video in the subway. Because of that, I want to print, and carry the MTA Rules of Conduct with me. Will it be okay if i only print the page with the rule about "Photography being permitted", or do i need to print everything (14 pages in Microsoft Word)? It will be kind of tough to fit 14 pages into a pocket in my pants. Do any of you carry the Rules of Conduct when railfanning? The whole thing? Thank you.

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That's really what should be posted in those subway cars that have all the self-advertisements about what they're doing to improve your commute. It should be in every subway car along with the map (which unless vandalized is in every car).

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The page should be fine but be prepared with a [public relations-type] statement/approach for yourself when getting stopped... sure, you could report them if you're thrown off of the property or something but why let it get that far? Be prepared.

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Bumping this thread with a definite on topic heads up as per NYPD and the MTA in the wake of the current Al Quada terrorist alert:

 

Taking photographs at the absolute ends of platforms with point and shoot cameras of tunnel views specifically are as of now temporarily prohibited. Be careful how you get proses for pics at stations where the NYPD presence is high. The penalty is $25 dollars as a civil violation as per the Transit Abduction Bureau because of the US Federal Government alert. Also be careful as to taking pics aimed at yards. Recall how strict guards are with regards to photography in areas such as Jamaica Yard.

 

****Note that it is still absolutely fine to take pics of subway cars and buses as per the MTA rules of conduct Section 1050.9, paragraph 3. That's OK.  Remember no ancillary equipment (Flash photography, tripods). The NYPD will not penalize you for taking regular pics or videos of trains or stations. That is obviously still in effect legal.

 

http://www.mta.info/nyct/rules/rules.htm

 

3. Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted except that ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods may not be used. Members of the press holding valid identification issued by the New York City Police Department are hereby authorized to use necessary ancillary equipment. All photographic activity must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

 

 No, your camera will not be confiscated, most likely, this is not the PAPD, the NYPD are very lenient on what is legal photography and what is not according to the clause quoted above. 

 

However, as mentioned before the police officer could issue you a ticket and run a criminal background check if this rule is violated because of the worldwide travel alert which applies not just to airports but rapid transit as well. The PO will most likely give you a warning, however better safe then sorry.

 

So in other words, if you are taking pics at the absolute end of platforms where you are right at the mark where the open passenger zone of platforms at stations end with a sign, red swing door or both, and you might be aiming with any point and shoot camera into the tunnel if there is no train there departing the station, be careful. The NYPD just may stop and question you and misconstrue an everyday photographer as a potential subject engaging in suspicious activity for taking so called 'illegal pics'.

 

Once the nationwide terrorist attack alert is over, the temporary precautions being carried out by the NYPD will be lifted, and all us transit enthusiast photagraphers can continue to take awesome pics without interruption from the temporary adjustment in the rules of conduct concerning legal photography which will be phased out after the high nationwide terrorist alert has passed.

 

Many thanks to the anonymous T/O's and TSS's by word of mouth on legal photography. So yes, continue to have fun taking the usual pics and videos (it is still LEGAL, don't worry) but please be aware, be discernful and concious of your surroundings, and don't do anything stupid.

Edited by realizm
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Its basically "use common sense". Dont try to be a "hero to the enthusiasts". Some officers and employees will try to tell you its completely illegal or that "The MTA's rules are different form the NYPD rules". If you get told to just stop and put your camera away (even though you are indeed acting in a lawful manner), Just follow the instructions and move along. Better to have a good day that to have a confrontation. The NYPD have even arrested an MTA employee at one time for taking pics of subway trains. 

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Bumping this thread with a definite on topic heads up as per NYPD and the MTA in the wake of the current Al Quada terrorist alert:

 

Taking photographs at the absolute ends of platforms with point and shoot cameras of tunnel views specifically are as of now temporarily prohibited. Be careful how you get proses for pics at stations where the NYPD presence is high. The penalty is $25 dollars as a civil violation as per the Transit Abduction Bureau because of the US Federal Government alert. Also be careful as to taking pics aimed at yards. Recall how strict guards are with regards to photography in areas such as Jamaica Yard.

 

Is that true? I know they gave you a hard time, but I don't think there was any official directive in the past week or two so much as just cops on higher alert. Obviously a good time to take care, but I don't know if the policy was actually changed. By the way, those rules of conduct are a fun read...hilariously vague!

 

Failure to provide requested information: $50

Carrying long objects: $75

Activity near construction: $25

 

Even the rule for photography is vague, as 'unauthorized' implies that all photography must be authorized, which is totally contradictory with the main policy that non-flash, non-tripod photography is fine:

 

Unauthorized photography, filming: $25

Edited by MHV9218
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Well the MTA and NYPD is on high alert that's for sure, from when I was even in Flushing taking pics of Artics and CNG's I was having this problem up until when I've talked with train crews and TSS's yesterday, providing me this information. And indeed true, the clause is purposely portrayed as vague for legalistic flexibility on the part of the NYPD and the attorneys at the  MTA TAB.

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Many thanks for the update. It sucks, but I'd rather just deal with this than go through the legal ramifications afterward.

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Bumping this thread with a definite on topic heads up as per NYPD and the MTA in the wake of the current Al Quada terrorist alert:

 

Taking photographs at the absolute ends of platforms with point and shoot cameras of tunnel views specifically are as of now temporarily prohibited. Be careful how you get proses for pics at stations where the NYPD presence is high. The penalty is $25 dollars as a civil violation as per the Transit Abduction Bureau because of the US Federal Government alert. Also be careful as to taking pics aimed at yards. Recall how strict guards are with regards to photography in areas such as Jamaica Yard.

 

****Note that it is still absolutely fine to take pics of subway cars and buses as per the MTA rules of conduct Section 1050.9, paragraph 3. That's OK.  Remember no ancillary equipment (Flash photography, tripods). The NYPD will not penalize you for taking regular pics or videos of trains or stations. That is obviously still in effect legal.

 

http://www.mta.info/nyct/rules/rules.htm

 

 

 No, your camera will not be confiscated, most likely, this is not the PAPD, the NYPD are very lenient on what is legal photography and what is not according to the clause quoted above. 

Where have you gotten this information about the prohibition? T/Os and TSS's tend to think photography is illegal regardless of actual rules. I would like to see a written rule (or at least an official TA/PD statement), which an officer would have to cite in handing out a ticket. Doesn't matter if there's a "heightened terror alert", there has to be a rule written somewhere for a cop or security guard to be able to hand out a TAB summons.

 

Not even PAPD can confiscate or even touch your equipment without a warrant, that's as long as you don't let them.

 

 

Is that true? I know they gave you a hard time, but I don't think there was any official directive in the past week or two so much as just cops on higher alert. Obviously a good time to take care, but I don't know if the policy was actually changed. By the way, those rules of conduct are a fun read...hilariously vague!

 

Failure to provide requested information: $50

Carrying long objects: $75

Activity near construction: $25

 

Even the rule for photography is vague, as 'unauthorized' implies that all photography must be authorized, which is totally contradictory with the main policy that non-flash, non-tripod photography is fine:

 

Unauthorized photography, filming: $25

It has been decided by the courts that it is not a crime to fail to present ID to a cop, you only have to provide your name address and date of birth and it doesn't have to be on an ID card (falsifying that info is a crime). That rule could very well be illegal, similar to how it would be illegal to fine or arrest someone for refusing a bag search in the subway (which is why you simply are asked to leave for not consenting to one and not cited/arrested). Not sure if it was MTA, but I believe one TA had a policy like that and actually arrested someone for refusing a search, and it was overturned. They can tell you to leave if you don't consent, but no arrest or fine unless you try to enter the system after being asked to leave.

 

Its basically "use common sense". Dont try to be a "hero to the enthusiasts". Some officers and employees will try to tell you its completely illegal or that "The MTA's rules are different form the NYPD rules". If you get told to just stop and put your camera away (even though you are indeed acting in a lawful manner), Just follow the instructions and move along. Better to have a good day that to have a confrontation. The NYPD have even arrested an MTA employee at one time for taking pics of subway trains. 

 

This is why the TA needs to say "f**k Ray Kelly and your goons" and bring in the MTAPD already...

Edited by Orion VII 4 Life

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Use common sense... ie. when a cop stops you to ask, don't reach into your pocket (for obvious reasons) to show him/her the rules... unless you want to stare down the barrel of their Glocks...

 

Personally, if someone was giving me hell, I'd just comply and move somewhere else. There is no need to waste your time and breath arguing with others who won't change their opinions no matter what you say

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Use common sense... ie. when a cop stops you to ask, don't reach into your pocket (for obvious reasons) to show him/her the rules... unless you want to stare down the barrel of their Glocks...

 

Personally, if someone was giving me hell, I'd just comply and move somewhere else. There is no need to waste your time and breath arguing with others who won't change their opinions no matter what you say

I show the rules and EXPLAIN WHAT I AM GRABBING before I do, VERY important that you do that before reaching into a pocket or bag.

 

If I'm not in the mood to deal with the cops' shit or need to be somewhere I move. But if I'm doing something that I want to do and isn't illegal and I want to stand up for my right to do it, or if they start following/harassing me, I stand up for myself and my rights. Yeah the cops think of you of a "smartass", but there's nothing they legally can do about it, and if they try something a nice phone call and legal action if they take it over the top (as in unlawful detention) are coming their way. Just takes being nice and respectful to the officers, calmly explaining everything you're doing, how it is legal and standing up for your rights without screaming, a rude tone or anything like that ("Sir, I'm within my rights under the TA Rules of Conduct" or something along those lines and showing them the rules respectfully, again explaining what you are grabbing). They want to get rude, don't lower yourself to their levels or you could end up in the paddy wagon, stay respectful and calm while standing up for and exercising your rights. They also are never going through my things OR deleting footage without a warrant, you are never under any obligation to give them access to your camera or delete photos even if photography is prohibited. "Staying respectful" doesn't mean going along with demands like those, just means being nice to the guys.

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Speaking of which, how long do you think it'll be before there's a article in the news on how a passenger got wrongfully detained?

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Taking photographs at the absolute ends of platforms with point and shoot cameras of tunnel views specifically are as of now temporarily prohibited. Be careful how you get proses for pics at stations where the NYPD presence is high. The penalty is $25 dollars as a civil violation as per the Transit Abduction Bureau because of the US Federal Government alert. Also be careful as to taking pics aimed at yards. Recall how strict guards are with regards to photography in areas such as Jamaica Yard.

 

So basically...

 

1. Anyone who films out the front of a railfan view could be fined? It's as good as taking photos from the end of a platform.

2. Does this law not affect users with DSLR cameras??

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Where have you gotten this information about the prohibition? T/Os and TSS's tend to think photography is illegal regardless of actual rules. I would like to see a written rule (or at least an official TA/PD statement), which an officer would have to cite in handing out a ticket. Doesn't matter if there's a "heightened terror alert", there has to be a rule written somewhere for a cop or security guard to be able to hand out a TAB summons.

 

Not even PAPD can confiscate or even touch your equipment without a warrant, that's as long as you don't let them.

 

Respect! You are very knowledged on these issues. We've discussed problems we've had as railfanners and the police many times in chat and personally I learned from your experiences which is f!cked up to say the least. Will not mention the details here as this is a public forum but stay strong brother.

 

But to answer your question, because of the heightened levels of security (from the terrorist alert) expect more problems from the NYPD. If I over the course of two days that I am hearing from TA workers (Try 4 PO's, one B/O, one bus service supervisor, one TSS and 3 T/O's in two boroughs) that taking photography in certain areas where it is considered to be "prohibited areas" is against the rules of conduct, and above what is considered legal photography in buses in subways, then I would imagine that the NYPD must have received directives from their sergeants to  look out for suspicious activity on the transit system, system wide.

 

Don't get me wrong, most train crews and B/Os could care less, they think it's actually cool, and on that one you have a point. One time a C/R was actually holding open the car doors so I can take pics. But I told her its OK because I know she and her partner needs to get o Times Square on time according to the timetables and I don't want to hold her up. I received many positive comments from T/Os and C/Rs who actually wanted to take a look at the photos. One gave me a high five, another gave me a handshake for a solid shot of his train. Another said I picked an excellent location for a shot. Many positive experiences.

 

Hence the post alerting everyone to stay on their toes because the NYPD being that they are in a state of high alert, to be prepared if as a railfanner they are stopped by the police and questioned. I'm not saying this rule is concrete in stone, it's a provision made due to the nationwide alert announced by the White House, which put the NYPD in particular on notice. Terrorists has been bagged by the FBI in the recent past for targeting the MTA subways for bomb plots. And the recent Boston bombings. Is that my fault?

 

Since that Monday, I had no problems actually. All I simply do is have my printout of my rules of conduct ready with my NYS driver's licence and US passport with a verbal defense rehearsed. Taking no chances. And of course as you mentioned thy cannot consent me to a search. *However* sometimes the best thing to do is that if a cop (in the case of the NYPD not PAPD as that police force is a different animal from NYC cops) does ask for ID, simply cooperate as Far Rock mentioned and be on your way. Now, If it happens to be that you may have outstanding warrants for your arrest that's a different story, then DON'T CONSENT TO A SEARCH and reiterate the rules of conduct and also the conditions under which a stop and frisk is warranted based on supposed suspicious activity.

 

You bring up good points, and I agree we are both talking from experience. In my case as a photographer and railfanner, and as a Brooklyn born and raised mixed  Asian American law abiding US citizen with a clean criminal record, IT professional by trade, college student enrolled in a CUNY school, who was subjected to racial profiling and harassment on the part of the NYPD in the past. (I told you this in chat!) So all I am extending to all is to be careful this week throughout the ongoing turmoil that is occurring in Egypt among other countries along with the ongoing threats from Al Quada, resulting in heightened security in the subway system, indirectly. I would hate to see railfanners get bagged and slapped with TAB tickets for something that is LEGAL. 

 

Where have you gotten this information about the prohibition? T/Os and TSS's tend to think photography is illegal regardless of actual rules. I would like to see a written rule

 

While this is true, the NYPD can still arrest you and take you to the local precient while they ID you, then release you from the precient with no pending charges.

Edited by realizm

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So basically...

 

1. Anyone who films out the front of a railfan view could be fined? It's as good as taking photos from the end of a platform.

2. Does this law not affect users with DSLR cameras??

 

That is 100% legal. And no it does not affect civilians with DSLR cameras, it is not considered 'ancilliary equpiment'. It's about taking pics in prohibited areas it seems many transit supervisors are making a big deal about. Usually the MTA does not care neither the NYPD, that is, until this sudden terrorist alert announced this week. But still be careful, regardless, and be prepared with a defense.

 

Why I am saying this? As MHV9218 pointd out the rules of conduct the terms and clauses are purposefully made very transparent and vague so law enforcement and the TAB can have the flexibility to basically do whatever they want in challenging anyone taking photography in the subway. However I am sure that this can be challenged in the TAB if it comes to that.

 

It is not a criminal offense either, it is technically a civil violation for the civilian to break the conditions regarding legal photography if one does not have a permit from the NYPD for ancillary equipment such as tripods or flash equipment which they issue only to the press, that's all. The TAB is not affiliated with the NYC courts, FYI.

Edited by realizm

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Speaking of which, how long do you think it'll be before there's a article in the news on how a passenger got wrongfully detained?

 

I doubt it will happen anytime soon. Unless a railfanner does something ridiculous like climb the fence of a train yard or something to get photos. That's grounds for a misdemeanor count of trespassing, which will get such a person in central booking quick.

 

So if anyone has problems the best thing is to just work with it and keep it moving. Of course they have no consent to a stop and frisk search, never let the NYPD go that far, know your rights. personally I don't let it go anywhere further than an ID check so they know I am a law abiding citizen engaging in a popular NYer hobby going viral on the net and not a career criminal or a terrorist.

 

 

Use common sense... ie. when a cop stops you to ask, don't reach into your pocket (for obvious reasons) to show him/her the rules... unless you want to stare down the barrel of their Glocks...

 

Personally, if someone was giving me hell, I'd just comply and move somewhere else. There is no need to waste your time and breath arguing with others who won't change their opinions no matter what you say

Definitely. But know your rights. If they go too far and actually search you or consficate your equipment or even arrest you (Heard the PAPD pull this off but never the NYPD, never heard of it but never say never....) , document everything, what was said and what occurred, badge numbers of the PO's, time and location of incident. Then contact your lawyer, then you fight back with a CIVIL LAWSUIT. It can be done, has been done, and settlements has been awarded in the behalf of the plaintiff who filed the lawsuit.

 

Personally only this Monday during the AM Rush I took videos of the R188's within sight of the NYPD in Manhattan close to Times Square (@ 5th Ave.). They did not question me at all (this time). But still, be careful.

 

 

"Staying respectful" doesn't mean going along with demands like those, just means being nice to the guys.

Exactly! +1.

Edited by realizm

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It has been decided by the courts that it is not a crime to fail to present ID to a cop, you only have to provide your name address and date of birth and it doesn't have to be on an ID card (falsifying that info is a crime). That rule could very well be illegal, similar to how it would be illegal to fine or arrest someone for refusing a bag search in the subway (which is why you simply are asked to leave for not consenting to one and not cited/arrested). Not sure if it was MTA, but I believe one TA had a policy like that and actually arrested someone for refusing a search, and it was overturned. They can tell you to leave if you don't consent, but no arrest or fine unless you try to enter the system after being asked to leave.

 

 

This is why the TA needs to say "f**k Ray Kelly and your goons" and bring in the MTAPD already...

 

Quoted the wrong segment of your response, my apologies. So I'll repeat my response here: While this is true,the NYPD can still arrest you and take you to the local precient while they ID you, then release you from the precient with no pending charges. As subway photography taking is not a criminal offense nor even a civil offense, all in all, as we both know and broke down to a science in this discussion.

Edited by realizm

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If you get stopped then just put it away and move to the next station.  Even if you're completely in the right it's just not worth your time engaging with the police, and avoiding a confrontation will make everything so much easier and better for you if your purpose is just to railfan.  You have to understand that the cops are high alert and in their minds it's better to wrongfully confront a railfan than let a terrorist slip through.  Even though a terrorist probably wouldn't be taking pictures in the subway in the first place because pictures and diagrams can be found online for free, only people who are interested in transit know about that and where to find it, and the cops may legitimately feel that a threat is present.

 

If for some reason the cop detains you or throws you off the property for simply photographing or taking a video of the subway then they've crossed the line, but you have to understand why they would stop someone for doing an act that isn't common and to some seems unusual (honestly I still find the idea of railfanning strange and unusual, but I do understand why people do it now).  The subway is meant to get from point A to point B, and anyone loitering around a station and not getting in a train is enough to at least draw their attention.

 

Basically just use common sense when railfanning, and if a cop stops you just put it away and move on to the next station; it makes both your lives easier and saves a huge hassle.

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If you get stopped then just put it away and move to the next station.  Even if you're completely in the right it's just not worth your time engaging with the police, and avoiding a confrontation will make everything so much easier and better for you if your purpose is just to railfan.  You have to understand that the cops are high alert and in their minds it's better to wrongfully confront a railfan than let a terrorist slip through.  Even though a terrorist probably wouldn't be taking pictures in the subway in the first place because pictures and diagrams can be found online for free, only people who are interested in transit know about that and where to find it, and the cops may legitimately feel that a threat is present.

 

If for some reason the cop detains you or throws you off the property for simply photographing or taking a video of the subway then they've crossed the line, but you have to understand why they would stop someone for doing an act that isn't common and to some seems unusual (honestly I still find the idea of railfanning strange and unusual, but I do understand why people do it now).  The subway is meant to get from point A to point B, and anyone loitering around a station and not getting in a train is enough to at least draw their attention.

 

Basically just use common sense when railfanning, and if a cop stops you just put it away and move on to the next station; it makes both your lives easier and saves a huge hassle.

 

I did the opposite. I stayed at that station and kept on taking pics right in their faces after I was questioned right in front of the police officers who did not push it further or did not dare even try to have me consent to a search. (*Edited out the details, too sensitive)

 

So if they want to see ID? Sure. I have nothing to hide.

 

But indeed, we are on the same page, totally. Where I draw the line is if the PO's slap a TAB ticket on me and/or consent me to a search or/and confiscate my equipment or/and arrest me because as I stated previously, I will make sure I document their badge numbers, time and location of incident, what transpired in the conversation and after they take off the cuffs (because I did not commit a criminal or civil offense) will call my lawyer and sue on the basis of police harrassment. It's my right as an American citizen to question law enforcement when treated in a manner that is disrespectful, let alone unprofessional, I could care less what the stop and frisk policy is thanks to Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mr. Mike Bloomberg, which is being fought in a class action civil lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court as we speak.

 

But as I say this, I would say that the more experienced PO's who have the sense of professional courtesy will not take it that far even as it happened in the past.

 

However all in all, you brought up good points for the younger ones. If the PO's start, shut off the camera, and leave the station. As I said before as well, better safe then sorry, one would not want to get into an unnecessary hassle with the police. I can because I have experience with dealing with the police in hot situations due to no fault of my own. Not that I am bringing a bad light on the NYPD in this discussion, that's a debatable something... something... ,  for off topic, but it's real.

Edited by realizm
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Quoted the wrong segment of your response, my apologies. So I'll repeat my response here: While this is true,the NYPD can still arrest you and take you to the local precient while they ID you, then release you from the precient with no pending charges. As subway photography taking is not a criminal offense nor even a civil offense, all in all, as we both know and broke down to a science in this discussion.

If you haven't been suspected of a crime, you are under no obligation to provide ID. Provide your name and home address and that's all they need to know, but of course providing ID is always a good idea for your own sake and it appears to be a (possibly illegal) TAB violation, still probably not worth the trouble to refuse to show it since they will write up the TAB summons no matter how legal it is as long as it's on the books. You also can't be held, let alone taken to a precinct, without being suspected of a crime. Best way to go when being confronted is asking if you're being detained, if the guy does not say "yes" reiterate it a few times and then calmly and respectfully state you'll be on your way if you're not being detained. The longer you stay there and continue asking questions (which you are also not obligated to do), the more likely they will throw the book at you for something completely unrelated and do all they can to arrest you for anything else possible, this is at least how it's done with the PAPD. I personally explain what I'm doing, offer to show the Rules of Conduct and if they still aren't having it then I (respectfully) start the "am I being detained" routine.

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If you haven't been suspected of a crime, you are under no obligation to provide ID. Provide your name and home address and that's all they need to know, but of course providing ID is always a good idea for your own sake and it appears to be a (possibly illegal) TAB violation, still probably not worth the trouble to refuse to show it since they will write up the TAB summons no matter how legal it is as long as it's on the books. You also can't be held, let alone taken to a precinct, without being suspected of a crime. Best way to go when being confronted is asking if you're being detained, if the guy does not say "yes" reiterate it a few times and then calmly and respectfully state you'll be on your way if you're not being detained. The longer you stay there and continue asking questions (which you are also not obligated to do), the more likely they will throw the book at you for something completely unrelated and do all they can to arrest you for anything else possible, this is at least how it's done with the PAPD. I personally explain what I'm doing, offer to show the Rules of Conduct and if they still aren't having it then I (respectfully) start the "am I being detained" routine.

 

Pretty much spot on. Can you explain to all of us in more detail what rhetoric you use in case the PO's do go this far from your experiences? For those not in the know?

 

If you haven't been suspected of a crime, you are under no obligation to provide ID. Provide your name and home address and that's all they need to know, but of course providing ID is always a good idea for your own sake and it appears to be a (possibly illegal) TAB violation

 

 

Lol stop scaring everybody dude, subway photography taken by civilians not associated with the press is indeed legal (No trespassing into unauthorized zones, no ancillary equipment such as flash or tripods, otherwise legal 100% as I was saying).

 

I'm sure of it.

 

The jist of the discussion the fact that is the NYPD being on heightened scrutiny due to the nationwide terrorist attack alert and how to be more cautious and tactful in railfanning to get pics. I know the situation with the PAPD, we talked about that, the PATH rules are ridiculous with the Port Authority but the MTA rules and regulations states a different regulation on photography. 

Edited by realizm

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Pretty much spot on. Can you explain to all of us in more detail what rhetoric you use in case the PO's do go this far from your experiences? For those not in the know?

Simply asking "am I being detained?" is perfect. If the answer is not straight up "yes" (typically they'll continue asking questions without giving a yes or no answer when the answer is really no), out of respect reiterate the question a few times and if there is no straight up answer calmly explain you are walking away it you are not being detained and suspected of a crime. If the answer is straight up "no", you can say "have a nice day" and walk on. If it's yes, ask what crime you're being suspected of. If they can't tell you, repeat the first step. But if you are being suspected of a crime stay respectful and don't try to run away, you are still under no obligation to answer questions.
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Pretty much spot on. Can you explain to all of us in more detail what rhetoric you use in case the PO's do go this far from your experiences? For those not in the know?

 

I don't want to speak for Orion but the standard script goes something like this:

 

Am I free to go?

if they respond yes, leave. if no:

Why am I being detained?

At this point the cop has to tell you there's suspicion of your involvement in a specific crime or let you go, if he wants to operate within the law. 

 

(here's the reference sheet that goes around the internet a bunch http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h261/BluesBrothers1800/Serious/WhenDealingwithPolice.jpg

 

That said, if you're taking pictures down the subway tunnel during a heightened terror alert, it seems to me that briefly "detaining" you to ascertain your intentions is reasonable. What you're doing could possibly be seen as scouting for a terror attack. It's perfectly reasonable for the cops to check you out.

 

I find, when doing the old "Oh but here are the rules of conduct" routine, it's best to play Humble and play Stupid. 

 

"Oh no! I didn't think this was against the rules. I was actually worried it might be, I looked it up at the library even. Wait here I printed it out, can I show you? Mind if I grab it out of my pocket? Here, this bit here, I thought that meant filming was allowed. I must have read it wrong, are these rules old? Would you mind, What's the current rule? I'm sorry for the trouble."

 

I don't think there's anyone that PO's want to stop talking to faster than a bright eyed simpleton who asks a lot of questions. Convey respect and a bit of deference, and show that you "know" the rules but if a cop is telling you they are otherwise your attitude is "Surely a cop couldn't be wrong". Meanwhile, the cop presented with the rules most likely won't continue telling you that the law is something that it is not. But this is just my opinion. I am not your lawyer. 

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Indeed. I do it a bit differently with the verbal routine by being assertive yet courteous and polite. Stating the 1050.9 section 3 clause from memory if I have to, but nevertheless being polite and courteous, not acting in an aggressive or irate manner, watching my tone of voice. (Just me with my no nonsense straight to the point personality)  But those are equally good ways to handle such a situation, I agree.


For that matter while were on it, the stations where there are indoor police precients or in heavily trafficed areas such as the stations in Manhattan would obviously be areas where a railfanner will have to be careful. I mean if someone is taking a pic on the (N) at Avenue U or something obviously the NYPD wouldn't care if they are even there at all. It's in the areas that are major hubs, or such that gains access to landmark locations, at thise stations, a railfanner might have to be on his or her toes.

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