US Bank Tower Guards Harass and Call Photographers Idiots

On January 18, NPRO members went to the US Bank Tower in Downtown Los Angeles to protest against their security staff’s illegal treatment of photographers when photographing the property from a public sidewalk.

Over the next couple of days, more video and photos will be posted, showing what happened, along with contact info for the building’s management staff.

In the the meantime, here is the building’s address and phone number. Please contact them after listening to the audio and reading the transcript to voice your concerns.

US Bank Tower
633 W 5th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 615-6300

Below is a transcript of what happened between NPRO members and the US Bank Tower’s security staff on January 18, 2009.

———————————————————

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Excuse me sir, you’re not allowed to take any pictures.

NOHO DAMON: We’re both on a public sidewalk here.

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: No actually this sidewalk is private.

NOHO DAMON: No, no, no, no…(inaudible)

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: No.

NOHO DAMON: This is a public sidewalk.

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Right…no.

NOHO DAMON: You guys own the street?

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: That’s the public, this is private.

NOHO DAMON: You’re telling me you own the street, you’re telling me you own the sidewalk.

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Yes sir.

NOHO DAMON: You’re telling me that.

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Yes.

NOHO DAMON: Would you be willing to discuss that with a cop?

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Yes.

NOHO DAMON: That you own the sidewalk?

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Yes.

Sounds of photos being taken.

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Excuse me sir, you will be arrested

NOHO DAMON: PIctures of the hand up are gold. Just so you know. (Laughs).

BRIAN: We are in front of the US BANK BUILDING getting harassed.

NOHO DAMON: Who owns the sidewalk on that side?

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: I have no idea who owns that sidewalk

NOHO DAMON: But you own this sidewalk?

US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Yes.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Can I get your ID?

DISCARTED: No.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Okay, alright we got pictures of you guys.

BRIAN: Okay.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Just so you know right now.

Patrick Silver, US BANK SECURITY GUARD reaches for Discarted’s camera.

DISCARTED: Don’t touch my camera.

Inaudible.

DISCARTED: I can in public. You’re photographing me.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Go ‘head…all this is the property line.

DISCARTED: Where? Where’s the plaque?

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): This is a plaque, right there. You took pictures of it.

DISCARTED: Where?

Inaudible.

DISCARTED: Why don’t you call the cops?

NOHO DAMON: You should call the cops.

UNKNOWN: Just call the police.

DISCARTED: We’re asking you to call the police.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Carlos?

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): You guys have fun today.

Inaudible.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): I threatened you with arrest?

DISCARTED: Yeah…we’re recording.

NOHO DAMON: You wanna play it back? We’re recording, you think were idiots?

DISCARTED: We’ve been recording the whole time.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): I threatened you with arrest? I said I would get you arrested?

DISCARTED: Yes.

NOHO DAMON: Aaah, he said we would be arrested…that guy said we would be arrested.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Did I say that?

DISCARTED: Yeah you did.

Inaudible.

DISCARTED: I’m sorry…I am sorry. I apologize

NOHO DAMON: Don’t apologize to the guy that’s calling you idiot though. That’s like a little over the line.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Anybody that needs attention like this, yes, you are idiots.

DISCARTED: We didn’t ask for attention. You came out to us.

David calls LAPD again and talks with officer Johnson again.

DAVID: Hey officer Johnson how’s it going? This is Dave calling you back. I called you about ten minutes ago. We just progressing down the street and every building come by we’re having problems. Now we’re at 633 at the US BANK. And we’ve been threatened with arrest.

DISCARTED: And called idiots.

NOHO DAMON: And idiots. That idiot thing was really…(inaudible).

DAVID: We are on the sidewalk. Ah, like right on the curb because we’re basically being pushed off.

DISCARTED: We’re on a red zone.

(Inaudible).

NOHO DAMON: Tell them they own the sidewalk here.

At this point, this random guy named William walks down the stairs adjacent to the US BANK building and starts taking photos with his camera phone of what’s happening. He is quickly told to stop by one of the US BANK security guards.

WILLIAM: This is public property.

BRIAN: Hey what’s your name bro.

WILLIAM: My name’s William.

BRIAN: Can I take a picture real quick?

Click. Click.

BRIAN: Thanks William. Hey take care buddy.

WILLIAM: We’re fighting…

BRIAN: Yeah we’re fighting the same fight right now.

WILLIAM: We’re fighting the same fight.

WILLIAM: No, no you know what I mean. They do it all the time. These guys do it all the time. They get the same response all the time. Typically they’re speaking to tourists. Except that I’m not a tourist.

Patrick Silver, US BANK SECURITY GUARD walks toward Discarted forcing him to step back off the sidewalk and into the street.

NOHO DAMON: I’m trying to show that this guy is forcing one of our guys off into the public street here.

PATRICK SILVER, US BANK SECURITY GUARD: Yeah, yeah whatever. Look. Look. The conversation is over.

UKNOWN: Okay bye.

DAVID: Hey I’m talking to officer Johnson from Central Station right now.

PATRICK SILVER, US BANK SECURITY GUARD: I don’t care who you’re talking to.

DAVID: He said do whatever you want it’s completely legal.

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: You don’t care. You’re not gonna talk to officer Johnson?

DAVID: Anyway I guess I’ll let you go. Thanks for answering.

(Inaudible).

DAVID: Well, we just called the cops to make sure. So there’s nothing illegal or wrong with what we’re doing.

NOHO DAMON: This is no sign is there?

DAVID: So I really don’t know why you guys are threatening to arrest us.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): You’re wasting your breath. You’re wasting your breath. I’m not even listening to what you’re saying.

NOHO DAMON: You know you’re an idiot.

DAVID: Huh?

NOHO DAMON: Didn’t you here you’re an idiot.

DAVID: Oh I must’ve missed that memo.

DISCARTED: Look at this guy(referring to William), he’s not even with us and he’s showing up, telling you how it is.

DAVID: I just asked you to put your money where your mouth is, and so you’re not hearing anything I say now? But you want us to hear what you say?

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Mr. Photographer…

DAVID: Does that seem a little one sided.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Mr. Photographer…

DISCARTED: Mr. Security Guard.

DAVID: You want me to listen to you?

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): I don’t care. I said the conversation is over. I’m not saying anything to you because you don’t matter to me.

(Inaudible).

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Nothing that you do don’t matter to me.

DAVID: So what do you guys do when stuff matters because the entire force is out here and we don’t matter.

PATRICK SILVER (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): No, we were just wondering why so many idiots just show up to take pictures.

NOHO DAMON: He’s on tape using that kind of language.

DAVID: Maguire who employs you guys? If I could ask Maguire?

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Excuse me?

DAVID: Carlos is your name right?

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Yes Carlos is my name.

(Inaudible).

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): We work for, uhm, UPS, but the company that actually were hired by (inaudible) Properties.

(Inaudible).

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: We’re not trying to cause trouble. We’re not trying to antagonize you…and we know that you’re doing your job as dictated by your supervisors. The problem is your supervisors are engaging you in trying to protect some sort of rule that has no basis in law, okay? This is a public sidewalk. It’s proven by the (inaudible) mark that is shown at every public, I’m sorry, every private space has to have down at that end of your building, as well as that plaque there. That means that point there, going that way (pointing towards direction of US BANK building) is private property. This is a public sidewalk (points toward the sidewalk).

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Well.

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: Anything and everything in my view from a public sidewalk is free for me to photograph.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Well.

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: There are no laws that say…

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Well, this is the way we’re trained.

(Inaudible).

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: I understand that.

(Inaudible).

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): That’s the point of view from this stance. We have our own stance (inaudible) follow.

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: But the issue becomes, you could say that it’s a he said, he said. But…but, if I cross over that space and I enter your building or I do anything that violates your true legal boundary then I am breaking the law. I am not doing that now. If you want to research that you’ll find that what we’re telling you is the truth. There are no laws that prevent us from taking photographs.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): You know Angelo I completely agree with what you’re saying, but unfortunately that is your stance and I have my stance.

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: I’m not asking you to change your point of view today. You have a job to do. You have a responsibility to your supervisor and I respect that. I’m just saying as you move forward you might want to engage your supervisors in an intelligent conversation about why are you making us do this when clearly it’s not the law and it’s causing a lot of confrontational (inaudible). Because you know technically the behavior of that other gentlemen a moment ago and his language, as well as the body language…the body language, in essence that you all are presenting actually violates my rights. I feel threatened by you guys.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Like I said you know, you’re going at your way, well, your stand point of view

(Inaudible).

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): We’re over here to protect…

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: I understand that.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Our area.

DISCARTED: Who’s the supervisor above you? Can we talk to him or her?

BRIAN: That wasn’t the head supervisor?

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): No, our supervisor, our director’s not in right now.

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: The difference between the two points of view is that your is based on rule your own supervisor. Mine is based on law.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): It’s actually created by management. It’s not our supervisor.

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: Well, you know what I mean.

(Inaudible).

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: Okay Carlos, thank you sir. We’re not trying to cause trouble for you.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Yeah thank you so much.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): I’ll have my director follow up with them and maybe they can, cause I’m just write a little (inaudible) about what happened over here. I’ll have my director follow up with him. And pretty much, he can give you the details that you were trying to give us. You know there’s a lot of stuff here that was probably misunderstanding.

DISCARTED: Carlos, can I ask you a question. That man that left earlier. He came up to me ask, well, he wanted my I.D., what is that based on? He can’t ask for my I.D.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Well…the only reason why you know, he’s going at you in that way is because we’re going based that this is…

DISCARTED: What are the legal…

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): This is private, that this is private property. So based…so, so, so just for the face that this is private property…

NOHO DAMON: He’s trying to push us around.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): You know we have all of the rights to ask you to give us some form of I.D.

DISCARTED: Are you sure? Are you sure about that?

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): We’re not trying to push you around sir. We’re just trying to protect, you know, the building.

NOHO DAMON: But we’re on public property.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): We’re just trying to figure it out.

DISCARTED: No but even though you’re on private property you still have a right to privacy. This is a public space, there’s a grey area between private property and public space.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): That’s why he asked you for your I.D., he did not demand your I.D.

DISCARTED: No he demanded it. I said no because I know the law, I know I don’t have to tell him…

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Exactly, it’s up to you whether you want to provide it or not. You did not want to provide it.

DISCARTED: And if I did what would he have done with my I.D.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Well, he would’ve kept your I.D., (inaudible), I don’t know, probably follow…

DISCARTED: He would’ve kept it, he would’ve stole my property.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Not kept his I.D., he would of give his I.D. back.

DISCARTED: And what would he have done with my I.D.?

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): It would’ve followed up with an incident report sir.

NOHO DAMON: Some internal thing you guys have or something?

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): We have you know our incident reports that we follow up at, this is an incident. It wouldn’t be nothing. It’s just like, an incident report, something happened, have to be documented, because everything is getting filmed. You know everybody’s on camera right now.

DISCARTED: Yeah that’s funny thing. As soon as we start photographing any of the guards they don’t like it but we’re being photographed. The same apply to all of us. You can’t tell us we can’t photograph.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Well the reason why you guys are being filmed because this is private property.

(Inaudible).

NOHO DAMON: I’m gonna make a visit to city hall and bring it to you personally…

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Like I say you know, we’re going based on what the (inaudible) management says, you know, and we’re trying to enforce.

NOHO DAMON: They give you false information…seriously, you’re opening yourselves up to lawsuits by telling me this is private property. It’s not.

Part 2:

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Well, you know what that’s something that’s gonna have to be brought up to them, you know.

(Inaudible).

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Like I said, you know, we’re pretty much not trying to harass you guys.

DISCARTED: That’s what was going on. We were being harassed

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): And I understand how you feel.

DISCARTED: And we were being threatened by that other man.

(Inaudible).

DISCARTED: He was calling me an idiot.

DAVID: We were actually trying to figure out what was going on but that guy was just telling us we’re gonna arrest you.

DISCARTED: He called me an idiot on man occasions…I don’t care what you do. I don’t care what you have to say and we have it all on camera. It’s definitely gonna be seen by executives and people who make decisions to keep or let go of people.

DAVID: Carlos is the cool guy.

DISCARTED: Yeah, there’s always one of you in the group and I appreciate it.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Hey no problem man…like I said before I’m not here to harass anybody because you know I have to respect everybody from your stand point of view, you know. We’re not law enforcement. We’re here to observe and report.

DISCARTED: But I think there’s a mentality among some of the security guards that they are law enforcement.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Sorry for what happen guys. I never imagined it was gonna escalate up to this point.

DAVID: Hey call officer Johnson, talk to him…

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): I’m gonna follow up with my directors…(inaudible)…this is the number 213-485…

DAVID: That’s the Central Station it’s about three blocks away.

DISCARTED: Here I have something for you.

DISCARTED: Here. These are. This is the definition of proprietary. This is copyright law applying to architecture visible from public sidewalks. And then this is basically all of the rights. This is summed up, the legal rights of photographers…I suggest you read this, educate your superiors because they’re the ones who put you in this position. This escalated beyond what it should’ve been…

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): It should’ve never escalated to this point.

DISCARTED: Because of that man it could’ve gotten physical. He was very aggressive.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): That’s basically why I came here, I don’t want this to escalate to a point where it’s gonna become a physical incident. You know, we’re trying, you know, to help each other out. I don’t want that.

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: Carlos? The question I have for you is, the gentleman who was out here, the larger African-American guy is he, does he have a supervisor (inaudible) or…

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Well, he’s the swing shift supervisor.

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: He’s the supervisor of this swing shift?

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): He’s the one that’s currently taking order.

DISCARTED: Who his supervisor and contact info? And can we possibly get that? Because he was definitely the most belligerent out of anybody in this entire group, on both sides.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): Well, I can provide you with his name.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): His name is Patrick Silver.

(Inaudible).

ANGELO OF HOLLYWOOD: Thank you Carlos. We don’t want to make you feel bad for coming to work today.

CARLOS (US BANK SECURITY GUARD): No problem, that’s no problem man. You guys have a good one.

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19 Responses to “US Bank Tower Guards Harass and Call Photographers Idiots”


  1. 1 a.c.thamer January 19, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    I am so glad you guys did this. I have been harassed at that building many times before and I was surprised to have them come out onto the street and meet me as though I was a criminal. I have been meaning to get behind your cause and teach the ignorant what a disservice they are providing in the name of imaginary security.

  2. 2 frizia roger January 21, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Thanks very interesting post, good info.

  3. 3 cinemafia January 21, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Nice nice, excellent work. You guys were on your p’s and q’s, I wish I could have been there!

  4. 4 David January 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I was harassed last year too when I took picture of the building near MOCA…

    Keep up the fight guys… thanks!

  5. 5 Mike in Tampa January 23, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    You guys are Great! It’s amazing some of these security people think they are SWAT members. Next time I’m in LA, bet your ass I’ll set up an entire shoot on the sidewalk! Game on guys!

    Mike

  6. 6 Eric Blair February 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Bank_Tower#Controversies.

  7. 7 discarted February 3, 2009 at 3:32 am

    eric blair-

    very nice. thanks.

  8. 8 thekushlife April 23, 2009 at 8:24 am

    I use to work here as security, I know about everything going on and the real reason they don’t want ANYONE taking pictures. Crazy stuff but it’s two part remember…

    • 9 discarted April 23, 2009 at 11:02 am

      thekushlife

      can you get in touch with us at info@discarted.com

  9. 10 Grayson May 7, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Badly need your help. Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.
    I am from Marino and also am speaking English, give true I wrote the following sentence: “We have detected that you do not have javascript enabled.”

    With best wishes :(, Grayson.

  10. 11 Fabricio April 20, 2010 at 11:55 am

    They ask for ID but they don’t know what to do with it. Carlos is an idiot! and he doesn’t know anything. They ask for ID because they don’t know how to handle the situation. This guy is more harrassed by his manager than you guys were. I am begining to think that in order to be a private security (officer?) or whatever they are you must be a natural born follower.

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