Video: Stopped for taking photos of white house

shootermcgavin

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When shooting remotely sensitive subjects, you kind of need to go out with a plan. Know ahead of time what your rights are, and then have some idea of what you're willing to say and do. You need to know when the line is being drawn and your personal privacy is being trampled.

But, you don't have a right to privacy when you're out there. Anyone, including the police, have a right to ask you questions - and you have a right to not answer them. But unlike ordinary folks, if you insist on replying to every single question with "that's none of your business" the police will only bother you more.

I think the line is drawn when a police officer wants to look at your photographs, search your belongings or your person, enter your home or vehicle, asking very personal questions about your ethnicity, financial (including SSN) or family life or accuses you of activities which are are false. You need to know where the battle is being drawn, and just because a police officer asks you a few questions doesn't mean that we're entering a police state.

However, I do think it's rather humorous the idea if you're on this big Al Queda-funded incognito mission, you'd haul out a DSLR ... great way to blend in with the tourists. You never see cops harassing someone with a P&S.

I'm pretty sure I'm on a government watch list just because I'm an outspoken anarchist. If I am, it's really not all that exciting.

We're on the same list, I agree not all that exciting. I do think there is a line, certainly ethnicity is crossing the line, ssn or accusations probably also cross line. Looking at photographs, eh they're just trying to maintain order. I think if you have nothing to hide you shouldn't really care what they do. I know when I come back from another country they may ask to look at the pictures on my camera. I also know the main reason they ask is to catch someone with child pornography, I would personally rather them ask too many people than too little. Plus who doesn't like to talk about photos they've taken? Imagine this guy who held up these officers for way more time than was needed caused them to miss a true terrorist, and because of that your family was killed by this terrorist. Is it really worth it? If standing up for your freedoms can cause others to lose theirs I don't see that as a big positive.
 

fwellers

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Many people have their ssn on their license. I don't anymore, but still. It's my personal info and it's mine. In the business I am in, ( IT ) there is a huge amount of money being spent to protect Personal Info. too easy for nasty hackers to steal your identity, your home etc... Giving my personal info to a cop is something I shouldn't have to do unless ....
You say you are pro freedom and anti govt, but you should realize that every time we allow the govt to step into our privacy another inch, we lose personal freedom that we never regain. Having to show my 'papers' for taking pictures is one such step that repulses me.
Most of these cops are freekin children. Wet behind the ears, don't know jack squat about anything and they get to be the judge as to whether I am suspicious enough looking to warrant "the interview" ? Efff em.

Certainly if your SSN is on there, which I can't believe any state would do that, there would be more reason not to show it. I've had my stuff stolen off the internet, and honestly it doesn't bother me. I make a couple phone calls, charges get reversed, life is back to normal the next day. I totally agree that freedoms are being lost slowly but surely, but the people in this video aren't deciding that, police don't decide that. So I say go with the flow until someday there might be a way to change the flow, probably not in our lifetimes though. Consider yourself lucky as an American you can pretty much pick anywhere in the world you want to live.[/QUOTE]

YOur just an upbeat kind of guy. :)))
Yea VA has always put the ssn on the license. A while back they allowed you to opt out if you wanted and get a regular license number. Not sure what they are doing now as it's been a long time since I've had to get a new license.
 

12sndsgood

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Its sad 9/11 had to change everything and how we live and operate on a daily basis.

LOL, not taking pictures of the secret service changed how you live and operate on a daily basis?

comeon, it's not just that. Yea that may be this thread, but it's all over the place. People get harrassed by cops, feds and security personel for taking pictures of anything related to infrastucture. I watched one a week or two ago about the California cop threatening to put a guy on a terror watch list, telling the guy he could be selling pictures to Al Qeda, and all this. I think he was taking pics of a bridge or a treatment plant or some such thing.

I concede now that if the guy in this particular video was hanging around for a long time, taking repeated pictures of the same feds, he was crossing a line, although I still say that line is very very thin. It really shouldn't matter to them. They are out there in the public carrying on, anybody can see what they are doing, anybody can stand there for as long as they want etc... If the govt depends on the actions of those cops out there in public being a secret in order to stop the whitehouse from being attacked, then we are in deep you know what.

and ive read stories about catholic priests who molested boys. or people who have photographed naked kids in sexual situations. does this mean i should believe that every priest and every photographer is a pedophile? not, it simply means that in every walk of life you have a few people who are bad. to sit there and say "Most of these cops are freekin children. Wet behind the ears, don't know jack squat about anything and they get to be the judge as to whether I am suspicious enough looking to warrant "the interview" ? Efff em." shows that you just feel cops are wrong no matter the situation. you make it look like u beleive by that very statement that you are almost above the law and how dare they ask you questions.
 

skieur

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...You are not required to provide any information to the police whatsoever, unless you are driving a car and then it is license, insurance and ownership. In that video, he should NOT have been submitting to any profile...
I suspect you may want to research that a little farther. I certainly can't speak for identity requirements in the US, but in Canada, while AFAIK, there is no law that says you have to carry your "papers", you do have to be able to prove your identity when demanded by someone (RCMP, etc) with the authority and reason to do so.

I don't think so. If you had to prove your identity, then it would be necessary to carry ID, which is not the case, in Canada or US. I was stopped for a driving infraction when I was not carrying ID or a license. No charges, no necessity to prove my identity, and for that matter no harassment. I was just given a ticket based on my car license.


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skieur

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There must be more criminals in this forum than I originally thought, what would make someone paranoid about providing information to the police? To me right there I would be alarmed that the person was a criminal. There are certainly police that do bad things, but asking for an ID is not one of those things.

In the video, it was more than just ID. How many photographers would like to have any information at all about them in a police database, if they want to travel without harassment??? Photographers have successfully sued the police for false arrest and got court orders to take any info. about them out of police databases.

skieur
 

skieur

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There must be more criminals in this forum than I originally thought, what would make someone paranoid about providing information to the police? To me right there I would be alarmed that the person was a criminal. There are certainly police that do bad things, but asking for an ID is not one of those things.

This isn't like the good old days anymore. When anybody asks for my ID, I want to know why they want it and what they are going to do with the INFORMATION. Remember, my license is INFORMATION. Why should I have to provide it to the police ? What gives them the authority to "run" me and potentially put my name on some hit list, just because they percieve I am acting suspiciously ?
Sorry, I just happen to disagree with the status quo there. I don't feel I should provide my personal information to anyone unless it is MY choice or unless I am breaking the law.

well, regardless of what you think, you don't have to be actually breaking the law, just pass reasonable suspicion for them to require you to give your personal information. You can't be required to give your license or other 'papers' though, unless you're operating a vehicle, or flying. However, if you mislead the police about your identity, or refuse to identify yourself, and their reasonable suspicion holds up, then you can be arrested. You may disagree with that, but that's what the law is.

Reasonable suspicion would not hold up against a photographer. As a matter of fact, some judges have castigated the police for what amounts to false arrest and successful false arrest suits by photographers have become common in some areas.

skieur
 

skieur

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LOL, not taking pictures of the secret service changed how you live and operate on a daily basis?

comeon, it's not just that. Yea that may be this thread, but it's all over the place. People get harrassed by cops, feds and security personel for taking pictures of anything related to infrastucture. I watched one a week or two ago about the California cop threatening to put a guy on a terror watch list, telling the guy he could be selling pictures to Al Qeda, and all this. I think he was taking pics of a bridge or a treatment plant or some such thing.

I concede now that if the guy in this particular video was hanging around for a long time, taking repeated pictures of the same feds, he was crossing a line, although I still say that line is very very thin. It really shouldn't matter to them. They are out there in the public carrying on, anybody can see what they are doing, anybody can stand there for as long as they want etc... If the govt depends on the actions of those cops out there in public being a secret in order to stop the whitehouse from being attacked, then we are in deep you know what.

and ive read stories about catholic priests who molested boys. or people who have photographed naked kids in sexual situations. does this mean i should believe that every priest and every photographer is a pedophile? not, it simply means that in every walk of life you have a few people who are bad. to sit there and say "Most of these cops are freekin children. Wet behind the ears, don't know jack squat about anything and they get to be the judge as to whether I am suspicious enough looking to warrant "the interview" ? Efff em." shows that you just feel cops are wrong no matter the situation. you make it look like u beleive by that very statement that you are almost above the law and how dare they ask you questions.

He may not be above the law but he does NOT have to answer questions, according to the law.

skieur
 

JAC526

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This is totally the photographers fault, what an @sshole. It's your ID, come on what an idiot. If some stranger walking down the street said can I see your ID I'd probably say sure, who the hell cares? They should arrest this guy just for being a punk. If you try and show someone in a position of power that you know more than them then you deserve what is coming. I always am 100% honest with police, customs whatever. I have been let off from DUI, and illegal contraband I guess because I was honest with whoever was asking questions. I have brought Cuban cigars into the country and because I told the people when they asked the truth they didn't even take them away. I got pulled over once going 120mph and when they cop asked if I had been drinking I said yes and probably too much because it was pretty stupid going that fast and I just got a speeding ticket. There's no reason to find 20 ways to avoid answering a question when 1 way, answering correctly, would work so much faster. This guy doesn't value his time at all, he'd spend 24 hours in jail to prove a stupid point.

That is stuff you should be keeping to yourself. Just embarrassing. You should be ashamed of yourself.
 

JAC526

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I thought the photographer handled it well. The first thing you need to understand is the police are not on your side in that situation.

They will try to ferret out anything they can. The more you talk the better chance you have of being arrested. I wouldn't have been calling a cop buddy, I'd have been calling an attorney.

Whose first piece of advice would be to not say a damn word.
 

unpopular

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For a guy like this who clearly does not understand his rights and just can't keep it cool, then yeah, don't say a word is your best route. But arguing with the cops is NEVER handling the situation. The cops know that you're more likely to say something incriminating or do something impulsive if you are worked up. They are very good at pissing people off without being aggressive or unprofessional. Getting you worked up is exactly what they want you to do.

If I were in this circumstance here is how it would go. Once I see the police approaching, I'd try to take a dominant, confident stance but try to remain as non-threatening as possible, I'd stand tall, place my camera at my side - and as he had, continue rerecording take a breath and smile, try to get myself in a positive mood and ask a simple "How's it going?"

The officer would approach me, he would ask what I am video taping. I'd explain I am video taping the white house. He'd then go on to ask if I am a tourist. I'd say yes, and make some kind of statement like "first time in DC". None of this information is sensitive or particularly personal.

The officer would ask to see my ID, at which point I would provide it just because I am pretty sure there is certain information you must provide, and this smooths that transaction. I don't much care for this, but it's something I'm willing to do; however, this is also why I never EVER go out shooting with my wallet. Oh, and DO NOT EVER lie about not having your wallet. I tried this once, only to get a "providing false information to a federal police officer" charge, which was fortunately dropped. If you don't have you wallet or don't want to "provide papers" you still must provide your legal name and address. You could lie if you're REALLY opposed to this, but the way I figure it is that they'll eventually figure it out, anyway; leave this kind of shenanigans for your protest activities, it makes for good theater but probably will land you in more trouble. It is fun to tell the police that you're name is Peter Kropotkin or Emma Goldman, just to see if they catch on. I once had an acquaintance who was called "Butterfly", they hauled her in thinking she was acting suspicious by giving the cops a fake name, only to find that was, in fact, her name.

"Yeah, officer, my name's Abbie, and this here is Anita".

But no. You kind of have to provide identity, and not providing identity I think is grounds for detainment. But i don't think you have to provide proof of identity, but they'll know if you're lying, and at that point you're kind of screwed. You do not have to provide your SSN because it is not legally an identity, it says so on your SSN card. If the cop really pushes for your SSN just say "I forgot it" (wink). They'll know this is BS, but what can they do? At this point say nothing until they give up. Honestly, the only time I was asked for my SSN was when I was homeless, and they thought they could get away with it.

If the officer asks to see my video tape or look into my bag, I'd say "no, it is my policy that any government search will require a warrant" and then go on to explain that it's nothing personal or specific about this situation, it's just "my policy". This emphasizes that it's a matter of principle. At that point I'd answer one additional non-invasive question, things that are both factual and I wouldn't mind exposing to just anyone, and ask if I can go. If the police officer says "no" then ask if you are being detained, the officer will always say "yes" at that point. I would then tell the police officer "I will no longer answer any further questions until an attorney is present". The police will continue to try to extract information out of you, and they will try to do it by making you angry or playing "good cop/bad cop"

At this point I try to think about something entirely unrelated. Eventually the police will let you go, but more likely they will formally detain you first, haul you downtown, get a warrant to search your belongings - and then let you go. But in the mean time you have to go into a "zone" because they are VERY good at making you mad.

The next step would be civil court, which you likely won't even see - even if you can obtain an attorney. It is a good idea to learn how to file yourself in case you cannot, in the least you'll cost the municipality money to sift through civil complaints.
 
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12sndsgood

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comeon, it's not just that. Yea that may be this thread, but it's all over the place. People get harrassed by cops, feds and security personel for taking pictures of anything related to infrastucture. I watched one a week or two ago about the California cop threatening to put a guy on a terror watch list, telling the guy he could be selling pictures to Al Qeda, and all this. I think he was taking pics of a bridge or a treatment plant or some such thing.

I concede now that if the guy in this particular video was hanging around for a long time, taking repeated pictures of the same feds, he was crossing a line, although I still say that line is very very thin. It really shouldn't matter to them. They are out there in the public carrying on, anybody can see what they are doing, anybody can stand there for as long as they want etc... If the govt depends on the actions of those cops out there in public being a secret in order to stop the whitehouse from being attacked, then we are in deep you know what.

and ive read stories about catholic priests who molested boys. or people who have photographed naked kids in sexual situations. does this mean i should believe that every priest and every photographer is a pedophile? not, it simply means that in every walk of life you have a few people who are bad. to sit there and say "Most of these cops are freekin children. Wet behind the ears, don't know jack squat about anything and they get to be the judge as to whether I am suspicious enough looking to warrant "the interview" ? Efff em." shows that you just feel cops are wrong no matter the situation. you make it look like u beleive by that very statement that you are almost above the law and how dare they ask you questions.

He may not be above the law but he does NOT have to answer questions, according to the law.

skieur


your right, by the law he doesnt. but id bet money if he had just answered the simple questions he probably would have been sent on his way in half the time.

i mean if i acted the way he did i would expect to be kept there for a while. for him to argue about how long it was taking was just silly.
 

shootermcgavin

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This is totally the photographers fault, what an @sshole. It's your ID, come on what an idiot. If some stranger walking down the street said can I see your ID I'd probably say sure, who the hell cares? They should arrest this guy just for being a punk. If you try and show someone in a position of power that you know more than them then you deserve what is coming. I always am 100% honest with police, customs whatever. I have been let off from DUI, and illegal contraband I guess because I was honest with whoever was asking questions. I have brought Cuban cigars into the country and because I told the people when they asked the truth they didn't even take them away. I got pulled over once going 120mph and when they cop asked if I had been drinking I said yes and probably too much because it was pretty stupid going that fast and I just got a speeding ticket. There's no reason to find 20 ways to avoid answering a question when 1 way, answering correctly, would work so much faster. This guy doesn't value his time at all, he'd spend 24 hours in jail to prove a stupid point.

That is stuff you should be keeping to yourself. Just embarrassing. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Whatever man, 20 years ago it was normal. Everyone drives drunk at some point in their life, some grow up sooner and learn not to. I'm not embarrassed at all just like when I take a bad photo it's not embarrassing it's called a learning experience. You sound like an old maid.
 

skieur

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and ive read stories about catholic priests who molested boys. or people who have photographed naked kids in sexual situations. does this mean i should believe that every priest and every photographer is a pedophile? not, it simply means that in every walk of life you have a few people who are bad. to sit there and say "Most of these cops are freekin children. Wet behind the ears, don't know jack squat about anything and they get to be the judge as to whether I am suspicious enough looking to warrant "the interview" ? Efff em." shows that you just feel cops are wrong no matter the situation. you make it look like u beleive by that very statement that you are almost above the law and how dare they ask you questions.

He may not be above the law but he does NOT have to answer questions, according to the law.

skieur


your right, by the law he doesnt. but id bet money if he had just answered the simple questions he probably would have been sent on his way in half the time.

i mean if i acted the way he did i would expect to be kept there for a while. for him to argue about how long it was taking was just silly.

It is not a matter of answering simple questions, but rather a matter of whether the simple questions end up in a police computer base of SUSPICIOUS persons.
So, if the information is being taken down, then you LOSE by providing it. That is why a lawyer will say; Don't say anything to the police and that is irregardless of whether it is "harmless info" in your opinion. If your name comes up in a police database at all, how will home security react when you are trying to travel somewhere and they are on a heightened alert for some reason.

skieur
 

JAC526

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This is totally the photographers fault, what an @sshole. It's your ID, come on what an idiot. If some stranger walking down the street said can I see your ID I'd probably say sure, who the hell cares? They should arrest this guy just for being a punk. If you try and show someone in a position of power that you know more than them then you deserve what is coming. I always am 100% honest with police, customs whatever. I have been let off from DUI, and illegal contraband I guess because I was honest with whoever was asking questions. I have brought Cuban cigars into the country and because I told the people when they asked the truth they didn't even take them away. I got pulled over once going 120mph and when they cop asked if I had been drinking I said yes and probably too much because it was pretty stupid going that fast and I just got a speeding ticket. There's no reason to find 20 ways to avoid answering a question when 1 way, answering correctly, would work so much faster. This guy doesn't value his time at all, he'd spend 24 hours in jail to prove a stupid point.

That is stuff you should be keeping to yourself. Just embarrassing. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Whatever man, 20 years ago it was normal. Everyone drives drunk at some point in their life, some grow up sooner and learn not to. I'm not embarrassed at all just like when I take a bad photo it's not embarrassing it's called a learning experience. You sound like an old maid.

I've never driven drunk. Just saying.
 

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He may not be above the law but he does NOT have to answer questions, according to the law.

skieur


i guess its just diffrent viewpoints i suppose. to me this guy is more suspicious by not answering a few simple questions then someone who just answers honestly.

id almost bet that the last time this guy had a confrontation he acted the same way, and now being caught again and evading questions and confronting them over and over is why the ss will be sending someone over to interview him.


those type questions are asked to see how you respond. to wether you clam up. or get nervous or start looking around. or start lying. if your stopped, answer honestly and truthfully and there is nothing on you. your not very likely to wind up on any terrorist list.


your right, by the law he doesnt. but id bet money if he had just answered the simple questions he probably would have been sent on his way in half the time.

i mean if i acted the way he did i would expect to be kept there for a while. for him to argue about how long it was taking was just silly.

It is not a matter of answering simple questions, but rather a matter of whether the simple questions end up in a police computer base of SUSPICIOUS persons.
So, if the information is being taken down, then you LOSE by providing it. That is why a lawyer will say; Don't say anything to the police and that is irregardless of whether it is "harmless info" in your opinion. If your name comes up in a police database at all, how will home security react when you are trying to travel somewhere and they are on a heightened alert for some reason.

skieur


guess its just a diffrence of opinion. if im secret service and i ask a guy a few questions, he answer them all politly and honestly id send him on his way. if a guy is not answering questions, evading answers, not wanting to give me id i would be much more likely to put his name down. im guessing he did that the first time and thats why he is now having someone go to his house to question him.

police ask questions allot of time to judge how you respond. not what you respond with. they do want to know the truth so they can verify things. but they want to see if you start getting nervous, start evading questions, does your story change as you go along. things that throw up red flags that there could be an issue
 

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