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Cop Telling Me I can't Film... in my video

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The last year when I came to NYC to join riding and taking pictures of the Subway I had 3 accidents:


the 1st:

Group of 3 NYPD officers saw me when I was taking pictures of the interior of 28th Street station on East side line. They ware not complying untill I turned my camera to the track side and took one picture of 6 train approaching the station. When I gave them the printout of the MTA rules and showed them the paragraph related to the photography, they didn't accept it, because the rules ware released in 2005 (the latest available release at that time) and they called it outdated.


the 2nd:

The alone NYPD officer asked me to not take a pictures in the 9th Ave station on West end line. He was on another platform and when I told him that it is legal he asked me to prove it. So we met in the mezanine and I gave him the printout of MTA rules. He read it very carefully and then he allowed me to continue taking the pictures (ware rare behaviour). He added his comment that he is sure that a lot of people will call NYPD that they saw something suspicious in the Subway (ment me and my camera).


the 3rd:

I was making some evening pictures outside the Stillwell Ave. - Coney Island station. I met group of 4 NYPD officers when I was comming back and when I was taking some pictures inside the station. They ware the dumbest officers I have met during my trip. When they read the rules they 1st answer was it is not allowed and it is written in the docoment. So I replied that it is not allowed to use anciliar equipment such a flash lights. OK then. They found that I need to obtain the permission to make the pictures and I replied that I need it only in case that I want to make commercial pictures. Finaly they replied that they will not disscuss and it is not allowed as a general rule after the 9-11.


I don't now the rules of NYPD but here in Czech Republic you must have at least the high school education to join the police.

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  • 1 month later...

Man, that must have been a bit embarassing for you. I'm sorry that happened to you. People film and take photos in the subway a lot these days, Filming and photo taking is not illegal, but I'm not surprised that police officers forbid riders from filming and taking photos due to the activity being suspicious.


The thing that police officers have to judge is this: Is photographing and filming the subway going to lead to a problem. To me, no. Some police officers may not see this as suspicious and leave the riders be, while others may interepret this as documenting for sinister purposes. I've never been stopped by a police officer for taking photos of the subway before. Police officers have to make these judgments every day.


The good thing is that you complied and didn't cause an argument. Great job!

Nice video by the way.

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Kind of ironic you guys brought back this topic today. I was filming today and got stopped by cops twice. As in twice in one day. I was filming at Bedford Ave. on the (L) and a cop approaches me and tells me its illegal. I tell him "I'm not trying to be rude, but I've gotten stopped for this before. So I checked the MTA.info website and it said filming was allowed." He then took me to his other cop friends and told them what happened. And the funniest thing happened, the other cop says "So? Its allowed". The cop who took me was shocked, and then the cop who defended me said "You know there is a lot of things they don't tell you".


Then th 2nd time I got caught today at Union Square (L). 2 cops approach me and tell me its illegal. I tell them the same story I told the other cops earlier. Then they said that it doesn't matter that MTA website says its legal. They said they make the rules. He warned me saying if I had a "**** cop" find me, that I could get arrested. pah.

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That sucks man

Always have your rules of conduct with you


Here are some suggestions:

-Don't film in busy stations. Coppers roam around Times Square, Union Square, Herald Square, Grand Central etc... I myself had been stopped by a cop a few years back in Times Square.

-Don't make yourself conspicuous. If you making it seem clearly obvious that you are filming the subway, the likelihood of you being caught would be greater. Common sense, right?

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i honestly have no idea how some of you people manage to get the cops attention. I have yet to be stopped by a cop while out fanning either with someone or by myself.


Hmmmm cops patrol the platforms.....so if they see someone with a cam in their hands they are going to say something. People will tell a TA employee that they someone with a cam. IE: My friend and I was @ 14th Street on the 8th Avenue Line....I was about to film an (A) train b4 the train could come into the station....I saw two cops walking down the stairs and the 2nd cop told me I wasn't allowed to take pics of the tunnels...I told him I was getting the train not the tunnel...so he I'm not allowed to take pics....I moved on. So again they not attracting the attention of a cop. They are days and months were I've got lucky where I didn't see a cop while railfanning by myself or wit other ppl!

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i honestly have no idea how some of you people manage to get the cops attention. I have yet to be stopped by a cop while out fanning either with someone or by myself.
I got you good that day @ Broadway Junction lol
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This when my Hiticahi Digital Camera wasn't broken.

I was stop by when R160 (J) G.O> with Essex St-bound, police officers tries to usher me off but since I have to meet my mom, they let me go.


I was also stop by M4 B/O when I was video taping Plaza Hotel and Atlantic Express X23/X24/AE-7 and Mimi Van AE.


I was once stop by Bx12SBS when I was taking pic of signal prioty at University Heights Bridge.


When I was videotaping 34th St SBS Lane, female passenger were wondering why I was taking video. B/O said, it's OK


Also slightly off-topic, past Wednesday, police officer wouldn't let me touch the (MTA) Art for Transit, "Halo". which I wanted to hear.

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