Sheriff Threatens to Submit Photographer to FBI’s Hit List

It is completely legal to photograph the Los Angeles Metro System.

Be sure to Digg the video here, leave a comment on YouTube, and submit the story to boingboing.

On October 31, 2009 while on my way home from the Hollywood and Highland area, I was unlawfully detained for 25 minutes by LASD Officers Richard Gylfie #2955 and Bayes #456 for taking two photographs of the turnstiles located at the Hollywood and Western Metro Station — an act that is completely legal and occurred in public space.

As you can see in the video (which can be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, Liveleak, Flickr and discarted.com), Officer Gylfie #2955 and Officer Bayes #456 took it upon themselves to ignore established law and Metro policies in order to bully me, humiliate me, and detain me for conducting a perfectly legal activity in public. More important, by illegally detaining me, Officers Gylfie and Bayes violated my constitutional rights, which protect me as a photographer and against unlawful stops, searches, and seizures.

To voice your concerns regarding my unlawful detainment, contact the following individuals and offices:

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s online complaint form.

Michael J. Gennaco, Chief Attorney
The Office of Independent Review
4900 South Eastern Avenue, Suite 204
Commerce, CA 90040
Phone: (323) 890-5360
Email: mjgennac@laoir.com

Karyn Mannis, Captain
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Internal Affairs Bureau
http://www.lasd.org/divisions/leadership-training-div/bureaus/iab.html
(323) 890-5300

Eric Garcetti, City Council President
5500 Hollywood Blvd., 4th Floor
Hollywood, CA 90028
Phone: 323-957-4500
Email: councilmember.garcetti@lacity.org

NOTE: Garcetti’s office is directly across the street from where this unlawful detainment took place. Gil Garcetti, Eric’s father, is also a former Los Angeles District Attorney, as well as an acclaimed urban photographer, so Eric should be well aware of photographers’ rights and the issues that we deal with today.

Tom LaBonge, Councilmember, District 4
Hollywood Field Office
6501 Fountain Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Phone: (323) 957-6415
Email: councilmember.labonge@lacity.org

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365 Responses to “Sheriff Threatens to Submit Photographer to FBI’s Hit List”


  1. 1 Thomas Hawk November 8, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Shawn, this video makes me very angry. This cop has a huge ego and obviously doesn’t know the rules about the very area he has been hired to patrol. Abusive cops like this don’t deserve to wear the badge.

    I hope other people are mad too when they see this video and help organize resistance against this sort of BS.

    • 2 Devin Greaney November 10, 2009 at 10:47 pm

      Let’s say everything the officer said was true about terrorists using photography to attack a subway, the scenario is plausable. And the officer’s job is to question people looking suspicious, just like those of you who have kids would question a man photographing around your children at the playground.

      BUT imagine if you were a terrorist. Would you, in front of security cameras, lift up a camera to your face and start shooting? I’m not into terrorism, but if I was I would pick up my I-phone and act like I was talking to my friends, but be shooting away. Or I could go old school and hide a camera in a book and leave with everything I need.

    • 3 cavedweller November 11, 2009 at 1:57 pm

      I’m a police officer and a photographer and I can see both sides of this incident. I won’t address the constitutionality of what occurred other than to say that the Supreme Court has ruled that stopping, detaining and identifying subjects involved in suspicious activity’s is justified (see Terry V. Ohio). To many people, taking a photo in a subway is a completely innocent act. What most people don’t know is that, as police officers, we are privy to information that the average citizens do not know. We receive intelligence reports regularly and they detail possible threats against national security. Some of those identified threats have been subjects photographing mass transit facilities. “Shawn” was not committing a crime at the time of this incident. He was however, participating in an activity that the police have been advised to be cognizant of. “Shawn” was, in my opinion, intentionally aggravating the incident by his evasive answers. This is an incident that would have been over in about 1 minute if “Shawn” had not acted the way he did. The person who commented by saying “It is not a requirement that citizens talk respectfully to police officers” is absolutely right, but, expect to get the same amount of respect back from the police officer. That is exactly what you saw in the video. To put this in a way that most parents can understand, its not against the law for a stranger to take pictures of your children while they play in a park, but, wouldn’t you want the police to ask them why? I think you would.

      • 4 Lucy M November 12, 2009 at 12:44 pm

        Well said!!!

      • 5 Tom November 13, 2009 at 1:20 pm

        cavedweller, you may be able to fool the average citizen with your BS but I have been a cop myself long enough to know and understand that YOU are there to serve the people, not the other way around.

        The bottom line is that this insecure, ego maniac cop got into a pissing match with Joe citizen and got his feelings hurt when Mr. Citizen didn’t cooperate.

        If you are a cop as you say that you are, were you asleep in the academy the day they taught about what a consensual encounter was? That is exactly what this should have been, nothing more more, nothing less. If the photographer told that cop to go take a flying dump, the cop would have had to do exactly that, UNLESS the cop could point to articulable suspicion to the level that would have warranted a detention, which the cop clearly lacked. Now, the flip side of this coin would be if there was a POSTED SIGN that warned the public about filming or taking pictures but there are none. I have never seen such a sign myself in these areas.

        Cops like you are what give the profession a bad name, resulting in a lack of trust by the general population. You need to learn your place and what your role to the general public is all about.

      • 6 gnach November 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm

        @ cavedweller,

        Constitional, Bill of Rights issues aside. Respect is a two way street. When the photographers says he knows the law the office goes into bull mode. His ego is challenged. He’s going to assert his authority. Plain and simple. He’s going to give a terrorism lesson? Threatening with an FBI hit list? Give it a break. He’s aggravated the situation, not the photographer.

        “My job is to determine if a person is committing a crime”. Photography is crime. Standing up for your rights is a crime. In the good old days it would have been a night stick in the back. Son. And that’s why we still have to fight for our civil rights.

      • 7 Josh December 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm

        I don’t know if Tom was sleeping during the academy…but all the officer would have to do is pull a JDIC or LEO bulletin stating as cavedweller said…that terrorists have gathered intelligence by photographing or videotaping these known terrorist targets, giving him PC for his detainment. We are privy to much the general public is not aware of.

        Sounds like the dep adequately articulated that in his training and experience terrorists have been known to photograph terrorist targets, hence the detainment and questioning.

        It’s not rocket science.

      • 8 ency May 26, 2010 at 12:03 pm

        cavedweller,

        Its kind of hard to not get pissed off at a cop and become as hard headed as they are after your first run in with a cop. Cops bully people by default, I know your keeping your self safe and I can not blame you for that. Just expect people to treat cops the same way cops treat non cops.
        Cops are assholes by default just as cops treat us a criminals by default.

      • 9 ency May 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm

        Tom,

        Thank you for a sane comment.

      • 10 Ken Evanska January 5, 2012 at 3:23 am

        Yes you are right, respect works both ways but,,, the cop should have shown some respect first instead of barging in, Talking as if he was the all mighty himself!
        He was plainly making it up when he started talking about the metro policie, in other words he was lying!
        But then all would have been over in seconds if the guy with the camera just said, “its my hobby, I dont need to show you my ID as I am not legaly obliged to carry ID , goodbye I no longer wish to speak with you”
        I live and work in England and I notice that our cops are taking the same sort of stance with us common free folk,
        Oh and yes, taking photoes, film etc of kids playing in the park, yes by all means, detain and question and expect answers.
        what I am getting at, will cameras of any kind be confiscated from visiters to our countrys ? will tourists not be allowed to take photos? “oh thers aunty Alice going through the check point, one last photo of her waving goodbye”,,,, Mmm ecuse me sir/mam, your under arrest for taking photos in this airport, metro, underground tube, train station

      • 11 Anthony Luscher April 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm

        Shawn was very respectful. I found the officer to be arrogant, ill-informed, argumentative and demeaning. He also had no right to take his ID.

    • 12 Robert November 12, 2009 at 12:04 am

      No respect, no values or morals. Shawn your a jack ass.

      • 13 ray November 12, 2009 at 8:09 pm

        The Gestapo was playing the chicken and egg game,which came first. The so called Police officer was out of line, unprofessional and had no knowledge. LA’s FINEST! Please!

    • 14 Steve Clancy November 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm

      Howdy.

      I am a big supporter of the police and law enforcement in general, and I have to say that my knee-jerk reaction to a story like this is usually on the side of the officers involved.

      That being said, I was absolutely horrified at the treatment this young man received. If he had been using a cell phone camera or small digital one, I doubt that he would have been singled out.

      I don’t want to speculate on Officer Gylfie’s motivations (bullying, too much time on his hands, shoulder chip, etc.) but he is in desperate need of some re-education in the policies and laws governing the areas of his beat, and in interpersonal skills.

      I almost NEVER respond or take any action over something like this that shows up in a blog, but this was SO outrageous I felt I had to. I contacted all three of the agencies mention in the blog (referred to in the original posting) and left a message for Captain Karyn Mannis of the LASD Internal Affairs division.

    • 15 Rohn Engh November 22, 2009 at 11:42 pm

      SS Trooper Gylfie should also chase down the suspicious photographers who took pictures of the interior of the L.A. Subway that I found on Google Images.

      I found 15 on Google Images…! 🙂 – Rohn Engh

  2. 16 Ryan November 8, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    The officer didn’t know what he was talking about, but you were also being a little jerk the way you were talking to him. I don’t think he would have detained you if you had been respectful in the beginning and just explained what you were doing in a nice way. Sometimes just because you are in the right doesn’t mean you have to insist on your rights. Try talking to a boss at work like that just because he has no idea what he is talking about, which is a lot of the time.

    • 17 Franklin November 9, 2009 at 12:16 am

      It is not a requirement that citizens talk respectfully to police officers to get them to abide by the law and do their jobs properly.

      • 18 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 12:19 am

        Well, if you want to be technical, the police are allowed to detain you for 3 days without filing charges and be absolutely within the law. Would you like to follow the exact rules of law or would you like to use a little common sense and answer the questions? This guy was intentionally trying to incite a confrontation.

    • 19 Jeff Wilson November 9, 2009 at 1:21 am

      Are you kidding me Ryan? Short of getting on his knees and begging for mercy, I don’t know how the photographer could have been more respectful. And that’s not easy when someone is accusing you via false information of trying to plan a subway bombing. Oh, and putting him on a list whereby he would be harassed for the rest of his life without cause.

      If this video doesn’t make you angry, I question your belief in the rights guaranteed by the constitution, particularly the fourth amendment.

      “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

      • 20 torgeaux November 9, 2009 at 6:58 am

        Kenny:

        No, police are not allowed to detain you for 3 days unless they show a variety of legally sufficient reasons for doing so. The constitution doesn’t have a 3 day wait period before it kicks in. The fact that there are extremely limited circumstances when a 3 day hold may be legal is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

        Common sense says that it’s not a right if you can’t actually depend on it. Saying people should expect to get hassled if they rely on their rights is moronic and frankly shows a basic misunderstanding of what a “right” is.

    • 21 Doc November 9, 2009 at 7:51 am

      “…what you were doing in a nice way. Sometimes just because you are in the right doesn’t mean you have to insist on your rights…”

      It is NEVER acceptable to fail to insist on your rights.

    • 22 John Ross November 9, 2009 at 1:14 pm

      “Sometimes just because you are in the right doesn’t mean you have to insist on your rights.”
      I call bullsh*t. Yes you do have to insist on your rights.
      If you would prefer a world where the police can stop you and search you at any time, or detain you for whatever reason they want there are plenty of countries around the world where people don’t have the right not to be searched and detained without probable cause. MOVE THERE YOURSELF.
      I hope these two lug-nut brained idiots are not still on duty there. Perhaps its me but I would rather have a PROFESSIONAL police force. Part of being professional is KNOWING YOUR JOB.
      As a police officer he should have know he needed a “Reasonable” cause to stop or detain this man. (which he even admitted in the video)
      My suggestion is get about 100 friends together and go taking pictures there in the subway while Officer numbnuts is on duty.
      Don’t just let this lay. Stand up for your rights now.
      Or you can wait till you’ll have to do more than just stand for them.

    • 23 Rock November 10, 2009 at 1:20 pm

      It doesn’t matter what his attitude was, I would have been a little pissed that I was being illegally detained. For a cop to begin any investigation, which is what this cop did, he or she must first have probable cause. Taking a picture is not probable cause that any crime is taking place. This cop just decided to be a jerk.

      • 24 Kenny Wyland November 10, 2009 at 1:34 pm

        Actually, Rock, all the cop needs is reasonable suspicion to detain you and ask some questions. Probable cause is the barrier to much more invasive searches and detainment. You can look at the case law we’re already discussing in this thread, (Terry v Ohio) that a cop saw some guys just walking up and down the street and decided it was suspicious and stopped them to question them. The court found the officer was well within the law.

    • 25 Bobby V. November 11, 2009 at 1:02 am

      “Sometimes just because you are in the right doesn’t mean you have to insist on your rights.” Clearly the officer in question wasn’t trying to protect our rights. So if he(discarted) doesn’t who will. Certainly not the government. The only part of your rights “Big brother” is interested in is which ones they can violate today. If you refuse to fight for your rights then you have none.

    • 26 Jeff Gentry November 11, 2009 at 9:16 am

      This comment discussion proves the important of what this photographer did. American take their rights for granted and need to be awakened to appreciate the value of our rights and the importance of protecting them.

      Thank you for your courage and for exercising your rights. These officers do this how many times a day? The only restraint is that there are people like you out there that will stand up.

      BTW, I thought you were entirely TOO cooperative. The moment the officer suggests that he suspects you of a crime, I recommend “Am I legally required to answer that question, sir?” and nothing else. You weren’t legally required to have any of that discussion, making you extremely helpful and friendly compared to what you would have been within your rights to do – remain silent.

    • 27 Miller November 19, 2009 at 6:28 pm

      A cop is not your boss, they work for you. You cannot compare a cop to a boss, we pay them. Also, the law clearly says you have the right to remain silent, and that a cop cannot use your silence to incriminate you, or to claim that makes you more suspicious. Another thing is, people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. The law doesn’t say a cop can detain you until he determines if you’re doing something illegal, especially when you’re on public property operating within the rules established for that specific area. If you’re not doing anything illegal you shouldn’t have to explain what you’re doing to anyone.

      Note:
      http://www.metro.net/doing_business/filming_metro/guidelines.htm

      Here’s what it says about filming:

      Photography Guidelines

      Only permissible in public areas
      Hand held equipment only

      If you’re not doing anything illegal, and someone being paid to protect your rights bullys you, and illegally forces you to submit physically, who’s being paid to protect you from that? That’s what the cops are supposed to protect people from, what he was doing to the photographer.

      • 28 Kenny Wyland November 19, 2009 at 6:34 pm

        Yeah, let’s also note that your right to remain silent is a completely separate issue from whether or not the cop has the right to detain you.

        Go read through the case law already posted in this thread where officers were found to be completely within the Law to stop and question someone merely because they looked “nervous” and nervous looking people in the airport are often trafficking drugs.

        You need to separate the two ideas in your mind. Your rights protect you from incriminating yourself and being imprisoned. They do NOT NOT NOT protect you from being detained for a very short period of time to attempt such a questioning.

        Once again… police harassment is a very real problem, but in order to prove it in a court of law you are going to want to have a clear case that is not muddied by an antagonistic citizen who was clearly trolling for a confrontation. A Judge could easily see that behavior clouds the issue and not give you the ruling you want. You want the Judge to see you being non-confrontational and still being harassed. Then you’ve got an airtight case.

      • 29 Miller November 19, 2009 at 6:50 pm

        I am free. I do not care if someone tries to stop me while standing in a public place acting legally. They can claim it’s legal to stop me, or detain me, but I do not care what anyone says. Unless you know I am doing something illegal, you better not interfere with my life by trying to accuse me of doing illegal things, or try to detain me.

        I do not care what any judge says, what anyone says, it is not legal to stop and accuse me unless you know I’m doing something illegal. If you simply ask me some polite questions, I might answer you nicely back if I don’t think you’re implying accusation.

        Maybe a lot of people are nervous because they’ve seen cops harass so many people for no reason at all, and when they see a cop they get nervous. That doesn’t give a cop the right to detain them. That’s no different than claiming you have the right to detain me for being happy, or sad.

        Also, a subway is not an airport. Is an airport public property? Does the city own Alaska Air, Hawaiian Air, and JetBlue?

        Even if someone was taking a photo to plan crime, you shouldn’t be able to even ask them a question about why they have a camera, until you see them with something illegal. If it’s public, maybe you could observe activity a little. But unless the photographer is hijacking a plane at 30,000 feet, why even question him? What terrorist activity can be prevented by harassing photographers? None.

        Also, if I was an FBI agent that saw this, I would get rid of that officer for trying to make the FBI look bad. When some Mobster starts making big threats instead of doing stuff quietly, the mafia kills them, it’s bad business.

        When people choose to be lazy, and don’t want to do their own job by themselves, they start throwing around words, claims, and try to bring other people into the situation to handle it for them. Also, when one person is harassing another by doing something they know is wrong, they start talking about bringing someone else into it, so they feel more secure about the wrong things they’ve done, by trying to make it sound like someone has their back.

      • 30 Kenny Wyland November 19, 2009 at 6:55 pm

        The moment you say “I do not care what any judge says” you lose absolutely all credibility when discussing the Law. Judges are the arbiters of Law.

        “Is an airport public property? Does the city own Alaska Air, Hawaiian Air, and JetBlue?”

        *sigh* The City of Los Angeles owns Los Angeles International Airport (aka LAX). It doesn’t own the planes which stop there and pick people up, but YES, it owns the freaking airport.

        Again, you’re speaking without thinking.

      • 31 Miller November 19, 2009 at 7:00 pm

        No, I am not commenting here to have someone attempt to insult me. I was making a point, I will stand up for my rights no matter who says the law can do anything to me, even a judge. I know what’s right, and what’s wrong, and I do not care who says what.

        In a subway is there commercial businesses running trains through there? Can people choose what commercial entity to buy tickets from, who’s vehicles to ride?

        It’s different if you’re standing in front of a Starbucks taking photos, than it is on public property. If you walk up to a JetBlue counter and start taking photos, is that public? Or does JetBlue rent that space for business?

        I am making very simple, easy to understand points here. I do not see why you would want to spend you time trying to argue with me.

    • 32 Bob October 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      The problem is..the officer still had no right to detain him, regardless of the guy’s attitude towards the police officer. Also, it’s nothing like talking to a boss at work…cops are not the boss of anyone, and shouldn’t be, they are there to serve us. But yah, time after time people seem to just accept being treated like they are somehow lower in society than police officers, it’s depressing to me.

  3. 33 babydiscarted November 8, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Thank god the war of terror has this guy on the front lines! He wouldn’t know Al Qaeda if one of them were right under his nose. He’s too busy bullying law-abiding photographers to make himself feel good.

  4. 34 David Markland November 8, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Not surprised, but glad you were able to grab most of this on tape.

    Ryan, you miss the point completely. Of course Discarted could have been more polite. But he doesn’t need to. We shouldn’t need to. It still doesn’t justify his detainment… not for a moment. Officers aren’t given the authority to handcuff anyone just for being an asshole (which Discarted doesn’t even come close to here).

    This is another sad example of a cop on a power trip, whose ego has gotten far ahead of law and, more importantly, common sense. And if cops can’t exhibit common sense when distinguishing between a photographer and an actual potential terrorist threat, how can we trust them with a badge or gun?

    • 35 Miller November 19, 2009 at 6:34 pm

      I think that cops should be on live video all the time, every minute that they are on duty. The video could have a live link to a public website where anyone could view it live, anytime, just by typing in the city, state, and badge number.

      Cops should have a little miniature camera on their shoulder broadcasting everything they say, and do live. Then when it’s sent to the server it should be recorded, keeping the last 12 hours for anyone to download for use in court. That would solve a lot of problems, and it would cost almost nothing to setup.

      If I can spend about $20, and setup a website showing a live camera of my front yard, they can put a live camera on every cop.

      • 36 Kenny Wyland November 19, 2009 at 6:35 pm

        For someone who loves their rights, you certainly are ready to hand over everyone’s right to privacy by broadcasting them live to the entire world.

      • 37 Miller November 19, 2009 at 6:37 pm

        Kenny, I’m not saying they should be photographed taking a shower. I am saying while on duty. They are on public land, being paid by the public, there would be no invasion by putting them on live video.

      • 38 Kenny Wyland November 19, 2009 at 6:40 pm

        How about all of the people they walk up to who are now on video and don’t really want to be broadcast to the world? What about all the times they have to enter a private residence? Or all the times they need to discuss a sensitive subject with a citizen… you’re going to broadcast that live to the entire world?

        You have to actually think through the consequences of the things you put forth. Forcing all cops to be broadcast live to the world is a terrible idea.

      • 39 Miller November 19, 2009 at 7:05 pm

        Kenny, I don’t know if you’ve heard of an invention called the television. There is a show on it though, called cops. When bad people do bad things, and a warrant is granted to enter private property, many times they take video cameras.

        I’m not talking about inside police stations, where they take people to question them about sensitive information. I’m talking about while they’re out in public. The public can see them, and hear them anyway, a camera would not be any intrusion.

      • 40 Kenny Wyland November 19, 2009 at 7:38 pm

        Oh really? There’s a tv show called Cops? I didn’t know that! Have you watched the show? Do you see all the blurring of faces and bleeping of voices that happens throughout the show? It’s highly edited and restricted. Any intelligent person can see the difference between that an a massive set of live broadcast cameras on every officer at the same time.

        Guess what you could do with a publicly available, broadcast system that advertises the location of every police officer in the city? You know where the cops AREN’T.

        It is a ridiculous idea that would cause more harm than good.

      • 41 Miller November 19, 2009 at 7:47 pm

        Kenny, I have respect for good officers, that do a good job. But I have no respect for officers that harass people like me, and try to lie to them, and take away their rights.

        Are you an insecure officer Kenny?

      • 42 Kenny Wyland November 19, 2009 at 7:52 pm

        “Are you an insecure officer Kenny?”

        *sigh* One of the oldest, and dumbest, tricks in the book is to attempt to label the other person poorly to discredit their argument. I’m not an officer. I’m a citizen-at-large. Try to address the argument instead of finding ways that you can ignore the argument.

        I don’t have any respect for officers who abuse their power either. Are you actually reading what I’m writing? Trying to imply that I respect abusive officers is another old argumentative trick. It’s not a good one and you’re not good at using it.

      • 43 Miller November 19, 2009 at 7:59 pm

        Kenny,

        It sounds like you want to defend bad officers, because either… you want to be a cop, but they wouldn’t accept you, or because you are a cop that lost his job because of something like what happened in the video above. I already told you I did not come here to argue with you. It is not my obligation to, “Try to address the argument”. I can just stop talking to you, and tell you to go the hell away.

        I don’t know who you’re trying to defend here, but if you need me to send you a police officer application let me know. Maybe you can get the help you’re looking for somehow, some way.

        I am done replying to your strange defensive postings though.

      • 44 Kenny Wyland November 19, 2009 at 8:07 pm

        See, there you go again trying to use a bad argumentative tactic. It’s stupid and frankly it makes you look stupid. I’m not an officer. Never have been. Never applied. Never wanted to be. I’m an entrepreneur and I like it that way.

        Actually go and READ what I’ve said through the many posts on this comment thread. I’ve said a ridiculous number of times that police harassment is a very REAL problem, but unless you have indisputable evidence, then you aren’t helping the cause. Being an antagonistic douchebag to the officer doesn’t help the cause. Getting some video were there is absolutely question that the officer was out of line WILL help. This video sits in the grey area because a Judge could easily rule that the photographer was being confrontational and aggressive which gave the officer reasonable suspicion to extend the detainment for a few minutes.

  5. 45 Jerry November 8, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Ryan,
    The work place is not a democracy, and your rights are very limited. I thought the photographer in this case did a good job of keeping his cool, while defending his position, while the sheriff seemed to be antagonizing him.

  6. 46 Online Guitar Tuition November 8, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Please take a minute to watch this video and then get mad. Really mad.

  7. 47 Octane November 8, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Gosh, I feel so much safer having such police officers on duty. He is a poor victim of the silly terrorist fear which is sad enough, but accusing random photographers of selling photos to terrorists is ridiculous. That’s no reasonable suspicion, that’s random accusation and doesn’t justify detaining people in public places. If that was enough then any activity could be brought in connection with terrorism.

    Did the officer also detail people using cell phones, cause terrorists are known to use cell phones.

    I’m really interested to see how this story continues. Either way it probably won’t change the officer’s opinion. I’m sure he thinks he is doing something good by stopping, and harassing people with random searches.

    My favorite part is when he tried to intimidate you by telling you to put your hands out of your pocket. Who the heck he think he is? Your dad when you were 5 years old?

  8. 48 Dave November 8, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    well done and good luck. i hope that the LASD will get some official guidance that will tell them to back off.. or that they get sued. again and again and again.

  9. 49 Kenny Wyland November 8, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    I am a photographer and I understand that we have the right to shoot photos in public places, but you were a douche to this cop. Yes, the cop was a douche too, but if you went into this situation with the intention of provoking a confrontation and you know it. When he asked, “Why are you taking photos?” your answer should have been “because it looks like it would make an interesting photo.” At every step you attempted to provoke the police officer to incite a confrontation that you could video tape.

    I appreciate the overall goal of trying to ensure that legit photographers aren’t being bullied or harassed because of suspected terrorism, etc., but posting a video of you being a douche to the police doesn’t help your cause.

  10. 50 Jung Gatoona November 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    This is so like what happened to me. I was taking pictures of the turnstiles (http://plusmetro.com/images/2009/11/07/img-turnstiles-at-union-station) in front of some sheriffs, and one of them asked me what I was doing. I told him nicely I was taking pictures of the turnstiles for my blog since they were relatively new to the system. He started talking about terrorists and the such, but let me off since I answered his curiosity and was courteous.

    • 51 John Ross November 9, 2009 at 1:22 pm

      Aww how sweet of the police.
      The police are not there to arrest RUDE people. They are there to arrest people who are breaking the LAW.
      NO HE DID NOT LET YOU OFF. Letting you off means you did something wrong but he let it slide for whatever reason. What you really are saying si that the nice policeman let you have your rights. That was soooo kind of him.
      He I was walking down the street and a cop stopped me because he felt like it BUT thank god the cop was sooo nice and let me have my right to not be killed for no reason. wasnt that just sweet of him. Im putting him on my christmas list.
      Go eat grass with the rest of the SHEEPLE.

      • 52 Jung Gatoona November 9, 2009 at 6:42 pm

        Let me off to go is what I meant to say. Gosh, English police here. Anyways, the cop has every right to be curious if something appears out of picture, whether or not it is illegal. The cop also has the right to stop and question you, for example if your driving behavior is strange (but not illegal) he can pull you over and ask you questions and see if your drunk. The cop was doing his job you idiot.

      • 53 Bloodthirstyviolator July 26, 2011 at 8:21 am

        Wrong

  11. 54 Jung Gatoona November 9, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Oh and also, here are the guidelines for what’s not and what is illegal in terms of taking pictures on Metro. The only thing your not supposed to do if your an independent photographer, is taking pictures onboard a moving train.

    http://www.metro.net/doing_business/filming_metro/guidelines.htm

    • 55 Miller November 19, 2009 at 7:07 pm

      Although anyone has the right to approach a person in a public place and ask questions, persistent and unwanted conduct done without a legitimate purpose is a crime in many states if it causes serious annoyance. You are under no obligation to explain the purpose of your photography nor do you have to disclose your identity except in states that require it upon request by a law enforcement officer.

      If the conduct goes beyond mere
      questioning, all states have laws that
      make coercion and harassment criminal
      offenses. The specific elements
      vary among the states but in general it
      is unlawful for anyone to instill a fear
      that they may injure you, damage or
      take your property, or falsely accuse
      you of a crime just because you are
      taking photographs.

  12. 56 phototristan November 9, 2009 at 12:19 am

    This video is related – http://tristantom.com/a-funny-take-on-photographer-harrassment/

  13. 57 Carlos Miller November 9, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Why is it always the wedding and portfolio photographers who believe we have to suck up to these cops?

    • 58 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 12:32 am

      I love how you try to insult anyone who would disagree with you right out of the gate. There is a vast spectrum of response between being a douche and sucking up. A little common sense tells you that even a tiny bit of politeness would have avoided this entire situation. It has nothing to do with photography and you actually hurt your cause by trying to imply that it is. Imagine I’m walking down the street:

      Cop: What are you doing?
      You: Just walking down the street.
      Cop: Where are you walking to?
      You: Is isn’t illegal to walk.
      Cop: I asked you where you are walking to?
      You: Why does it matter?

      It doesn’t involve photography and yet in the above example you’re just as much a douche as the guy in the video.

      I’m sure there are plenty of REAL instances of cops bullying photographers, but this isn’t one of them and trying to pass it off as some huge injustice is disingenuous and unhelpful to your cause.

      • 59 Carlos Miller November 9, 2009 at 12:39 am

        Kenny,

        I’m just stating my own experiences. It seems that photographers who never step out of the studio or the wedding chapel are the first to criticize street photographers or photojournalists for standing up for their rights.

        There is no law against being a douche.

        But there is a law against detaining people illegally.

      • 60 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 12:56 am

        It won’t let me replace directly to Carlos’s next reply, so I’m replying here..

        First, you’re just making the studio/wedding photographer insult because you want to insult and discredit anyone who disagrees with you so that you can ignore what they have to say. After all, they’re just some dumb wedding photographer, right? Except they aren’t… that’s just your defense mechanism so you don’t have to listen to their real points.

        Secondly, being a douche isn’t illegal and as you notice the douche in the video wasn’t arrested. Also, listen to yourself when you say things like “there is a law against detaining people illegally.” Yes, there is a law against doing something illegal… it’s kind of the definition of legal. The truth is that the officer did NOT doing anything illegal. Sheriffs and Police are well within the Law to detain and question anyone. They are even technically allowed to arrest and hold you for up to three days without charges, so you REALLY don’t have a leg to stand on if you want to get technical here.

        The truth is that this situation could have been avoided with a very simple and polite answer to the sheriff’s original question. There are REAL instances of bullying from police out there so hyping this one in which the photographer is a jerk to the cop (who is also a jerk) doesn’t help your cause. If you hype this one as an example of police harassment, then you aren’t going to achieve your goal because a lot of people are going to watch it and think, “Well of course you got detained, you were a jerk to the cop.”

      • 61 Buster November 9, 2009 at 8:32 am

        Cop: What are you doing?
        You: Just walking down the street.
        Cop: Where are you walking to?
        You: Is isn’t illegal to walk.
        Cop: I asked you where you are walking to?
        You: Why does it matter?

        It doesn’t involve photography and yet in the above example you’re just as much a douche as the guy in the video.

        I thought this was a free country. I shouldn’t have to justify where I am going, or what I am doing as long as I’m within my rights under the law. Detaining me because I choose not to describe my intentions is a violation of my rights, pure and simple. I love these guys that say “well, if you don’t have anything to hide, what does it matter”. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died to protect our freedoms, and you just want to hand them over?

        Cops have a lot of power, very little oversight, and usually, minimal education. Citizens have no obligation to be polite to them, or to a waitress, or to each other. Unfortunately, many of the posters here seem to think that the badge means they automatically deserve respect. Show me where it says that in the constitution. Have you read the news lately? There is more police brutality and corruption now than ever before, and guess who is in charge of covering it up? The cops! You make me sick, you cop sycophants who either worship these rogue officers, or fear them so much you’ve brainwashed yourselves.

      • 62 Keiko November 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm

        Please stop getting your legal advice from Law and Order. A person can only be detained for that long without being charged if there is strong enough evidence of a crime having been committed. That rule is in place to make sure that when the person is officially arrested they can be charged with the correct crime.

      • 63 John Ross November 9, 2009 at 1:33 pm

        Wow nice example. And the guy in the example is being just as much a douch as the photographer. As in NOT 1 BIT.
        Standing up for your right is NOT being a douche.
        And yes I will insult anyone who at the drop of a hat stands side by side with police officers who are Violating our Constitutional Rights.
        The purpose of the police dept is to stop and investigate CRIMES>
        What he was not a crime nor did the officer have a good legal reason to stop him.
        I will use your example.

        Cop: What are you doing?
        You: Just walking down the street.
        Cop: Where are you walking to?
        You: Is isn’t illegal to walk.
        Cop: I asked you where you are walking to?
        You: Why does it matter?

        This cop has no reason to stop this person who is exercising his legal rights.

        Now if a police officer stopped me and the scene went the same as above , Yes I would be pissed and would co-operate but as little as possible. Then afterwards I would be contacting my lawyer.

        I may seem like a douche to you But Id rather seem like a douche to you than be a sheeple.

      • 64 Tom November 13, 2009 at 5:47 pm

        Kenny, I’m an ex police officer and while I agree with part of what you are saying in that a little respect goes a long way, I disagree that it is mandatory.

        In a “perfect world” or if everyone thought the same way you do about how a situation should be ideally handled, it would be great but that’s not reality. So what… Who cares if this photographer provoked the cop. You have to realize that it was the cop who made the initial contact and thus was charged with having to explain WHY he was questioning the photographer.

        It was also the MANNER and LEVEL OF RESPECT that the cop uses towards the photographer that MADE the photographer respond in the way that he did.

        “What are you doing?”

        I can think of a much better way to rephrase this question that MAY NOT have put the photographer on the defensive to begin with. I am in total agreement with the way this photographer handled this situation. I speak from experience and I’ve had the misfortune of working next to boneheads like that cop. This is the type of cop that will invariably get his peers into a physical altercation by ESCALATING a situation when simply TALKING AND EXPLAINING the issue was all that was needed in the first place.

        So your saying that when a cop goes on a fishing expedition with questions that you need to submit to that? No my friend, no you don’t.

      • 65 Kenny Wyland November 13, 2009 at 7:07 pm

        Tom,

        “Kenny, I’m an ex police officer and while I agree with part of what you are saying in that a little respect goes a long way, I disagree that it is mandatory.”

        *sigh* I don’t think it’s mandatory either, so don’t disagree with me. 🙂 I didn’t say that anyone is forced to be polite. I’m saying that if you want to convince people that police harassment of photogs is real then you want to provide them with indisputable evidence of it. When most people hear “police were harassing a photographer” and then see a video like this their response will be “well, he had it coming.” Then the next time they hear about a REAL harassment, they’ll just dismiss it because the first one they saw looked like bunk.

        Harassment is a real problem and I want it to be fixed. Being right isn’t enough if you can’t convince people you are right. In order to fix the national problem we need to have untainted evidence. Looking for a fight and being a jerk to a cop won’t win you a lot of support.

      • 66 Tom November 13, 2009 at 7:32 pm

        Kenny, I’m glad that we see eye to eye on this. I have seen and heard many people defend cop’s actions like the this bonehead in the video and it makes me sick. We all have rights and the cops need to understand this.

        Honestly, what I think this entire problem stems from is a lack of respect on both sides. Cops (a good majority anyway) don’t respect civilians and civilians don’t respect cops. It used to be, back in the day where cops were looked up to and respected for the job they did. Nowadays, that mentality has changed because there are so many rogue cops that it’s almost impossible to tell who is good anymore.

        Maybe I’m biased because I was a cop, I don’t know… but I can relate to the cop in this video and I KNOW, beyond the shadow of ANY doubt that he was simply pissed because this photographer didn’t bow down to him.

        I guess because of my law enforcement background and knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt where this cop’s mindset was, leads me to conclude harassment. 🙂

        If I can just go off topic here for a second… Our civil rights seem to be going south these days as is evident from what you guys are having to suffer with law enforcement. We seem to have traded our freedom for security. After 9/11, the Patriot Act was enacted and this is a direct result of all that.

      • 67 Miller November 19, 2009 at 7:24 pm

        If I’m right, I don’t have to convince anyone I am right.

      • 68 Kenny Wyland November 19, 2009 at 7:41 pm

        Dude, if you can’t convince anyone that you are right, THEN YOU CAN’T CHANGE ANYTHING. *sigh* If there is something wrong, but you can’t convince anyone it is wrong, THEN YOU CAN’T FIX IT. Why is this so hard to understand?

      • 69 Miller November 19, 2009 at 7:45 pm

        If you’re right you don’t have to convince anyone you’re right, people will just see. People can tell right from wrong. But if you’re a lying, you try to convince people you’re right.

      • 70 Kenny Wyland November 19, 2009 at 7:47 pm

        Then why are you posting here? If you’re right, then everyone will automatically just see.

        Let’s assume you are correct, that people will “just see.” I assume then that you will never report a complaint against the police department when they infringe on your rights. You will never post on a blog or speak to your political representatives when you see something being done incorrectly in our country.

        Because after all, “people will just see,” right?

      • 71 Miller November 19, 2009 at 7:52 pm

        Kenny, You are misinterpreting my words. What I mean is, if I am minding my own business doing something legal and a cop asks me what I am doing I do not need to convince him what I am doing is right. just by looking… you can see if I am right or wrong.

        But if you’re wrong, like a cop harassing someone, they’re going to keep trying to talk about how they’re right by giving lame reasons that they perceive justify what they are doing. They’ll keep talking, and talking, because they know they’re wrong, and just by looking you can see they’re wrong.

      • 72 Bloodthirstyviolator July 26, 2011 at 8:27 am

        Go back to fucken England where you came from. Sticking up for your rights of privacy is not being a douche. Its foreigners like yourself that hurt OUR Constitutional rights. Sheep.

  14. 73 Peter Figen November 9, 2009 at 12:46 am

    And if it HAD been a digital camera, they would have needed a SEARCH WARRANT to look at the images on the card on the camera. These cops were assholes violating their own civil rights by violating the photographers. This is just another product of the mongering of fear pushed for years by the Bush administration.

  15. 74 Carlos Miller November 9, 2009 at 1:06 am

    Kenny,

    The point I’m trying to make is when people are clueless, they shouldn’t make comments.

    You are obviously clueless about the law because even though police might be allowed to hold you for three days before they file charges, they still need probable cause to do so.

    In this case, the cop didn’t even have reasonable suspicion to detain him because all he was doing was taking pictures.

    • 75 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 1:42 am

      Carlos, you instantly GIVE the police a reasonable suspicion when you refuse to answer simple questions and you are confrontational.

      If you want to fight the police harassment, which I agree DOES happen, all I’m saying is that this is not the video to do it with. If you are going to convince people that the cop was wrong to continue asking questions and detain him for a longer period of time, then you need a video wherein the photographer is very polite and answers the simple questions instead of being confrontational. You’ll never convince people wit this video, because the photographer was intentionally trying to incite a confrontation with a police officer and that won’t win you any sympathy.

      • 76 Tom November 9, 2009 at 9:56 am

        No, you do NOT give the police reasonable suspicion when you refuse to answer simple questions and you are confrontational. This has been tested multiple times in Court. Learn the law before you spout off.

      • 77 Jeff Wilson November 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm

        Totally wrong Kenny. Totally.

        Terry v. Ohio 392 U.S. 1 (1968)
        Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 497-98, 103 S.Ct. 1319, 1324 (1983).
        United States v. Mendenhall, 446 U.S. 544, 100 S.Ct. 1870 (1980).
        Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967)

        Do some reading. Form an informed opinion. Get back to us.

      • 78 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 7:48 pm

        There doesn’t seem to be a Reply link to Jeff, so I’m replying to the closest comment I can.

        Jeff, I am always happy to be corrected by evidence, but I was unfortunately disappointed with the case law you provided. I went and read over them just now.

        Terry v Ohio: The court upheld the officer’s search of Terry’s person based on suspicious activity.

        Florida v Royer: The violation of the 4th amendment was because the officers withheld the suspect’s Driver’s License and plane ticket giving the impression that Royer was in custody and forced to follow them.

        US v Mendenhall: The court upheld the officer’s search of Mendenhall as reasonable based on suspicious activity.

        Katz v US: This has to do with secretly taping a person’s conversation, it doesn’t have anything to do with an officer detaining someone for questioning. I’m not _really_ going to make this argument, but I think I _could_ make the argument that this case would actually invalidate discarted’s recording because it was done secretly and without the knowledge of the officer and would therefore be inadmissible in court.

        Regardless of all of that though… my core point is and has been from the beginning that police harassment IS a very real problem among photographers, but using this video to prove your point will not help. Being a jerk to the cop isn’t going to rally the people on your side. You muddy the waters when you start being confrontational with the police. If discarted had been polite and wasn’t clearly trying to incite a confrontation, then this incident would be far more useful to actually making progress on his stated goal. It’s a real problem. This video isn’t evidence of it.

      • 79 Arne November 10, 2009 at 1:01 pm

        Kenny – you are arguing with idiots. Please stop before you suffer brain damage. You are right – you know it – I know it and every reasonable reader here know it.

      • 80 anoon November 13, 2009 at 10:26 pm

        ok I did a little innernet research after reading tom’s comment above. Setting aside all the talk about shawn being a douche or whatever. The whole interaction boils to the fact that this started out as and should have remained with what is known as a consensual encounter.
        “In a consensual encounter, the individual remains free to disregard the police officer and to walk away. Only when an individual is no longer free to leave does an investigatory stop begin.”
        This was a consensual encounter up until the point Shawn asked if he was being detained and Officer Gylfie replied in the afirmative. Gylfie’s answer should have been no. Gylfie had no reasonable suspicion that Shawn had committed any crime, as standing in a public area and taking photos is not illegal.
        After saying photography is not allowed Glyfie admits in the video that taking photos is not illegal. He admits that he has no reasonable suspicion that Shawn has committed a crime.
        “Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard in United States law that a person has been, is, or is about to be engaged in criminal activity based on specific and articulable facts and inferences.”
        “Al qaeda would love to buy your photos” is not an articulable fact. Neither is “you don’t get do you”. Neither is “We’ll just put your name on the hit list, dude…that’s fine.”.

      • 81 anoon November 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm

        “Carlos, you instantly GIVE the police a reasonable suspicion when you refuse to answer simple questions and you are confrontational.”

        “Well, if you want to be technical, the police are allowed to detain you for 3 days without filing charges and be absolutely within the law.”

        I hope Kenny is better at medical practice than he is at law, because if not he’s gonna kill every motherfucker he puts his hands on.

        I did some googling. Kenny is in med school…

      • 82 Miller November 19, 2009 at 7:29 pm

        You should view this:
        http://tristantom.com/a-funny-take-on-photographer-harrassment/

    • 83 Jeff Wilson November 10, 2009 at 12:03 am

      Kenny,

      You’ve not understood the implications of these cases.

      Terry v Ohio establishes that in order to conduct a pat-down search the police required to have both reasonable suspicion of a crime being committed or about to be committed, and that the person has a weapon. The burden of proof for probable cause are “specific and articulable facts”, obviously beyond “holding a camera. It appears a pat-down search is occurring in this video, but perhaps not, and hopefully the original poster can tell us. If not, disregard.

      Florida v Royer establishes that when someone is stopped on the suspicion of one crime, he cannot be compelled to answer questions on any other matter. The aggressive way that the officer continues to ask questions about unrelated matters AND about whether or not there is anything illegal in his bag. I’d also like to add that the police officer continues asking questions well past when the photographer cites his right to remain silent. In an aggressive way, too. That is, threatening the photographer’s future but submitting his name to a database. This is a use of force and/or show of authority which clearly brings it into this realm of law.

      US v Mendenhall establishes that the protection against unlawful searches as prescribed in the 5th amendment also extends to persons and their detainment. The cop has taken the photographers camera and was attempting to look through the photos without a warrant. Not to mention that he was detained for taking part in an innocuous activity that was legal. So how has the cop established probable cause?

      Katz v US establishes that the protection from unlawful search extends to persons, not places. So, a place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as photos taken on his camera, count as protected from unreasonable, unwarranted searches.

      Your last point is upsetting to me. Whether he was confrontational or not, in fact, whether he broke the law or not, courteous submission to questioning doesn’t override the rights of detainees, and the burden of protecting those rights are the primary function of the police officer. I don’t think the photographer was a jerk, but if he was I certainly don’t blame him. He has apparently been detained before on equally dubious grounds. I might add that there is a curious antipathy by police officers towards suspects who know and cite their rights during these kinds of stops, or anyone acting as ‘junior lawyer’. I find those attitudes to be offensive, and believe that the pressure on a suspect to submit to questioning and search is so frequently and unduly applied that there is grounds to revise interpretations of the fourth amendment to account for that injustice.

      As in the YouTube video posted below by Octane, police officers frequently claim that answering questions can help suspects, when in fact there is a landslide of evidence both theoretical and empirical that it can only hurt them. Should officers be allowed to make that claim? Watching the video, how can you believe that it is a good idea to respond in any way at all, let alone with “I’m taking pictures because I want to”?

      You say that the method of capturing the video isn’t going to rally people to the OP’s side, but hey, it sure got me going.

      • 84 Kenny Wyland November 10, 2009 at 9:09 am

        Hi Jeff,

        I really don’t think I’ve misunderstood the point of the cases, let’s go through them once again.

        Terry v Ohio: The officer saw the suspects walking back and forth. That’s not a crime, neither is taking a photo. The officer stopped them to ask them a few questions. He was within the law when he did this. He performed an external pat-down of the suspects. He was within the law when he did this. The only suspect that he performed a deep search of was the one who appeared to have a weapon based on the surface pat down. This case doesn’t prove your point, in fact, it proves my point. The suspects weren’t doing anything illegal and the court found the officer was within the law to detain and frisk them.

        Florida v Royer: I actually think you are referencing the wrong case law when you describe. The case doesn’t talk about separate lines of questioning. The central aspect of the case in which the cops were found to be in violation has to do with moving the suspect from the original detaining location while in possession of the suspect’s DL and plane ticket. The court said that holding those items while asking the suspect to move locations implied that he didn’t have a choice because they had his items. It’s really not applicable to the video above.

        US v Mendenhall: This case is about whether the drugs found on her were admissible as evidence or dismissed due to violation of the 4th amendment. The Supreme Court found that the officers were well within the law to detain and to question the suspect. The suspect agreed to move to a new location and agreed to be searched. You’re right that this precedent establishes “protection against unlawful searches” but dude, the Court ruled that the cops were in the right.

        Katz v US: Yes, I would agree this case extends protection to the photos on the camera. The cops didn’t look at the photos on his camera. It was a film camera, they really couldn’t have looked at them. So again, it really doesn’t apply here.

        As for the YouTube video of the trial lawyer that Octane posted… The lawyer’s suggestions are intended to keep you out of jail. He makes lots of good points and if you want to follow them, you go right ahead. However, you should know that his suggestion IS NOT about preventing you from being detained or questions, it’s about keeping you out of jail. One of the biggest complaints that people seem to have is that the officer detained the photographer, but the suggestion to never talk to an officer isn’t going to shorten the amount of time you get detained. It may very well lengthen it. So, it’s fine by me either way. It’s your choice to make, but just understand the ramifications of your choice.

        “You say that the method of capturing the video isn’t going to rally people to the OP’s side, but hey, it sure got me going.”

        Well, that’s just a clear case of a misquote, isn’t it? I said that many people will see the video and disregard it because the photographer is asking for a confrontation. I didn’t say that no one will be convinced, I said that many in the public-at-large will just think he’s a jerk and that it will hurt the REAL cause. If they see this one and think he’s a jerk, the next time they hear about a REAL violation they might just assume, “Oh, I’ve seen those kinds of videos before, the photographer was probably being an asshole and deserved what he got.” That’s not the response you want.

    • 85 Bloodthirstyviolator July 26, 2011 at 8:44 am

      You’re weak minded.

  16. 86 Octane November 9, 2009 at 1:15 am

    Kenny, you make a very good point! Cop asks random person where they are going. It’s none of his fucking business where that person is going! Accepting that kind of stop and question/search practice is exactly giving up a very basic civil right.

    I don’t have to answer them where I’m going. What for? If cops can stop, detain and search people just because they are paranoid about whatever legal activity you are doing, what kind of a society is that?

    You say it could have turned completely different if Shawn had answered that question? Well he did. He likes to take photos. That is reason enough. What else should he come up with? Next time a cop asks me why I’m talking, why I’m singing, why I’m driving, why I’m eating, why I’m on my cell phone. Don’t you see how ridiculous that is. He gave a perfectly good answer. He likes to take photos.

    So what happens next? The cop lies! He tells him that it was against the rules to take photos there. Shawn researched the rules and told the officer. And guess what he didn’t like that at all. His ego couldn’t take it and that’s why the situations went south.

    Don’t twist the story, Kenny. We have ears and eyes, we can see what happened in the video. Your interpretation doesn’t change it.

    • 87 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 1:38 am

      Octane, I’m not sure you really understand that the cops DO have the right to detain you and ask you questions. It’s merely common sense to be polite and avoid the very problem here. I completely agree that the cop was a jerk too, but that doesn’t change the fact that Shawn was intentionally trying to spark an incident by giving snide answers.

      I agree that we have ears and eyes and can see what happened, but your recounting is wrong.

      Cop: “How come you’re taking pictures?”
      Photographer: “There’s no statue against taking photos of the Metro.”
      Cop: “Why are you taking pictures is my question.”
      Photographer: “Because I want to. Am I being detained?”

      He’s clearly trying to provoke a situation and he’s asking if he’s being detained right out of the gate because that’s what he WANTS to happen.

      If you want to fight police harassment, then use a video that is REAL harassment. Where the photographer was polite and answered their questions and cooperated and was harassed. Then I’m on board. This video doesn’t help your cause because he’s clearly trying to provoke a reaction. Yes, the cop was a jerk, but two jerks don’t make it a good argument.

  17. 88 Carlos Miller November 9, 2009 at 1:52 am

    Kenny,

    We have laws in this country. We have a Constitution, which obviously you have never read. I suggest reading the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, which all apply to this incident.

    It’s not really about convincing people, it’s about convincing a judge, which if they abide by the law, they will have no problem seeing this cop was out of line.

    But I also predict that you will be in the minority here. There will be plenty of people outraged with this video.

    • 89 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 2:07 am

      Carlos, it is never a good idea to arbitrarily accuse the person on the other side of the debate of knowing nothing about the Constitution because you know nothing about me. You have no idea what my background is and you have no idea how much I know about the Constitution. It’s particularly a bad idea to claim I know nothing about the Constitution and then hold up three Amendments which are not being violated.

      1) Taking photos is not free speech not free press. It is not an assembly and it is not a petition to the Govt.

      4) This is the closest one of the group, but you don’t understand that “unreasonable searches and seizures” isn’t violated here because the photographer GAVE the officer a reasonable suspicion when he refused to answer some simple questions. He was defensive and was clearly trying to provoke a confrontation. At that point, it’s no longer “unreasonable” so the 4th amendment has been satisfied.

      5) The 5th amendment also doesn’t apply at all because he wasn’t being punished for a crime and he wasn’t being forced to testify to his own guilt.

      So, it’s just a REALLY bad idea to accuse me of not knowing the Constitution and then utterly failing in your assertion that the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments are being violated.

      Beyond ALL of that, you are missing the central point. Yes, the cop was an asshole, but this video will NOT help your cause. To convince people there is a problem, to mobilize them, to actually make a difference… you need the photographer to be unassailable. A lot of people who watch this video are going to think exactly the same thing I did which is that the photographer was confrontational and a bit of a jerk so it’s kind of expected that the cop is going to be confrontational and a jerk right back to him.

      If you want to make a difference, you need video from one of the MANY REAL occurrences of police harassment. Read that again… REAL police harassment. It happens. It’s a problem. THIS video isn’t evidence of it.

      • 90 JM November 9, 2009 at 6:02 pm

        you sir, are an idiot. your blather doesn’t begin to comport with case law.

      • 91 Mark November 11, 2009 at 2:12 am

        Kenny, your unconditional love for law enforcement is disturbing. They are not deities, they are public servants, i.e. they are there to serve and protect YOU, the taxpayer. I’m stupefied as to why are you are polluting the entire comments thread on this post with your “If a cop asks you to jump, you say ‘how high?'” mindless law-abiding cop ass-kissing mentality.

        Laws, and especially those whose duty it is to enforce them, are always up for scrutiny and should never be allowed to operate above the law. That’s a part of how the checks & balances system works, one of the important elements of a free democratic society. Get a clue.

        If you wish to deify police officers as you seem to do, maybe you’d be more comfortable in say, a police state such as Myanmar?

      • 92 dglenn November 11, 2009 at 9:47 am

        “unreasonable searches and seizures” isn’t violated here because the photographer GAVE the officer a reasonable suspicion when he refused to answer some simple questions. He was defensive and was clearly trying to provoke a confrontation. At that point, it’s no longer “unreasonable” so the 4th amendment has been satisfied.

        The problem with your argument is that the logical result of following this reasoning is that the 4th becomes moot. To wit: if refusing to acquiesce to a search or questioning automatically constitutes justification for same, then any request from an officer becomes warranted whether there was any bona-fide justification beforehand or not.

        Since this would make the fourth amendment meaningless, either your argument or the fourth amendment itself must be fallacious. I’m betting on the Bill of Rights actually being meaningful, and suggest that if you have such a poor opinion of the protections therein, you aim for repeal rather than solipsistic end-runs. (But whichever method you choose, expect folks like me to resist you.)

        If you do value your rights and Constitutional guarantees thereof, you need to take a closer look at what you’ve wound up arguing here, ’cause your argument leads to rendering the BoR toothless; far more damage than I think you think you’re arguing for.

      • 93 dglenn November 11, 2009 at 9:48 am

        Huh. Sorry about not making the quoted part of my reply obvious. The tag I used to set off the quoted part got ignored by WordPress. *sigh*

      • 94 Kenny Wyland November 11, 2009 at 10:12 am

        Mark,

        I’m sorry, but your post is simply ignorant. Actually READ my posts throughout this page and you’ll see me say again and again that the cop was a jerk… an asshole… a douche… and you’ll see me say that police harassment is a VERY REAL problem and we need to stop it. That just doesn’t coincide with your “cop ass-kissing mentality” description because it’s not true in the slightest.

        Reading before posting is usually a good rule of thumb.

  18. 95 Octane November 9, 2009 at 2:05 am

    You are wrong Kenny. Not answering a random question to an officer does not make it reasonable suspicion. You have absolutely no obligation to answer any questions and does not create any suspicion. Read the law.

    You don’t have to be nice to a cop when he accuses you of nonsense, and lies about rules that don’t exist.

    Yes Shawn could have defused it by acting small and unworthy next to the cop, but considering his history of being harassed so many times I can totally understand him being impatient. And that is his first amendment right, and it doesn’t create suspicion nor does it give the cop any justification to threaten him the way he did.

    Asking “Am I being detained” is a good idea right off the bet. If you try to walk away while you are being detained you are in trouble. He was just careful to do nothing wrong in this situation.

    Had the officer not detained him, he would have had the option to just walk away and say, have a good day and the entire situation would have ended right there. It’s the officer who forced him to stay and came up with BS.

    • 96 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 2:15 am

      “Yes Shawn could have defused it by acting small and unworthy next to the cop”

      See, that’s where you lose me, Octane. This is a strawman. There is a vast array of possible stances between being a douche and “acting small and unworthy.” Being polite and answering the questions in a straight-forward fashion, without being confrontational, is far from “acting small and unworthy.” It’s just not a good argument to try to assume that if you answer the question that you’re acting like some worthless slime. It’s disingenuous. I have dealt with officers before and have been asked why I was taking pictures. I was polite and friendly and firm that I was allowed to take the pictures and it wasn’t a problem. You don’t have to debase yourself to avoid the problem.

      Police harassment IS a real problem. I totally understand. THIS video, however, is not evidence of it. This is a guy trying to incite a confrontation with a police officer. Yes, the cop was a jerk, but detaining someone for 30 minutes who is dodging questions and being confrontational is well within their powers as a police officer. Two jerks don’t make a good argument. Get a jerk cop with a nice, polite photographer and use that video instead.

  19. 97 Octane November 9, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Kenny, the more you say, the more you show how little you know. The supreme court has ruled that photography is protected under the first amendment.

    Again, not answering questions is *not* giving reasonable suspicion. Do your homework!

    • 98 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 10:15 am

      Octane, I haven’t been able to find any references in my web searches to a Supreme Court ruling that taking photos is free speech. Please point me at the ruling, I am always happy to learn something new.

      The video you posted is also highly amusing. I watched the whole thing and I understand what you are getting at, but you seem pretty smart and I think you should be able to see the difference at work here. The Attorney’s suggestion is to never talk to the cops, ever. I understand, he has lots of good reasons. You should keep in mind though that his suggestion and the 5th amendment isn’t going to prevent you from being detained or questioned or even taken to a holding cell. His suggestion is to protect you during a trial. So, if you follow his directions you may definitely protect yourself against a wrongful trial, but you still are going to be detained and potentially incarcerated for a short period of time.

      So, if you’re trying to use this as an argument in support of not talking to the police, that’s fine, but you should expect that you’ll also be detained and questioned a little bit. If a cop pulls me over for speeding, I’m not required to sign the ticket. It’s absolutely within my rights to refuse to sign the ticket, but if I do, then I’ll be taken into custody until my court date. It’s not about the technicality of the situation. It’s about being a douche. The photographer wasn’t arrested, didn’t stand trial, his rights were not infringed upon. A few questions from police were dodged or aggressively responded to which prompted a few more questions. After they asked their few more questions they left and the photographer was allowed on his way. None of these actions by the police infringe upon your rights. “Unreasonable” searches is vague and has been argued throughout our history, but if you start behaving aggressively then you start to generate suspicion.

      You don’t have to lick his boots or be weak or be a slobbering man-child in your response… and you don’t have to be an aggressive jerk who is clearly SEEKING a confrontation with the police. You can be firm and polite and protect your rights all at the same time. “I’m just taking photos for personal use, sir.” The officer said “sir” to the photographer and maybe people here have said that they’ll be nice if the cop is nice and a jerk if the cop is a jerk. Well, the cop said “sir” so why not say it back?

  20. 99 Robin 'Roblimo' Miller November 9, 2009 at 5:51 am

    I have shot video all over my part of Florida (Tampa/Sarasota area) and in many other places during my many travels. The few times police have questioned what I was doing, I whipped out my business card and/or SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) membership card and told them I was shooting background for potential use in the TV & online news features I make. After that, the conversation usually turns to my equipment and how to get into the video business. I’m cordial to cops and they’re generally cordial to me.

    I have had one run-in with a dickhead Sheriff’s deputy in Manatee County, Florida. He was later disciplined for his actions; he told me to leave a “private” political event on private property to which I had specifically been invited by its organizers.

    And there was a Marriott hotel doorman in D.C. once who told me I was not allowed to take picture of the front of the hotel “to protect guests’ privacy.” I was a credentialed media person attending an industry conference in the hotel — and I was on a public sidewalk, not on hotel property. He threatened to call police. I told him to go right ahead, and that I would talk to the hotel manager about his harassment of a hotel guest engaging in a legal activity. He actually hailed a passing cop, who told him, “If the guy’s on a public sidewalk, he’s legal.” And that was that – the doorman apologized and learned a little about 1st Amendment law.

    Most of the complaints I’ve gotten when taping police actions have been from arrestees who get angry when I point my video camera at them. Every time, here in rinky-dink, cracker Florida, the police have told the arrestees that as long as I’m on public property or have the owner’s or resident’s permission to be on someone’s private property, they have no right or reason to interfere with me.

    The only time a police officer has asked me to move when taping an accident scene was because an ambo unit was coming and he thought I might be in its way. I moved my tripod 20′ and we were cool. While I have the absolute right to tape police and EMS personnel at work on public property, I also have a citizen’s obligation not to interfere with their work.

    I’ve also had a couple of undercover cops politely *request* that I not publish their faces. No prob, LEO dudes. I have face-blur software. Now, if those police had been heavy-handed, I might not have been as cooperative.

    One huge advantage I have when dealing with dickheads like the L.A. county clown shown in the above video — aside from proof of my professional affiliations — is that I’m a grey-haired Army veteran who can growl to the officer that I know damn well what liberties I fought for, and his right to harass me illegally was not one of them.

  21. 100 Rob November 9, 2009 at 6:34 am

    To the people making the argument rights were violated… If a “Terrorist” Was taking pics of that turnstile and was questioned by the police. The terrorist threw his, “I can do what ever I want” back at the cops face and the cop just walked away saying dumb dee dumb I guess he’s right…Then a week later the terrorist does his thing and you or someone close to you gets hurt!! Well you would change your tune and be yelling probable cause!! That guy was not answering the police officer and seemed shifty. Why oh why did that cop not do his job boo hoo…its you whiners with your rights that get people killed! If a police officer asks you a question…ANSWER IT smart ass

    • 101 Jason November 9, 2009 at 7:18 am

      Rob,

      I’ll answer your aggressive yet misdirected post. Converting our society in any way to a police state aimed at “protecting” the citizenry from terrorists by persecuting the populace by treating every one of them as terrorists whenever a law official thinks that someone is acting “like a terrorist” is completely unacceptable, and in my opinion means the terrorists have “won”.

      Reality: If a terrorist wants to take photos of a public nature there are so many possible ways to do it other than sitting there in public with a nice camera rig, obviously posing for a detailed shot. We’re talking pinhole cameras, telephotos, wi-fi wired video, well… you get my idea. If a terrorist wants shots of a site they will get them. But to treat any person taking photos as if they were terrorists means that your government is now backing the concept that you are guilty until proven innocent.

      Obviously from your post you have no problems living in a society where that is the case. I however come from a family with a rich history of members serving in the military and, while I can ask them, I’m fairly certain they’ll say that if this starts happening that their service was for nothing.

      Let me ask you Rob, should we have our police force start questioning every muslim and “Arab” that they see on the streets? Because, you know, one of them might be a terrorist, or know a terrorist, or know someone who knows a terrorist. And hey, if someone you could have stopped and interrogated later kills some people we so could have stopped that (and all you have to do is not say anything when the police take the people – ask the Germans how that worked for them).

      sigh.

      • 102 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 10:19 am

        Careful, if you invoke the Nazis then, by default, this whole conversation is over. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

    • 103 John Ross November 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm

      But if the terrorist was polite and answered the police officers questions and then a week later boom Everything would be fine ??
      If the only thing the police can go on to stop terrorist is “Is this guy a douch” boy are we screwed.
      BAAA Baaaaaa Baaaa

    • 104 anoon November 10, 2009 at 5:04 pm

      You sir are an idiot.

  22. 105 torgeaux November 9, 2009 at 7:02 am

    This is to address the strawman that Kenny keeps erecting:

    Police cannot detain you, even for a short time, even to “just ask questions” absent REASONABLE suspicion. They also cannot detain you “up to three days without charges” without a greater level of justification. I’m not completely up on the California law on that, so I don’t know what the statute says, but I am sufficiently familiar with constitutional law.

    Polite to police: Check. It’s how I am with everyone. Subservient? No. People who are polite and professional with me get polite and professional in return. Demand something you have no right to, and I’ll not give it to you. Simple

    • 106 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 10:36 am

      torgeaux,

      First, even if I’m wrong about the 72 hour limit on detention (I don’t think I am), that’s not actually a strawman. A strawman is a false characterization of the situation at hand that is intentionally put forth in a way that makes it easy to knock down (hence, erecting a man of straw that is easily toppled). I’m not attempting to knock down the idea that the police may detain you for up to 72 hours, so it’s not a strawman. 😉

      Any officer is well within the law to stop you and ask you for id. You are not legally required to answer any questions beyond that. I totally agree. However, my point has never been what you are technically required to do. If you are a jerk to the officer and you dodge some very simple questions in the aggressive and intentionally confrontational manner that Shawn did, then you DO in fact give them a “reasonable” suspicion to ask you a few more questions which is what happened. The more confrontational he got, the more justified the sheriff became in detaining him for a few more minutes. He was detained for 29 minutes (or less since some of it he was voluntarily staying there to get the sheriff’s badge number and name). Do you realize that if I run a grocery store and suspect you of shoplifting that _I_ have the right to detain you for up to 20 minutes and I’m not a police officer? That’s completely legal. The sheriff is well within the law to detain you for 29 minutes when you are being confrontational in answering his questions.

      The point: Police harassment IS a very REAL problem, but intentionally inciting an event like this and being confrontational with the police isn’t going to help your cause.

      • 107 Kevin November 9, 2009 at 11:14 am

        An officer is not allowed to ask for ID without probable cause.

        See Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47 (1979)

        http://www.boogieonline.com/revolution/legal/police/brownvtx.html

      • 108 John Ross November 9, 2009 at 2:09 pm

        You detain me for 20 mins and see what happens.

      • 109 JM November 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm

        instead of just repeatedly pulling this 72hr thing out of your ass, how about providing a single legal source for this, or your other gibberish? blah blah blah all opinion pulled right out of your caboose, not a single source to back it up.

        all hat, no cattle

      • 110 anoon November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm

        The same thing happened in NYC…

        LAST year, the city settled a lawsuit with a medical student who was using his vacation to photograph every subway stop. He got through five before an officer handcuffed him and detained him for about 20 minutes. With legal fees, the cost to the city was $31,501 — more than $1,500 a minute.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/nyregion/18about.html

        OP should never have been detained. Police can ask you questions but you have no obligation to answer. OP has a case and should proceed in filing suit.

    • 111 torgeaux November 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm

      Here’s why it is a straw-man…you continue to imply that the conduct of the police here is fine, because, according to you, they could even detain you for up to 72 hours without charges, implying, of course, that detaining and questioning here, which is much less, is clearly permitted. Your initial premise is faulty, and is set to make the conclusion reasonable. Your false characterization is that a is less than b, b is legal, so a is legal.

    • 112 scott November 9, 2009 at 9:37 pm

      If arrested/booked for a crime in California, you must be charged within 48 hours (not counting weekends and holidays). There are a couple expectations to the law, but that applies for about .0001% of arrests out there.

  23. 113 Revolutionist November 9, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Obviously that cop doesn’t know that the Madrid, Spain bombings were a false flag terrorist attack, just like 9/11.

    Google:

    World Trade Center Building 7
    Nano Thermite

    Operation Northwoods

    Operation Mockingbird

    Operation Paperclip

  24. 114 kroon78 November 9, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Strawman arguments a plenty

  25. 115 BK November 9, 2009 at 7:57 am

    There’s a great book called “POLICE POWER” – which helps explain why cops like this “become” who they are.

  26. 116 anon November 9, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Why was he taping himself taking pictures in a metro? He’s either very sad, or knew that trouble would occur. ‘Why are you doing this?’ ‘because I want to’ – if you asked anyone that question and that was their retort, you would just think – dick

    • 117 Bryan Villarin November 9, 2009 at 11:45 am

      Discarted bought it for conflicts like this, which he encounters all the time. It’s small, looks like a pager, and clips to his backpack strap.

  27. 118 John Doe November 9, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Im not sure about CA, but in most states you can be ‘legally’ detained for 24-72 hours without charge, (depending on the state).

    • 119 torgeaux November 9, 2009 at 8:21 am

      Please stop perpetuating this myth. This isn’t a no rules, cops can violate your constitutional rights for any reason for up to 72 hours rule.

      It has limits, it requires reasonable suspicion, and if abused, can result in (and usually will) large dollar amount law suits. Cops do not routinely do this to dick with people because the rules are pretty strict and the penalty can be severe.

  28. 120 George November 9, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Oh and also, here are the guidelines for what’s not and what is illegal in terms of taking pictures on Metro. The only thing your not supposed to do if your an independent photographer, is taking pictures onboard a moving train.

    http://www.metro.net/doing_business/filming_metro/guidelines.htm

  29. 121 torbakhopper November 9, 2009 at 8:09 am

    the guy videoing is an ass.

    so is anyone for supporting his “rights”

    cops have more important things that they should be doing besides wasting time with a JO who is snapping shots to incite a reaction.

    in fact, this whole thread is a reflection of that moment — people with too much time on their hands talking jack about an incident that affects ALL of us as photographers.

    bottom line, we are either diplomatic in our photography or we are not. this guy is the latter.

    rude, disrespectful, evasive. i think it sux to have him on “your” side.

    in fact, intentionally setting out to generate that kind of thing should be punishable by law.

    if you guys think you’re doing good here for photographers in general, you aren’t thinking hard enough.

    • 122 torgeaux November 9, 2009 at 8:27 am

      So, let’s follow that reasoning. The only people whose rights we should defend are good, decent, innocent people who don’t assert their rights in the first place?

      So, no one should ever refuse to show their shots? The right exists because we have an expectation of privacy. I don’t think the cop should be able to review the pictures of my son/wife just because he demands to and I happen to also have a picture of a federal building/turnstile/whatever.

      Like I said before, cop is professional and polite, he gets professional and polite. Cop is demanding where he has no right to demand? I’m not inclined to be cooperative.

      How about you discuss, even a little, the attitude of the cop? They are “either diplomatic in [their duties] or [they] are not. this guy is the latter.

      • 123 mike d November 9, 2009 at 8:38 am

        Instead of having a civil conversation with the officer, he starts in with the “Am I being detained” crap, again trolling for trouble. He could have walked away with a nice pic of the turnstile on his memory card.

      • 124 Devient November 9, 2009 at 4:31 pm

        Mike D: Did you watch the vid? He has film. Not a mem stick/card

    • 125 Buster November 9, 2009 at 8:40 am

      Can somebody show me the clause in the bill of rights that says in order for them to apply, you have to be polite?

    • 126 John Ross November 9, 2009 at 2:12 pm

      and you are not thinking at all

      • 127 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm

        John, the weight of the logic of your argument is hard to ignore. Or rather, the opposite, because you don’t have one.

  30. 128 mike d November 9, 2009 at 8:35 am

    The shooter is a complete wise-ass trolling for trouble. What a clown. Yea the sheriff isn’t the brightest bulb in the tool shed either.

  31. 129 Nicholas November 9, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Good luck with your lawsuit, buddy.

    The police not only have a right to investigate activity but a responsibility to do so. This sheriff’s jurisdiction is the metro station. Just speaking to you does not constitute an illegal detention. However, your unusual response to the sheriff’s questioning justify an investigation. Once his investigation was complete, he determined that you were not conducting illegal activity and released you.

    Many posters feel the sheriff should act more “professionally” or “diplomatically.” I’m pretty sure he is tired of dealing with self-proclaimed legal experts such as yourself. You are just one more asshole that makes the sheriff’s job more difficult. Congratulations on setting out to make someone else’s day less pleasant in order to feel self-righteous.

    • 130 Devient November 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      This argument has been tried, tested and shot down by the courts. Please try again.

  32. 131 irlandes November 9, 2009 at 9:07 am

    The Constitution may mean more to me than to some of you, because this nation took two years of my life allegedly in support of it.

    I took in 1964 essentially the same oath cops take. My fellow soldiers and I discussed it a lot. Also, later in life I did considerable legal research as part of my counseling work for divorced men.

    As currently interpreted by SCOTUS, cops need ‘probable cause’ for almost any interference in your activities. They are in many areas openly violating the Constitution and for the most part they know they are violating it, but like most criminals assume they will get away with it, especially with the support and aid of fellow cops.

    In early October, I was driving legally through Kentucky on I-75. I was aware I was in a 55 mph construction zone, doing 55 on cruise control. I saw a state trooper, and paid no attention because I was doing nothing wrong (except had Texas plates, of course.)

    In a short distance, the speed limit opened up, and I dialed my cc up to the regular limit.

    A short distance down the road, he came up behind me, and pretended I had been doing 70 mph in that 55 zone, which was a bald-faced lie. He really wanted to search my car illegally in hopes of confiscating my car. (Look at their home page, they are very proud of all the things they are stealing.)

    He well knew the Constitution prohibited his illegal stop, which is why he lied, pretending to have a legal cause. Note that falsified probable cause also implies perjury on confiscation forms if they do find something, in the probable cause section.

    I wrote a nasty letter to his boss. I told him this was not the first time I had experienced an illegal stop, the previous one was south of Hattiesburg, MS. That first time I did not instantly understand what was happening.

    I told him many of us are aware they are falsifying probable cause to stop people, making illegal searches, and stealing property in violation of the Constitution which says nothing shall be taken without due process, and a cop with a word processor is not due process.

    They are also summarily confiscating quantities of money less than the $10,000 defined by Federal law as presumed drug money, and when their crime victims complain, smirk and say, “So sue us.” Knowing such a law suit runs around $30,000, much more than the amount stolen.

    As I told his boss, this will be fixed. History shows it always is.

    By the way, before you bother to attack me, be aware there is a group which includes active duty law enforcement, called Oath Keepers which is well aware their peers are doing this, and are trying to convince them to follow their oaths.

    Cops who violate the civil rights of citizens are a far greater threat to this nation than ordinary criminals, probably a greater threat then terrorists. When cops are crooked, there is no longer any system of laws.

  33. 132 adam buxton November 9, 2009 at 10:36 am

    watching the video, you got detained because instead of answering a simple question about why your taking photos you got defensive and made the situation difficult.

    We’ll never know if you had answered ‘out of interest’ you’ld have been left alone.

    I normally support you and what your trying to do but on this occasion you made things difficult for your self. Sorry you got detained for 25mins for being a pratt!

  34. 133 Tony November 9, 2009 at 10:37 am

    You know, the cop was a jerk but the fault lies on both sides here. You did jump right into the “Help! Help! I’m being repressed! Come and see the violence inherent in the system.” mode. If the exchange went something like:

    “What are you talking photos of?”
    “I like the way the lights were playing off the metal in the turnstiles.”

    . . . you would have been on your way in 45 seconds. Provoking cops is never a good idea.

  35. 134 NeitherFanboy November 9, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Scary to me how many people would give up their freedom for the far fetched hope of being “protected from terrorism.” I hope you sue them, and I hope your lawsuit is successful. The police officer knew that taking photos in a public place is not a crime, is not evidence of a possible crime, and is not even “reasonable suspicion.” The officer was just annoyed that someone refused to answer his questions, which is evident by the number of threats he makes.

    People here may want to justify the detention by saying the photographer was rude, but they ignore the rest of the video, the threats the officer makes. How can you justify those?

  36. 135 george November 9, 2009 at 11:17 am

    I think the kid in this video is a little panzy. Please, go home and cry. The Cops are 100% right and simply doing their jobs. I would rather have a safe subway then you get to take your little pictures.

    • 136 John Ross November 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm

      And I rather be able to know there isn’t a nuclear weapon in your basement. So i’m sure you will understand the police showing up at all hours of the night and preforming safety checks of your home…you know for the good of society

    • 137 Steve December 6, 2009 at 4:09 pm

      George
      You’ve got to be kidding. It’s actually you who would willingly give up your constitutional rights which many have fought and died for who is the true PANZY.

      I suggest you go home and cry because you just made it easier for Authority to rule you as they please.

      “Those who would willingly give up their Freedoms for safety and Security deserve Neither.”

      -Benjamin Franklin-

  37. 138 Bill November 9, 2009 at 11:20 am

    So Discarted was trolling for a response from the cops so he had an excuse to be outraged. He knows he was doing it and we know he was doing it. This is surprising, how?

  38. 139 Bill November 9, 2009 at 11:24 am

    “I would rather have a safe subway then you get to take your little pictures.”

    No.

    No, it doesn’t even remotely need to be that way. Just because the photographer was an attention whore HOPING to get in just such a confrontation — anyone who doesn’t believe that he secretly wanted exactly what he got is naive — doesn’t mean that basics rights and freedoms ought to be taken away.

    The issue here isn’t that he should have the right to snap those photos — he should — nor is it that these cops went too far — maybe; it’s debatable — it’s that Discarted knowingly and willingly egged things on so that he could be detained and could then shout, “Look at my rights being violated!”

    A normal, decent human being would have been out of there in less than a minute. I’ve been in the same situation many times (I also shoot photos) and have never had an issue.

    But that’s because I’m not out there HOPING to be detained so I can complain about it later. I treat the cops as human beings doing their job and they treat me the same.

    • 140 Devient November 9, 2009 at 4:43 pm

      I agree. It’s like that guy who comes up talking shit in a bar and dares you to hit him, I dare you I dare you! You hit him and when the cops who up you say “He dared me, so I hit him! He deserved it”. Wait… don’t you still go to jail?

  39. 141 gerald November 9, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    you have no obligation, absent probable cause or reasonable suspicions, to answer or even acknowledge a police officer. detention is actually a physical seizure under the 4th amendment which is incorporated to apply to the states through the 14th amendment. no search or seizure shall be made absent a warrant and no warrant shall be issued absent probable cause. this officer had no exigent circumstance that would warrant a physical seizure of the photographer, who was not committing a crime or acting suspiciously. the thing people are missing is that these rights only play into the admissibility of evidence obtained via the illegal seizure, so having your 4th amendment rights violated really doesn’t mean squat unless you feel like bringing a 1983 action (if the officer was acting under the color of federal law) or a civil suit alleging that the officer was acting completely outside the scope of his official capacity/inadequate training/etc, which you probably won’t succeed on,”there is no right without a remedy”, so if there is no practical remedy to this violation, why insist on the right? Basically, know when it is necessary to exercise your rights to protect your freedoms and liberties, and know when you’re just making your own life more difficult.

  40. 142 Buster Brown November 9, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Geez, someone here actually believes the police can seize and hold a person without charges or explanation for 3 days. Another believes that being “a little jerk” is cause for holding a citizen, that failure to speak in a sufficiently respectful manner to an officer is a valid excuse for holding a citizen. Cops call that mythical charge, “Contempt of Cop,” and they use it virtually every day.

    I guess, like Rep. Minority Leader John Boehner, a lot of people really don’t know their Constitution, their Declaration of Independence, their Bill of Rights, and so forth.

    It’s always ironic how those who are first to wrap themselves in the flag and talk patriotism for the beloved USA are so typically the first to abandon its written principles.

    It’s also amazing how cops – given the absurdly generous pensions, the early retirement, the 4 day schedules and so much more premised on their tough job – never run out of MORE special provisions they must be given to make up for their heroism, in the this case a special exemption from the rule of law because a citizen didn’t cave to their bullying.

    Apparently there are people holding them and their family under deadly threats, forcing them to apply to police and sheriff’s departments across the country, and after that every concession must be made to them for having been forced into the job.

    • 143 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 1:23 pm

      And you are STILL missing the point. Several people keep trying to characterize the opposition as being crushed under the boot of a vicious police-state. There is plenty of middle-ground and you’re skipping right over it.

      He went into this situation TO CREATE A CONFRONTATION. He got one. Big fucking surprise.

      And let me say it AGAIN…. Police Harassment is a REAL problem. THIS video is not an example of it. If you want to stop the problem of REAL police harassment, then this particular video hurts your cause. As you can see in the comments, the public opinion on this video is mixed. A mixed reaction is not what you want to further your cause. You want a video in which everyone who watches it is shocked and appalled at the officer’s clearly abusive behavior toward the cooperative and polite photographer. In trying to use this video to prove your point, you FAIL to prove your point.

      It’s a real problem. This video is not evidence of it.

      • 144 torgeaux November 9, 2009 at 1:37 pm

        Kenny: Yes and no. I disagree he “went into this situation to create a confrontation.” He went to take those pictures, and he was prepared for a confrontation. That’s not the same thing. I also disagree with the characterization that his first reaction was inflammatory. He is told, upfront, that “there’s no taking pictures in the metro” which is inaccurate. His first response is, “there’s no statute against photos on the metro.” Not inflammatory, not smartass, and directly responsive to the first thing. The SECOND cop talks over them both and says, “Why are you taking pictures?” “Because I want to” is definitely more provocative than conciliatory, but it’s not the kind of thing any professional police officer would get that pissed at. The continued “You’re not getting it, I want to know why” bullshit is going to lead to what, exactly? What response SHOULD be given? “I think this makes a good composition, I like the lighting and the flow of lines really works for me.” I can just see that leading to, “But, I’m asking you WHY?” How do you answer that question, why, really? This is police harrassment, and what’s insidious about it is how quick people like you are to say, “obey.”

      • 145 Devient November 9, 2009 at 5:07 pm

        I had typed out a wall of text with linked references to previous cases but I find it suffice to say that if acting like an asshole is all that is needed to suspend some ones rights I’d spend my days beating the shit out of people. And I promise everyone in this country would get at least 1 beating sometime in their life.

  41. 146 NeitherFanboy November 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I guess you don’t have a right to complain if the police only violate your rights “a little bit.” They have to violate them really big before you have the right to complain. Who knew we threw out the constitution in favor of “safety.”

  42. 147 Thomas Hawk November 9, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Let’s say the cop asks a photographer “Why are you taking photos in the subway system.” How does this question in any way help him determine if a crime is being committed? Would an actual terrorist actually say, so that I can use them for terrorist activity? Of course they wouldn’t. They would lie and make up some excuse.

    This question is an example of poor policing. Could Shawn have played the cop’s game and answered it more respectfully? Sure. But it’s a stupid question and what’s the point?

    Does this officer think that if he asks terrorists why they are taking photographs that they are simply going to fess up to their motives and he’ll catch the bad guys?

    It seems more to me like a tactic to assert his power and ego into a situation.

    • 148 Bill November 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm

      “Could Shawn have played the cop’s game and answered it more respectfully?”

      It’s not a cop’s game, it’s a human being’s game – for people who aren’t driven by a need troll for confrontation, that is.

      And it’s common sense. I mean, can we just be a little honest with ourselves here? The photographer is an idiot if he didn’t realize he’d get asked questions for taking photos down there. Of COURSE he knew he would. We all know this. When I’m in a place like this, among others, to shoot photos I’m well aware that I may get asked some questions. I often am.

      So what is not only the smart, common sense thing to do, but also the decent, not-an-Ahole thing to do? To not go down there spoiling for a confrontation, but instead to (gasp!) speak to the cops the same way you’d speak to anyone else. Let the COP escalate the situation. Let the COP be the prick. if that happens, excellent. Then I’ll be one of the first and one of the loudest to pile on.

      But no, that’s not what happened in this case. Photog Troll went immediately into “OMG you’re violating my rights!” mode. He begged for confrontation. He wanted to be outraged.

      And that’s why I have no sympathy for him or his plight. Because 9 people out of 10 would have walked away quickly and easily and without a problem.

      Being polite is not giving up your rights.

      Not egging on a confrontation is not giving up your rights.

      That’s exactly the point I’m trying to make. Even if these cops had a poor understanding of the rules down there (and they clearly did, by their own admission), that doesn’t suddenly make me sympathetic to a guy who could have defused this *easily* if he wasn’t so eager to create a situation like this.

      And he *was* eager to create a situation like this. Can we at least admit to that much?

      • 149 torgeaux November 9, 2009 at 2:14 pm

        Again, what video are you watching? The initial comment from PO1 is, “No photos of the metro allowed,” which is denied by the photog. Following that, the question, “Why are you taking pictures?” with “I’m not saying it’s illegal, I’m asking you why?” makes the whole thing kind of absurd, doesn’t it? If it’s not illegal, and it’s not, what’s left? There’s no right to detain, even briefly, if you acknowledge they aren’t breaking the law. Everything after that is only harassment.

  43. 150 David Markland November 9, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Kenny’s a classic web troll. You aren’t going to change his mind using logic, the Constitution, or even an admission of wrongdoing by the cop. Ignore him, move on.

    • 151 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm

      David, it’s really easy to just ignore someone when you don’t like what they are saying. Perhaps you’ve missed it though that I believe that police harassment of photographers is absolutely real. Have you missed that? If you want to prove it and stop it from happening, this is utterly the wrong video to prove it. Both the photographer and the cop were being jerks to each other.

      People absolutely should stand up for their rights, but a little common sense tells you that being polite to start will get you a lot further than a childish response which was intended to start a confrontation.

      • 152 Devient November 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm

        Both being jerks isn’t the problem. I’ve been a jerk to plenty of people and they have been jerks to me. That’s fine. It’s the officer using his authority to so is the problem. Hell, even if the officer yelled/screamed/cursed and threw a tantrum I wouldn’t have cared about this vid. Detaining (even for a moment) anyone without REASONABLE suspicion is wrong.

        If you consider taking photos in a subway to be reasonable, does it also stand it is reasonable to detail anyone seen running (You could be running from a crime)? This could be applied anywhere. Any action a previous criminal has performed could be seen and applied to hold anyone anywhere. And yes, the more difficult you make it for someone to violate your rights the less likely they are to do it in the future.

  44. 153 John Ross November 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    WANTED :
    100 People to show up with Cameras for a photo shoot at this same subway station. Please bring plenty of film and digital cameras.
    PS Bring your own soda and a copy of the subways rules and regulations.
    Also Video equipment would be nice to film the entire thing.

  45. 154 Nick W November 9, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    What I’d like to know is how this officer plans to determine whether he’s committing a crime. I mean, really, how is he going to determine that on the spot? Does he think anyone selling photos to terrorists is going to have a memo mentioning it in their pocket or something?

    I just don’t see how the officer thinks he would be able to determine that the photographer is working for terrorists!

    • 155 Devient November 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm

      When I first purchased a Dell computer I was asked whether I planned to use the computer to plan or promote, either directly or indirectly, terrorist acts with the computer and was presented with “yes” and “no” buttons. Out of curiousity I press “yes” and they refused the sale. I pressed the back button twice and clicked “no”. The sale went through and I had my computer a few days later.

      BTW: This was not done in the US. Not sure if it is done on the US site as well.

      • 156 Mark Graham November 10, 2009 at 12:15 am

        That’s hilarious.

  46. 157 rex November 9, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Even though the photographer was clearly there to provoke an incident… The cop is way overstepping. At no point has there been any competent or relevant evidence that the 9/11 hijackers or terrorists of any ilk are walking about taking in depth pics of public places in association with gathering information on targets. This is more of the insane lunacy that makes me wonder how so many criminals end up in jail at all… in general cops are not that bright, bullies, and somewhat anti-social.

  47. 158 Thomas Hawk November 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    What does asking him why he is taking photos have to do with anything? Why is the officer asking him why he is taking photographs? What possible answer could he give that would bring the officer to conclude that he is breaking the law?

    Short of someone saying, hey I’m a terrorist that’s why (which no terrorist would ever do) what can the cop possibly hope to gain by asking him why he’s taking photos?

    Why he’s taking photos is irrelevant. He was only asked this after the cop told him that photography was not allowed in the system and then he refuted the cop with actual factual data that it is allowed.

    The cop didn’t like the fact that someone refuted him on his made up rule and so he went on a fishing expedition to show Shawn who the boss was.

    The question, “why are you taking photos” is a stupid irrelevant question that could easily be deflected by an actual terrorist and served no purpose other than for the officer to push his ego Shawn.

    The cop had just been refuted with the actual law and wanted Shawn to show him some respect after this? He should not be running around telling people it’s against the rules to photograph in the system when it’s perfectly legal and I’m sure he knows it.

  48. 159 Vintage Guitars November 9, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Geez, what the hell is the U.S. coming to? It’s sad to see how are country is ending up.

  49. 160 Charles Seims November 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    This is an outrageous violation of rights protected by the First Amendment. You have wonderful evidence in this tape. Sue the bastards and buy a condo in Maui with the proceeds.

  50. 161 Alain November 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    There’s this bizarre belief amongst law-enforcement, rent-a-cops, and private security that photography is an activity that signals one as a terrorist. Where did this nonsense come from?? I get they have this weird paranoia that stems generally from 9/11, but not the photography bit. It drives me nuts.

    It’s pretty clear that this officer was spouting nonsense, especially at the beginning of the encounter. MTA rules my ash. And the whole FBI bit was rich. But discarted sure was doing everything he could to instigate. It was a set-up right from the start and officer Gylfie fell right for it.

    I understand what discarted is trying to accomplish. I am a photographer as well and I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to be told I can’t photograph something when I know full well that I can. But riling up local metro cops… It’s fine for getting a little exposure amongst the photography blogs, but given the nature of the encounter, its doubtful it will win any significant points with the general public or amongst policy makers. It’s preaching to the choir. discarted… I get it. i really do. but this was a pretty bad attempt at exposing the real issues of photographers’ rights and police harassment.

    Let me add that I have a friend who is a cop and I know there’s very little room for error for them when dealing with someone who is being antagonistic. discarted wasn’t hostile, but he was just barely being cooperative. If he had been a city cop and not sheriff… Things may have turned out very differently. discarted got off easy on this one.

  51. 162 Mike Nichols November 9, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I am torn. On the one hand. You are absolutely right. These cops hassled. Detained you and threatened you. I know how you feel because this recently happened to me in Vernon, Ca taking pictures of the power plant. 6 cops showed up detained us for about 30 minutes. Asked us questions. Took photos of us and our car. Recorded our information and filed it. I was angry but I know my rights were violated. I did nothing wrong. If they had tried to view my pictures or take my property It would have gotten very much like yours went. The difference is I handled the officers with respect. I told them I would not stop taking photos and they did not ask me to. They asked what the images were for and I told them. I thanked them for their duty and service. I told them we realize you have job that has to be done. We informed them we would be back later to take further photos. They even ended up giving us directions to another plant. They were doing their job. They may have overstepped their authority but friendly attitude and respect got us on the road quicker. But keep fighting man. We need people to push hard as well. Push back the craziness.

  52. 163 Dave November 9, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    You have to remember many peoples frame of reference here is weird, you’re all way too interested in photography. Why would you take pictures of transport infrastructure, it is very boring to most people. I would bet if you asked the average person whether they would do it, they wouldn’t.

    Weird is suspicious, even to the most sympathetic Cop.

    Then to get a “Because I want to” response, is provocative, especially to a US cop.

    This was a deliberate setup that I do not think helps the cause.

  53. 164 D>S November 9, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    1. Wait for shooting/terrorist attack/crisis (323 dead Pakistan Oct2-28, 132 dead Iraq Oct 15)
    2. Go to public location that is a listed target by a terrorist organization to maximize civilian death
    3. Take pointless photos that server no purpose other than to create suspicion by acting exactly like a terrorist
    4. Act suspiciously
    5. Be pointlessly confrontational
    6. Harass Officers
    7. Play martyr on internet and act like this wasn’t the plan all along
    8. Get hand job from cute Iranian chick you met at Whole Foods
    9. Objective complete

    It is intellectually dishonest full of shit whiny bitches like you that discredit real civil rights violation complaints, you doom us all with your emo style politics.

    • 165 Steve December 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm

      “It is intellectually dishonest full of shit whiny bitches like you that discredit real civil rights violation complaints, you doom us all with your emo style politics.”

      No, it’s dishonest full of shit whiny bitches like you who would willingly surrender your rights to appease the loons running around pretending like everything is a potential Terrorist act in the making.

      When you give up your Constitutional rights for a sense of security, you give up America and what she was formed for.

      Which makes you a pathetic sheep.

  54. 166 Nick W November 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    The whole provocation thing is moot, IMO. He could have been provocative as all hell and it wouldn’t make any difference to me.

    This is like saying it’s okay for a parent to hit a child if the child was asking for it. The whole point is it’s not acceptable, so why would ‘tempting’ a parent in to hitting a straw-man child be wrong, or render the action defensible? The action we’re wanting to deter is the hitting of the child so who cares how we provoke the action?

    Probably not the best analogy, but my point is there should be NO WAY a cop can be enticed in to acting anything but professionally and proper. When they DO act unprofessionally – what does it matter as to what provoked it? The fact is they acted unprofessionally.

    If you can successfully provoke a police officer in to harassing or otherwise violating your rights, the officer is clearly not fit to be a police officer – no matter how it was provoked.

    • 167 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 9:58 pm

      Nick,

      Yet you’ve missed the entire point. Simply because he was being a douche and intentionally provoking the officer, it means that this video will not carry any weight and will not convince people-at-large that the cop was acting improperly.

      Harassment is a real problem, but many people will see this video and just think the photographer was a jerk. Then the next time they hear about an incidence of police harassing a photographer they’ll just ignore it because “he was probably a jerk to the cop just like that other photographer.”

      • 168 Nick W November 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm

        Umm, I just put forth an argument stating that the fact that he instigated it is MOOT. So, no, I don’t think I’ve ‘missed the entire point’ there, buddy but I can for sure say the same for you. I’m not sure how I could have articulated that argument had I not understood the ‘entire point’.

      • 169 Kenny Wyland November 10, 2009 at 1:29 pm

        Yes, I think you have the missed the point. I read your argument about why it’s not important, but it IS important. If you try to convince the public or the authorities that his rights are being violated then you better have a DAMN GOOD case and this video is NOT. The video is tainted because he’s an asshole. If you give the authorities the wiggle room to dismiss it because he was being confrontational then you have accomplished NOTHING.

        Police harassment is a REAL problem and there are cops who violate photographers rights. If you want to stop it, then you need GOOD evidence that the cop was WAY out of line. A lot of citizens or authorities who see this will probably just dismiss it because the photographer is an ass. If the photographer is polite and the cop is the only asshole on the video then you will be able to prove your case much better.

        Don’t you get it? I agree with the cause. I support the cause. I want police harassment to end and therefore I want to put forth a GOOD argument. This is the equivalent of crying wolf, so when the real wolf shows up no one is going to listen to your cries for help.

      • 170 Nick W November 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm

        Again, Kenny, you’re overlooking the fact that

        “A lot of citizens or authorities who see this will probably just dismiss it because the photographer is an ass.”

        is an improper conclusion they have come to, if such is the case. If they dismiss it because he provoked the behavior, your retort should, rightfully, be “it doesn’t matter if he provoked the behavior, the behavior was present and that is the issue at hand”.

        Not sure how else I can explain that. I understand what YOU are trying to say, but you’re overlooking the point I’m making which trumps your argument.

      • 171 Kenny Wyland November 10, 2009 at 3:46 pm

        Nick, I’m not overlooking your point. I understand the technicality of it, but “reasonable” is a grey area that is up to the Judiciary to define so if you are going to try to convince them that your rights were violated, then you need a strong foundation to stand on. Being an ass to the cops, being provocative, and intentionally attempting to incite the event will inform the Judge’s decision (i.e. the “authorities” in my quote). You don’t want to give the Judge that grey area where he or she can dismiss the case.

      • 172 dglenn November 11, 2009 at 10:22 am

        “Simply because he was being a douche and intentionally provoking the officer, it means that this video will not carry any weight and will not convince people-at-large that the cop was acting improperly.”

        Which sounds perilously xlose to the definition of a “concern troll”.

  55. 173 Carlos Miller November 9, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Kenny,

    You keep saying how most people are not going to sympathize with the photographer, yet so far, most people on this thread are taking his side as well as most of the commenters on Youtube not to mention the majority of commenters on Digg and Reddit.

    Where are these mythical people that disagree with the photographer?

    • 174 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 10:47 pm

      Carlos, have you read the comments? The people reading this are going to be skewed in favor of the supporting discarted because we’re probably all interested in photography. I just went through and counted them separating the authors into two groups: (cops were bad, discarted’s rights were violated, etc) and (cops were within their rights, confrontational tactics hurt the cause, you’re a douche).

      Even in this favorable environment, 42% of the authors expressed disagreement with discarted’s actions or tactics or expressed support for the sheriff’s actions.

      So, Carlos… trying paying a little bit of attention. Even in this favorable environment of people who are interested in photography, 42% of the people disagree with you. It’ll be even more in the public-at-large.

    • 175 Bill November 10, 2009 at 6:58 am

      “Where are these mythical people that disagree with the photographer?”

      Right here in this thread. Have you actually been reading the comments? Even a number of people who have generally supported the photographer have also expressed misgivings about how he went about his business.

      As for Reddit, jeez, have you ever actually browsed the comments there for more than five minutes? This video could feature cops rescuing puppies from a burning building and turning their paychecks over to charity and those goons would find a way to tell you why it was the most vile thing they’d ever seen. They do a real disservice to people who are interested in seeing and exposing REAL cases of police officers violating the rights of the people they serve.

      As does this photographer.

      No sympathy for people who get what they’re looking for. That doesn’t mean I forgive the cops’ ignorance, it just means I scoff at the notion that I should feel outraged that Discarted” successfully trolled for attention.

  56. 176 Carlos Miller November 9, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Kenny,

    I knew you would say that, which is why I didn’t mention the Flickr group.

    How is Youtube, Reddit and Digg a favorable environment towards photographers?

    These are sites that attract the population at large, which is why I pointed them out. They are not photography sites.

    • 177 Kenny Wyland November 9, 2009 at 10:59 pm

      *sigh* because the people passing around the links to YouTube/Digg/Reddit are interested in photography.. and the people who are deciding to click on the video/article when they see it in the list are most likely doing so because they are interested in photography as well. I know the Internet is hard Carlos, but seriously, this isn’t difficult.

  57. 178 krista November 9, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    clearly, the officer IS delusional and has been watching way too much CNN. “Al Quaida” my ass! what a dumb belligerent fool. geezuz!

  58. 179 Mark Graham November 10, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Well done although this was an inherently intimidating situation. No you were not rude to the cops. And yes you have a right to photography even if you are rude. Perhaps next time you go you will take a few copies of the rule(s) which specifically permit photography and hand a copy to any nosy cop.

    When you file your complaint write it in a very detailed way and include a DVD with your video. Make a special version of your video just for the investogator, LAOPI or whoever it is. In the text of your complaint quote the exact words that you said and they said. Spell out the specific laws that were broken, the rule(s) that specifically allow photography, and also the 4th amendment protection against illegal search and seizure.

    I would quote the above as well as name them and cite chapter and verse.

    Include in your complaint a section on probable cause. A cop has to have probable cause for an arrest. He detained but did not arrest you. You can argue that he did not have probable cause to detain you either. Before you make this legal argument do some research on the case law, or ask an attorney friend to do it for you.

    It would really have helped your case, in my opinion, to tell him loud and clearly, the first time he mentioned it and every time he mentioned it after that, and maybe some extra times for good measure, that no you have nothing to do with al Qaeda, you are a patriotic American exercising your right, you are not planning a terrorist attack, etc.

    One cannot tell what effect that would have had on the cop but you didn’t say that, and it seems an obvious omission.

    He had one question which aside from its legal and constitutiona dimensions has a human curiosity dimension; why are you taking pictures? Your answer while legally and constitutionally correct does not satisfy his human curiosity. Make something up. Make something up that you will use when questioned, so that you will be prepared and not have to make something up on the spot. To me it doesn’t matter what reason you give, but some reason that is an actual reason, there is some value, some photographic value, to the scene you are shooting.

    It is YOUR responsibility to file a complaint and follow up on it. If you do it right you could have a city wide effect. Good luck!

    MG

  59. 180 Winston Smith November 10, 2009 at 2:20 am

    A little history is needed here.

    LASD “Officers” Richard Gylfie #2955 and Bayes #456, appear to me, they were originally brought over from the MTA when the LASD took over the policing of MTA.

    They were never trained as full deputies but, rather glorified security officers who now make deputy salaries because they were grandfathered in.

    It is clear from the video they neither have any training in intelligence (security-wise) or constitutional law.

    Every statement made by them was a complete and utter lie. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled law enforcement ‘can’ lie to detainees, such as discarted, without recourse.

    However, they can be sued for violating your rights.

    The “deputies” who “protect” the MTA are roving gangs who terrorize legal ticket-paying citizens. They do it because they can and no one is stopping this outright harassment.

    By the way, there are several hundred security cameras, recording 24/7 and their records can be subpoenaed.

    A homicide bomber could walk right in and detonate anything they want and these knuckleheads could do nothing about it. So, their ‘theories’ are complete crap.

    I have been researching this for several years, in producing a documentary about gangs (in law enforcement) and it’s time to bring these terrorist gang members who wear deputy uniforms to the public forum.

    Good job discarted!

    WRITE.VOTE.RECALL

    I am,
    The Hollywood Republican

  60. 181 AT Quaida November 10, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Greetings. I am from Al Quaida and I would very much like to buy your photos.

  61. 182 Matthew J Shaw November 10, 2009 at 7:28 am

    I have Posted this over here (http://thomashawk.com/2009/11/lasd-officer-richard-gylfie-photography-is-not-a-crime.html/comment-page-1#comment-119765) but feel that it bears repeating here too:

    I must say that I am absolutely appalled by the behaviour exhibited by Richard Gylfie #2955. The act of photography is absolutely not a crime and the bullying that those charged with with public safety display towards the public is absolutely reprehensible. I would go as far to say that Gylfie #2955 is much a terrorist as much as any Al-Quieda member. Gylfie #2955 is wilfully using the threat of force to coerce a member of the public, guilty of no crime what so ever, to his ends. Gylfie #2955 is ignorant of the law and statutes relating to the MTA. His strong arm tactics and extravagant claims at the beginning of the video are clearly an attempt to force compliance and submission. Further Gylfie seems to be on a personal mission to subjugate, humiliate and harass an individual that he does not like. First he says that what he is doing is illegal, he then moves to say that Shawn is being detained to determine if illegal activities have been conducted. These 2 statements not jibe and it makes the officer appear as if he his searching for a reason to indulge his own personal prejudices.

    Respect must be given to Shawn for defending his rights and his liberty, irrespective of any attitude that Shawn may have displayed – his detainment is unlawful. Why shouldn’t he actively and vocally defend that which is his, is personal liberty and justice not a bed rock foundation of the American constitution ?

    The real terrorists are those use terror incite the fear, unrest, victimization and personal bullying we see in cases like this. This must not stand.

  62. 183 phototristan November 10, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Can anyone recommend a wearable video camera that doesn’t look like a video camera?

  63. 185 David November 10, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Oh come on. If the photographer had simply answered the LASD officer’s question “Why are you taking these photos?”, the whole confrontation could have been avoided. The photographer seemed to choose to not clearly answer the officer’s questions, and as a result raised further supsicion and was detained. It’s almost like he wanted to have this happen, so he could play the victim and post this video online and draw sympathy and incite anger against the Man. I watched the video, and it seems like every time the officer explained his reasoning for being suspicious, the photographer had an opportunity to say “No I’m not taking the photos for that purpose.” But instead, the photographer didn’t even try to deny or explain. He just kept saying “It’s not illegal to take photos.”. True, but unhelpful.

    All you had to say was “I’m just taking photos of the new turnstyles to post on my blog.” The officer probably would have said something like “Well, we don’t like people taking photos of the infrastructure because we are concerned with potential terrorist attack planning.” And it probably would have been over. Instead, you gave him aggravating and unhelpful answers like “it’s not against the law to take photos.”

    This kind of “exposure” just makes me roll my eyes.

    No, I do not think this officer is incompetant. I think the photographer here was being immature. Just because people on this thread/blog seem to think there is nothing one can do to stop suicide bombers/terrorist attacks does not mean we should be “exposing” the officers who are trying to keep us safe despite your accusations of irrelevance.

    • 186 Arne November 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm

      totally agree with you

    • 187 Nemo November 13, 2009 at 12:51 pm

      He DID answer their question as to why he was taking pictures, at time 0:39 of the video.

      G: Why are you taking pictures?
      D: Because I want to.

      Ergo, your assertion that “If the photographer had simply answered the LASD officer’s question “Why are you taking these photos?”, the whole confrontation could have been avoided.” is false.

      Cop asked, photog answered. The confrontation continued /because the cop didn’t like the answer/, or perhaps because he had other reasons for continuing the confrontation.

      Why are you exercising your freedom of speech? Apparently “becasue I want to” isn’t a good enough answer for doing legal things any more, so you’d better be prepared to justify your legal behavior /to the cop confronting you’s satisfaction/.

      Oh, and the people trying to spin this as the photog “confronting the cop” or “provoking” are idiots. The cop confronted him, not the other way around. The photog answered the initial question, but the cop wasn’t satisfied with the answer, and escalated the situation, apparently due to his dissatisfaction with said answer.

      What the “provoking a confrontation” crowd is (IMO) /really/ arguing is that you /must be able to sufficiently justify your legal actions and/or assuage a random cop’s fears/, at any time, and in any place. Ergo, the answer to “Why are you walking down the street?” cannot be “because I want to”, it must be more forthcoming than that. In their world, perhaps, you must provide starting point, destination, route, intent, and any planned behavior along the way – whether a little at a time, as the officer pries into your private, legal business, or all at once, to save time. In short, (according to them) you must /satisfy/ the cop, even if his premise for stopping you in the first place is utterly faulty, as was the case here. Bah.

      As for the argument that the photog’s being prepared for a confrontation “proving” that he’d set out to start one, by that logic every cop in the USA is setting out to start a gunfight, since they are all prepared for one, by way of carrying a weapon. Double bah!

    • 188 Steve December 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm

      I disagree with you David. The whole point is that he “DOESN’T have to answer the Cops Queery? It’s not 1938 in Germany or Stalingrad. We don’t have to answer to Authority or show papers just because we’re asked if we’re not doing anything illegal.

      Do you people get it finally?

      If Not, go read the Bill of Rights.

  64. 189 Jake Rohde November 10, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I sent off my complaints to the people listed. I hope all the people arguing on this blog do the same. If enough people voice their complaint, maybe something will happen, this type of thing happens all too often…

  65. 190 Arne November 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

    This isn’t an example of a photographers rights being stepped on – this is an example of a photographer being a wank and provoking a situation. I’ve been stopped a number of times in situations very similar to this. My first response is I’m an photographer (mostly for hobby) my name is …. do you wish to see my id or my business card from my day job or any of the photo’s I’ve taken in this area… see I’m not doing anything wrong and I’ve got nothing to hide. Most of the time after that I’m left alone – sometimes they want to see my ID rarely do they want tosee my photo’s. I’ve never been detained or harassed. (New York/San Fran/San Diego/Toronto/Vancouver) ps. never had to use my photographers rights card with this approach … ever – not even in NYC Subway.

    This fellow – although you can’t say he is being rude – is being challenging – less than forthcoming and in general a pain in the ass. I mean seriously – he is a cop – not some random person off the street – if he wants to see your ID – do it. Some people think cops are the bad guys – but when you’re in trouble / hurt /in danger / etc etc – who do you call – that right – the same fellow you’re disrespecting will also stand between you and a real criminal with a gun and defend you with his life. Quit being a prick

    • 191 Nick W November 10, 2009 at 12:24 pm

      What does it matter if the photographer was provocative? That’s like saying it’s okay to murder someone if they piss you off intentionally. The fact of the matter is that the officer’s behavior is not acceptable, and that fact stands on its own regardless of how the behavior was achieved.

      • 192 Arne November 10, 2009 at 12:31 pm

        Wow – you don’t really get it do you?

    • 193 Steve December 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm

      Wow, Arne, let’s all go live in 1938 Germany. I know you’d like it just fine.

      Ver Ar Your Papers?

  66. 194 NeitherFanboy November 10, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I think Nick totally gets it. How a police officer will respond when everybody is nice and polite, absolutely forthcoming and helpful, is beside the point. How a police officer will act when someone is not absolutely forthcoming is absolutely the point. We shouldn’t be “exposing” our officers? Of course we should, if there is something to be exposed. If the officer had acted properly, there would have been nothing to expose. Nick gets it, is the rest of the “yes sir, no sir, look what a good citizen I am” crowd who does not get it.

    • 195 Kenny Wyland November 10, 2009 at 1:37 pm

      FanBoy, the technicality of the situation is little comfort when your case gets thrown out because the judge decides that you were being aggressive and suspicious and so the cop was well within the law to detain for a short period of time and ask a few questions. THAT is the point. You aren’t going to prove anything with this video because it sits in the grey area. If you want to actually enact some change, if you want to find a solution, then you can’t sit in the grey area.

      • 196 Arne November 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm

        bingo

      • 197 NeitherFanboy November 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm

        Kenny, I believe you are incorrect. Read USDC Robinson v. Fetterman if you have not already done so. While that decision may not be binding on a California court, the facts are closely related. Robinson was well within his rights to videotape, he was arrested for videotaping (detained) and he sued. He won punitive damages against each of the officers.

        Discarted was well within his rights to photograph here, yet he was detained by the officers, and not only detained, but threatened. All of you who say the police officer was “just doing his job” and this is the way you want “policing” done, I am sure Discarted can find an attorney who would be willing to file a suit for him, and he may win. “Gray areas” would be for a judge/jury to decide.

      • 198 Kenny Wyland November 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm

        Ok, I just went and read it. I understand where you are going with that case, but discarted wasn’t arrested so it’s not really the same.

        I’m not saying that the cop was “just doing his job” I’ve said several times that the cop as an asshole.

        and yes, grey areas ARE for the judge and jury to decide, so why give them the leeway? Why cry wolf about the above video when it’s VERY likely to get tossed away?

        discarted, get us a video of you being polite and not inciting an confrontation wherein the cop harasses you and I’ll be totally on board. Until then, you’re just being a douche and picking fights.

  67. 199 EP November 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    You are all right, but guess what — it doesn’t matter… There is no “what a man should do” — there is only what a man can do and what a man can’t to. Should the cop have done what he did? Nope. Did he? Yup. And you’ll be lucky if he gets a slap on the wrist… You guys who say you shouldn’t have to tell that cop what you are doing… You guys are right — your rights are absolute, but the arbiters of those right are human, and unless you can get an entire jury of card-carrying Libertarians, all they are going to see is some kid with a confrontational history baiting a cop and then getting mad when the cop bites him. It’s like knowingly touching a hot pan and getting mad at the pan when you get burned. It’s your right, but you are going to spend a lot of time in detainment. I’m going to be polite and go on my way. Giving up your freedom to protect your freedom seems dumb to me. The system is broken. We all know it is, but wanting something to be different doesn’t change what it is. So, you can rail all you want about your rights being violated, but you can’t change it and neither can I.
    Having said that– Kenny is right that this video doesn’t help the cause. All it does is cry wolf and make life even harder for the photogs who ARE being harassed by the cops. I want to have my rights respected just as much as all of you, but I don’t want you or people like you on my team. All you do is make it harder for me when you do crap like this. You could have prevented this whole thing with 10 seconds of basic, human courtesy… but you went there to incite a fight, you got exactly what you wanted, and then you whine about it. The cop won this one and he will win this one everytime.

  68. 200 Bob - Montreal November 10, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    “Why are you taking pictures?”… I guess cops can ‘guess’ that your are not Al Queda if you CONFESS your intentions.

    “You could sell you pictures to Al Queda” Like any douche couldnt hide a CMOS pinhole camera and walk around ANYWHERE…

    In Toulouse (France) a rent-a-cop forced me to delete 3 pics I had taken of their very modern subway (It is forbiden apparently) he proudly said “I can delete them for you, I KNOW all about digital cameras”… I was tempted to ask him “Hu, well I guess you know all about UNDELETE then?”

    Fight the future!

    Bob
    Montreal

    • 201 NeitherFanboy November 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm

      “Like any douche couldnt hide a CMOS pinhole camera and walk around ANYWHERE”

      Exactly. The police should stop “detaining” photographers for taking legal photographs, they are not preventing terrorism.

  69. 202 David Markland November 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Am I the only who believes that once you’ve given your point of view in a comment thread, there’s no need to repeat it? Otherwise it reeks of shouting?

    Anyway… one big hypothetical here is assuming that had Discarted explained why he was taking photos with a clearer answer, that that would have been the end of it. Based on other encounters photographers have had with Sheriffs in the MTA system, it sounds like the police would have continued to question him, possibly still try and inspect his equipment, and look through his bags.

    Certainly, there’s the possibility that the reason they were questioning him is because his behavior was suspicious in some other way. Who knows?

    And I doubt that Discarted would get damages of any sort as well.

    But all of this sort of ignores the larger point, which is that the Sheriffs handcuffed someone in what appears to be simply a show of power. I think they’d be hard pressed to argue they believed Discarted was any sort of threat. They just didn’t like him standing up for himself.

    As a result, for 20 minutes, the police we pay for, held themselves up hassling a photographer, and essentially trying to intimidate him out of taking pictures. Because, as they repeated numerous times, they believed it could lead to terrorism.

  70. 203 mrpaul November 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    They were just doing what they thought they needed to, to keep the city safe and sometimes people give the police a hard time

  71. 204 Alain November 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    If people actually want to make this incident some kind of poster child for photographers’ rights and police harassment, I think they will be sorely disappointed by the results. The fact that discarted was confrontational and instigated the encounter sullies the value of the video and I find it highly doubtful any judge will be sympathetic to it. Not saying I’m happy with that, but I think that is what will happen. Again, I’m not against what discarted is fighting for, I just don’t think this video is the right piece of evidence to introduce. And frankly, I’m not sure discarted is the right person to be championing the cause. While watching the video, I had that vibe that I was watching those annoying, self-righteous PETA protesters (sorry, PETA… I like your message, but hate your attitude and tactics). I really wish I were smarter so I can propose a better way to do this, but I’m afraid I’m not and just hope another situation comes along that can better shed light on this entire problem.

  72. 205 Fiona November 10, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    This is not an either or situation.

    The cops are frightening with their bizarre conspiracy theorizing of terrorism just because a guy is taking a photo in a subway station. They are bullies for threatening to add you to the ‘bad people’ list. They are even over the top for hand cuffing you.

    But coming out the dock saying you are a photography rights advocate and proceeding to up the anty, in a nauseatingly ingenious manner, because you have rights, isn’t doing any of us (photographers) any favors.

    Save the advocacy for when it genuinely matters.

  73. 206 leftcoastmark November 10, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Having worked in law enforcement for a number of years, this cop has no right to detain the photographer. However, he could ask him for his ID and run him through the police computer . After that, if no wants/warrants, then the guy should be free to go. However, the photographer never did make any attempt to leave or explain why he was taking photos. He should have just said “for my art” or whatever.

    Having the cop make the jump from someone taking pictures to being in ‘cahoots with alqueda” is complete crap. Like al queda doesn’t know what a turnstile looks like? That’s like stopping everyone who drives a car because maybe they’re going to use that car sometime in the future for a car bomb. Rediculous.

    LASD should be ashamed of this guy. He’s completely outside his rights as a law enforcement officer.

  74. 207 This is fun... November 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I take great joy in knowing Kenny wasted hours and hours of his life in this thread. Poor Kenny. Reason is going to decapitate you some day if you don’t allow it into your mind.

  75. 208 Janis Anderwald November 10, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Not all officers should be expected to know ALL laws. Do you? No, you ONLY know the ones pertaining to your incident!! 25 minutes of your freedom to insure MY security? A no brainer. You lose. Till it’s cleared up and you are found to be cleared, no poroblem. If that had been someone photographing for improper use, we all would have cried “Where were the Authorities?” Instead it cost you 25 min. Yeah to the officer!

    • 209 Bryan Villarin November 10, 2009 at 11:41 pm

      Guilty before proven innocent?

      • 210 Kenny Wyland November 11, 2009 at 12:44 am

        He wasn’t arrested, so he was never assumed to be guilty of anything. Cops are well within the law to stop someone and ask them a few questions.

    • 211 Scott Streble November 11, 2009 at 6:00 am

      I am a professional photographer who for 20 years was previously based in LA. I was routinely stopped and questioned (hassled) by police. Being more concerned with making photos than provoking confrontation, (which I hate by the way) I opted to play their little game…show the officers the respect they desired and then I was allowed to continue. It really was simple and nobody got all bent out of shape. It is a skill that I find helpful in dealing with other people…not just cops. It seems like discarted was more interested in provocation than really taking photos. Don’t get me wrong…what the cops did was not right…but the situation could have been easily averted. Here is a link to a page on photographer’s rights that I found helpful.
      http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

    • 212 Nemo November 13, 2009 at 12:59 pm

      A cop working the subway isn’t required to know the laws and policies of said subway (as was the case here), eh, Janis? Your blind faith is scary.

    • 213 Steve December 6, 2009 at 4:52 pm

      Yes ALL OFFICERS OF THE LAW should be expected to know all the laws. I know all the laws and my constitutional rights when out Photographing. Any good citizen should.

      You are just faning ignorance out of laziness.

      Shame on you

      People fought and died for your rights to be exocised in a FREE society yet you’d rather lay them to waste in ignorance.

      How sad people had to die for you.

      • 214 Steve December 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm

        My post was for Janis btw.

  76. 215 hanawaltphotography November 10, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I would feel better about supporting this effort if the photographer politely answered the question “I’m a photo enthusiast etc” and later went into the combative mode. But starting off combative is an in your face “screw you approach” that baited the sheriff deputy it appears. Having an attitude will get you detained every time I expect. I suggest you throw the “it’s not illegal” dialog after you answer their questions reasonably. I mind the resisting, just not the immediate attitude.

    • 216 hanawaltphotography November 10, 2009 at 11:00 pm

      And… sadly for the innocent, cops lie as a tactic to get people to do what they want all the time. I think it must be an accepted practice within the law enforcement community.

  77. 217 Nately November 10, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Sorry, but you were being an idiot.

    It seems like you were doing this just to be difficult.
    He never did say it was illegal to take pictures, yet you make it sound like he did. You didn’t answer his questions. Instead of telling him why you were taking pictures you told him it wasn’t illegal to take pictures.

    I want to see a video where you answer his questions legitimately and then let’s see what happens.

    • 218 Steve December 6, 2009 at 4:57 pm

      Natley, watch the video again. The Cop right off says “You can’t take Pictures here” only after it’s explained to him that he can the officer gets defensive and escalates the situation into what can be a nice lawsuit for the MTA.

      • 219 Steve December 6, 2009 at 5:01 pm

        When I say Lawsuit I mean one waged by the Photographer agaisnt the Subway Authority. Should be a nice payday for the Photographer, don’t you all think?

        Oh wait, many of you don’t think. You’d rather post your opinions than what the law says in a situation like this.

        The Cop escalated the situation PERIOD!

        Now lets all grab some Dinner! ; – )

  78. 220 David Markland November 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Officer: “No photographs in here.”

    When a cop tells someone they can’t do something, I’d assume its because they believe its against the law or some rule. But there’s no law or rule against photography in the subway station.

    This was a clear effort to get Discarted to stop taking photographs. These cops were either poorly trained or this is a classic case of police intimidation – trying to stop someone from doing something that is perfectly legal.

    They go on to then threaten to report Discarted to the FBI… not because they believe he’s a threat, but because he doesn’t back down from insisting he’s done nothing wrong.

    Are the above points debatable in any way?

    • 221 Kenny Wyland November 11, 2009 at 12:42 am

      No, I don’t think they are debatable. The cops were assholes just like discarted was an asshole. However, the law does allow officers to detain and question people with very simple suspicion and even IF a case could be made that they violated the law (which I don’t think they did), you’re going to have a MUCH harder time proving it with this video because discarted is an asshole in it too.

      It doesn’t help the cause to intentionally incite the police into a confrontation. It makes you look like an asshole and removes the sympathy you would get from a lot of people. Police harassment is a real problem, but this video isn’t an example and doesn’t help the cause.

      • 222 David Markland November 11, 2009 at 12:47 am

        Kenny, could you please repeat your point of view for the millionth time? I don’t think anyone’s noticed it yet.

      • 223 Kenny Wyland November 11, 2009 at 12:53 am

        I thought I just did.

  79. 224 Carrrrrlos November 10, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Is this for real?! LMAO. Would have loved to see him take you downtown. Was you memory card big enough for that scenario? You know, him walking u up the stairs, escorting u into a cop car, ur ride on the way downtown, getting booked, having ur gear taken. Now that would have been an awesome video. This is just lame. Next time post something with more teeth. Or maybe just bring a bat and ask him if he’ll be kind enough to beat you with it for the camera (edit that part out of course). Please, is life really that boring?

  80. 225 Jerry November 11, 2009 at 12:20 am

    The officer keeps saying that he is trying to determine if the photographer is taking photos of the subways infrastructure, tracks, wall thickness, and such. If the photographer was on the other side of the turnstiles I would say he might have a point, but he doesn’t appear to have a view of the tracks from his position.
    You can be sure if it was one of the TV stations filming the officer wouldn’t say boo, and millions of people would view it, including the terrorists. This incident appears to be nothing more than intimidation and harassment of the photographer.
    I’ve gotten the same threat of being reported to Homeland Security and my name added to the watch list because I tried to assert my constitutional right to take photos in a public place.

  81. 226 Jeff November 11, 2009 at 1:02 am

    > … violated my constitutional rights, which protect me as a photographer …

    Forget the photographer bit. Your constitutional rights protect you, and all of us, as citizens, regardless of what role we’re in.

  82. 227 J November 11, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Do not enter into a contract with the police. Keep your mouth SHUT.

    Have a look at the videos here about food for thought with dealing with the police:

  83. 228 Mack November 11, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Hopefully this Gestapo officer will end up jobless, penniless and begging in the subway system for spare change. LMAO at all the nitwits and assholes above who don’t value their own Constitutional rights.

    • 229 J November 11, 2009 at 5:41 am

      True Mack. People choose not to claim their rights. That is a big shame as it affects all of us.

      In addition to the video already listed above, here is an addendum to it with a focus on being in court:

    • 230 kevin halliburton November 11, 2009 at 8:44 am

      “Hopefully this Gestapo officer will end up jobless, penniless and begging in the subway system for spare change.”

      Oh yea, wouldn’t that be great! Hopefully he’ll mug you in desperation and not me.

  84. 231 kevin halliburton November 11, 2009 at 8:42 am

    If your campaign is successful maybe the next time one of us is confronted by a rude and obnoxious person demanding our camera and wallet in the subway this officer will be at his desk to take our call. Thanks. You’re a real hero.

  85. 232 Pip November 11, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Duh, if you can’t figure out why he was detained, they had not only a right to stop and detain him, it was their duty.

    • 233 J November 11, 2009 at 9:06 am

      Pip,

      You obviously have not seen the two posted videos in the comment section. If you did, you would whistle a different tune.

  86. 234 abh1wordpress November 11, 2009 at 11:52 am

    We live in a time where acts that were once considered harmless and innocent, such as photographing children at play, are now judged by some to be prurient and perverted. The same is true now for shooting pictures in certain public locations.

    Photographing people in public has been part of the photographer’s arsenal for over 125 years. The “terrorism” bug that has been up this nation’s ass since 9/11 has provided an excuse to employ thousands of security badge wearing goons to enforce a sense of security in every location from public libraries to train stations. Most of these very bored officers have nothing to do all day, and they seem to relish the excitement of exerting their authority and making innocent people feel powerless. In the end, nobody is actually any safer, and our civil liberties and right to freely roam and create pictures is hampered and harassed.

    In reality, photography is one of the best ways to defuse terror because it opens up understanding and communications between people all over the world. Flickr is where the Israeli photographer befriends the Pakistani photographer. Photography only puts fear at risk.

  87. 235 Alain November 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    How many people here are actually photographers who have had to deal with this? I AM an amateur photographer, and yes, I have experienced similar situations.

    HOWEVER

    discarted was fishing for a confrontation and was clearly provoking this sheriff. discarted isn’t an idiot. he set up a hidden camera and snapped a picture in front of the cop.

    The sheriff was definitely in the wrong about a lot of things, but let me tell you all something: 99% of all cops and private security do this. This is no surprise to us photographers, but maybe a lot of you laymen don’t know this. They’ll come up with all kinds of stupid excuses as to why they don’t want you to photograph, and all of it is wrong. I look forward to the day when we can fix this situation, but THIS VIDEO IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT. Putting a jerk up on a pedestal just because you like cops even less is not the way to win this battle.

  88. 236 Shawn November 11, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I also was stopped by the LASD while taking pictures at 7th/metro a couple of years ago. I was handcuffed, searched, and given a $1,000 ticket which I didn’t have to pay when they deputy didn’t show up in court.

    That being said this instance all could have been avoided by answering some simple questions and keeping hands out of your pocket (clueless?). CNN just aired this and asked whether the cop was the jerk or you were. They basically called the cop a hero, so I guess that they felt that you were the jerk. Thanks for setting the photographers rights movement back with this nonsense!

    • 237 Steve December 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm

      If anything, he did the Photography rights movement a service and stood his ground because unlike some of the Sheeple here, he understands the Constitution and what it entails to defend it.

      Bravo to the Photographer.

  89. 238 Dean Cam November 11, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Hi all,
    Well this has caused some debate. I have posted a comment on Jef Revells site after watching the link there.
    All I can say ontop of that is ‘YOU’ give photographers a bad name and I am embarrassed to be associated with such an excellent voction when there are fools like you around. I for one will be writing to the posts you have given and offering my support to the police staff in that area.
    PS – No longer on my favourite blog list….shame on you!!!

  90. 239 Al Ky-Duh November 11, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Tell Officer Gylfie all us Terrists are coming to get his TURNSTILE (at Hollywood & Highland)! Be afraid. Be very afraid~!!! In the meantime, keep disregarding the US Constitution and look out for our next fake Bin Laden tape to make you more paranoid. American sheeple are so funny, especially dumb ones with badges.

    Al Ky-Duh
    c/o Terrist Camp
    Sandy Desert Caves, Eye-Rack

    PS: Please put us on the FBI most-wanted list. It’s so nice to be wanted.

  91. 240 NYCPhotorights November 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    I am absolutely amazed at everyone who is missing the point. GYLFIE is a pathological LIAR – he said photography of the Metro is against the rules. Everything else is irrelevant. Even if Discarted had answered the questions – would he have been allowed to continue his photography? Not with that liar in a uniform!

    I am glad to see that photographers are fighting back. Many of us are mad as hell that photo shoots are interrupted regularly to answer stupid questions for authorities who disrespect us and our rights.

  92. 241 Chas November 11, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    jesus.. just answer the fat bastards questions & get on with the day.
    of course he was going to ask wtf you were doing.
    if you had said ‘taking a few shots for my portfolio’ – you would have been on your way.
    but nooooooo… lets get all smart-mouthed about it.

    all you clowns saying ‘yeah.. the cop was a douche’ – well, yeah.. he was.
    so what?
    wanna fight about it?
    yer gonna lose that fight.
    even if he was wrong, he can still haul yer ass away in cuffs.

    you don’t argue with a cop.
    you let your lawyer argue for you.
    dumbass.

  93. 242 Mack November 12, 2009 at 3:54 am

    • 243 Mack November 12, 2009 at 3:55 am

      • 244 Mack November 12, 2009 at 3:55 am

    • 245 Kenny Wyland November 12, 2009 at 8:53 am

      This would be a much better body of evidence if it wasn’t so stupidly intercut with ridiculous sound effects and random pictures from movies as well as scenes were the officers aren’t actually doing anything wrong.

      When it’s portrayed like this you lose your audience and you don’t accomplish your goal.

  94. 246 Mack November 12, 2009 at 3:56 am

  95. 247 Jerry November 12, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Chas,

    You don’t argue with a cop. you let your lawyer argue for you.

    So, freedom isn’t free?

  96. 248 Douchebag Blogger November 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    You weren’t unlawfully detained. The first priority of the police is to protect the public, and part of that requires for them to be vigilant in advance of any potential crime. That officer had every right to question you and see what you were doing. It’s a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ scenario…pricks like you complain when the police interfere with what you see as your ‘rights’ yet you’d be the first one to bitch and moan if there was a subway attack about how incompetent law enforcement was in preventing it.

    You probably would have complained if the airport screeners confiscated your box cutter before letting your board your flight pre-9/11. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and not for clowns like you to try and create problems, but by those whose duty it is to protect us.

    • 249 Steve December 6, 2009 at 5:49 pm

      douchebag is the perfect name for you.

  97. 250 anoon November 12, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Here’s my two cents on the subject.
    I’ve been checking the comments for the last few days. Discarted has been called “a douche”, “an instigator” and “a brat” among other things. People are missing the point here. Discarted is under no obligation to be polite to the Officer Gylfie. He is under no obligation to answer any of the questions either. In fact if I’m not mistaken in California you don’t have to give ID only your name and address. In short it’s none of the officer’s business. At no time should Discarted been told he was being detained.

    Discarted was well within his rights to take photographs in the subway. There have been several instances of harassment in the LA subways written on various blogs and on flickr. Subway rules expressly permit photography in public areas. Officer Gylfie lied in the first 30 seconds of the encounter. Then he threatens to put discarted’s name on a watch list so he can be harassed every time his ID is checked. For what? Standing up for his rights?

    People are saying discarted was trolling for trouble. There seem to be a lot of people commenting here that are unfamiliar with the work discarted has been doing for the last few years. He started wearing the video camera after being harassed over and over. His advocacy for photographer rights has changed the photography/security policy of several downtown LA high rise buildings. The situation went from a gang of rent a cops surrounding photographers and harassing them to usually one security guard coming out and handing the photographer a slip with the company policy regarding photography. A couple of weeks ago he posted a video of a rent a cop harassing him for taking pictures of a building from a public sidewalk. His videos have been very effective in combating the heavy handed approach police and security have taken with photographers.

    Here in New York a student was handcuffed and detained for 20 minutes. He sued and was awarded over $30,000 for his trouble. I hope discarted sues also.

    Discarted I wholeheartedly support what you are doing a keep up the good work.

    Dean Cam, good riddance. Kenny Wyland: we get it. You think discarted is a douche. Please stop posting.

    This situation reminds me of another way more extreme video that came out a couple of years ago.

  98. 251 anoon November 12, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    the vid

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2715792117793977759&hl=en#

  99. 252 Acoustic_D November 13, 2009 at 10:18 am

    You kind of acted like an asshole. This very easily could have been avoided.

    • 253 Nemo November 13, 2009 at 3:45 pm

      It’s always easy to avoid trouble with tyrants – just obey them, answer their questions in a satisfactory manner, and wait for them to give you permission to get on with your life.

      Of course, this could all hasve been voided if the cop had not acted like an asshole.

    • 254 Steve December 6, 2009 at 5:57 pm

      How is standing up for your constitutional rights acting like an asshole?
      Yes the situation could have been avoided by the Cops understanding of this Photographers rights and the fact the Photographer was under the understanding he was within his rights and asserted them.

  100. 255 Gary Henderson November 18, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    It would have been an interesting comparison to have someone else go in there and repeat the confrontation, but give the oft-suggested meek and subservient responses.

    My money is on the cop NOT just ending it and having everybody carry on a few seconds later like it never happened. I just don’t see it going that way. They’d have still been ordered to stop and/or get out. This cop is a power-tripping control freak.

    • 256 Kenny Wyland November 18, 2009 at 4:52 pm

      It’s very, very likely! and I can guarantee you a video of THAT happening would be a much better weapon for the cause than a cop-baiting, confrontational one.

  101. 257 John Howard November 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I was standing on a public sidewalk awhile back and snapped a photo of a house where two people were sweeping the garage out.

    They charged at me, one grabbed me and started spouting off that he was a cop, wanting my camera, etc. etc. He refused to identify himself, let alone show any form of id. All I was sure of was that the gun tucked into his waistband (athletic-type sweats) was very real.

    He made repeated demands to see my ID and I refused until he produced his own first. I decided to try calling 911, figuring the phone would be ripped from my hands but I had to try. With a number of obscenities interlaced, he told me to ‘Yeah, go ahead and call 911. It won’t do you no good.’ He said was going to ‘arrest you and haul your ass to jail.’ I simply told him to go ahead and arrest me. Of course he didn’t. Instead, he let go of me. Imagine that!

    After I made the call, he DID whip a badge of some sort out, too quickly to even see what it was before he put it away again. All the while he continued his string of obscenities.

    Meanwhile, he’d sent the other guy into the house to ‘get my radio.’ He then proceeded to contact the radio operator and started describing me as ‘disorderly’ and a ‘resister’ and stating ‘officer needs assistance.’ Mind you, I still had not seen anything to convince me he was anything but a random angry guy in gym clothes with a real gun and toy badge he bought on Ebay. Need I say that ‘officer needs assistance’ is NOT something you call in unless you need backup and need it ASAP?

    The ‘real’ police quickly arrived in 3 different cars, pulled him aside, they talked, other real cops and I talked, and I was within 30-45 seconds allowed to go on my way. Even after I left, they continued with whatever they were talking to him about. It was not punctuated with laughter. They seemed pretty serious.

    The angry guy was a township constable. I only learned he was a constable when I asked the real cop who he was. That was their entire response – that he was ‘a constable.’ Not even offering his name or what he was the constable of.

    The explanation for this whole thing was that there had been numerous break-ins in the area and so I was suspected of (big surprise) ‘casing’ the neighborhood. Because I had a camera and was walking the sidewalk in broad daylight.

    So don’t give me any lame ‘just doing their job crap.’ There are cops that carry the badge because they like to intimidate and display their ‘power.’ I’ve seen them in action, firsthand.

  102. 258 Dirk Hummer November 19, 2009 at 12:09 am

    As a photographer, I’m as much concerned about the safety of this nation as I am about my legal rights to take pictures. I respect the officers’ approach to this situation, and am thankful that our law enforcement agencies are paying attention to any suspicious activites that could result in terrorism. The photographer was not responsive or respectful to the officer, in this situation. I am not knowledgeable enough to evaluate the legalities in this case, but I think the photographer could have dealt with the situation much more affectively, if he had subdued his stubborness, and tried to use a more human approach. Did he leave his tact in his camera case? We should all be concerned about our freedoms and learn how to work more closely with those who are trying to protect those rights. The sheriff’s deputy(s) in this case, has my support.

    • 259 John Howard November 19, 2009 at 6:08 am

      It is a false premise that interrogating someone who is taking a photograph promotes ‘the safety of this nation.’

      It is NOT a false premise that passively relinquishing our Constitutional rights and shelving the Declaration of Independence’s affirmation that we are entitled to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ endangers this nation.

  103. 260 Lou Korell November 19, 2009 at 9:26 am

    “Discarted is under no obligation to be polite to the Officer Gylfie.”

    This is where the problem lies. Where is common sense? YES, he is obligated to be polite to a police officer. Why is that such an issue? This reminds me of the radical nature of the protests that occurred in the 60’s where police overreacted many times because college kids were more interested in acting like little snots than citizen’s rights advocates.
    Common courtesy has been lost in human interaction? The deputy has a job to do. If you are asked questions, it is appropriate to do your best to answer them so as to alleviate concern. Instead, the attitude of “I don’t have to answer your questions” is a stupid one. These people put their lives on the line every day they wear a uniform. Being polite and helpful, and yes, even educational, is a better choice than just acting belligerent.
    I’m sorry you were detained, but I think you asked for it. Refusal to cooperate with law enforcement or fire personnel is a potential illegal activity.

    • 261 John Howard November 19, 2009 at 4:35 pm

      Why are civilians ‘obligated to be polite’ and the police are ‘just doing their job’ when they take a similar attitude?

      The photog DID cooperate, answering ‘because I want to’ which, while not ‘polite,’ IS the correct answer.

    • 262 anoon November 24, 2009 at 11:11 pm

      “Refusal to cooperate with law enforcement or fire personnel is a potential illegal activity.”

      You sir have outdone Mr. Wyland for the dumbest line in this thread. Refusal to cooperate is not in fact an illegal activity nor is it a potential illegal activity. Look it up.

      Saying “the deputy has a job to do” doesn’t make it right. The cop started off this interaction by lying stating that photography was not allowed. In fact it is not illegal to photograph there nor is it against MTA rules. Officer Gylfie used his uniform to bully threaten and intimidate. He deserves no respect for the job he does when acts as such.

  104. 263 John Howard November 20, 2009 at 6:48 am

    CBS just ran a story on their morning program, which showed a number of the standard ‘hidden camera’ devices. On in particular, a ‘pen’ which the reporter had in his coat pocket, was providing amazingly clear video as he moved around what looked like a store with people shopping. He had another one hidden in his tie.

    It could have easily been a subway station. And neither Gylfie nor Bayes would have noticed a thing.

    There’s what your terrorists would be using.

  105. 264 Randall BusTard November 21, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    What happened to the photographer is by no means an anomaly. The L.A> County Sheriff has allowed this nonsense to go on for some time now, and I feel it is remarkable that a year after a similar incident—one which ended in a wrongful arrest and which was so wrong as to be over-ruled by a mere L.A. County CASHIER at the court—this bullshit remains prevalent among these brownshirted-boneheads.

    And as a person who lost a loved one in lower Manhattan in the September 11 attacks, I am especially angered that this asshole Dick Gylfie—who I see occasionally on the Red Line and who would do well to steer clear of me unless he can immediately identify a crime I am committing—would evoke an event about which his dumb-ass dirt farmer self knows very little.

    Moreover, the one time that there appeared to have been a terrorist attack on the Red Line—in 2006—was when “on December 22, 2006, a man spilled a vial of mercury on the platform at the Pershing Square station. He then located a passenger information intercom and told the operator that he spilled mercury before boarding a train.[1] The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was not notified until the next day, eight hours later. Metro has responded since the incident by giving hazardous materials (Hazmat) training to its field employees and operators so they can identify hazardous substances and take correct action in the future.[2]” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Red_Line_%28LACMTA%29) This ludicrous incident, which may as well have been a throwaway gag for one of Woody Allen’s lesser New Yorker contributions, is a regularly repeated reason for Baca’s boneheads to harass people. It was one of the many reasons that LASD deputy Larry Ware offered for having detained and arrested me when he wasted some $7,000 of taxpayer funds for nothing more than a personal vendetta.

    What happened in November, 2008? Read here:
    http://www.thebusbench.com/2008/11/metro-sheriffs-fuck-your-first-amendment-rights.html

  106. 265 gdanmitchell November 21, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    That cop is a menace to public safety and the rights of all Americans. For his fascist and un-American notions he should be relieved of duty immediately. His ignorance of the law might also be a good reason to fire him. On top of that his employers should want to unload him before he screws up even more than he did here and his employers end up the targets of a lawsuit that will cost all of us taxpayers dearly.

  107. 266 gdanmitchell November 21, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Acoustic_D wrote: “You kind of acted like an asshole. This very easily could have been avoided.”

    I suppose you could have said the same thing about those who resisted the Nazis during WWII, right?

    • 267 Kenny Wyland November 22, 2009 at 5:41 pm

      Oh my god, you’re an idiot.

      First, to DARE to compare a photographer being wrongly harassed for 25 minutes with the MURDER OF MILLIONS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE is absolutely fucking stupid and deplorable. You’re an idiot.

      Secondly, welcome to Godwin’s Law.

      • 268 anoon November 24, 2009 at 11:00 pm

        the only idiot here is you, Kenny.

  108. 269 DT November 24, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Pretty simple really. Officer Richard Gylfie #2955 needs to lose his job as an example to all other members of law enforcement in LA County.

  109. 270 DT November 24, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    BTW – thank you for defending our rights as photographers. I hope you get some traction with this story.

  110. 271 Winston Smith November 24, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Anyone who claims in these threads to be a cop or ex-cop, or even a lawyer is lying.

    To play and win at the game, Discarted, here are my suggestions.

    First: Have a business card with your basic business information on it, to give to any law enforcement official questioning you. They won’t want to see it but your on-body video cam will show you attempted to I.D. yourself.

    Second: Whenever your still camera is confiscated (illegally) don’t get into a discussion, pleading or ask them ‘not’ to open the back of the camera. The cops will want to destroy your film by surreptitiously popping open the back of the camera and then handing it back to you. If you find they take the roll, you must call them on it right there (on video). Let your on-body video camera be your shield. They will lie about opening your camera however, your video camera will be your Ace to play. Remember, they don’t know you’re videotaping them.

    Third: Stick to one and only one story. I know you did however, cops like being in control and are trained if they aren’t in control, you’re obviously doing something illegal. The average person would be dumbstruck if approached by a cop and asked stupid questions. The cops will take your questions as an attempt, however misguided, to deceive them.

    Fourth: Only carry your California I.D., business cards and cash money on you (okay, credit cards too). By the way, photocopy all cash you have on you. When they performed a patdown search of you, their claim will be, “We were searching for weapons.” As if you were a gang member masquerading as a photographer.

    Fifth: Once they give you your still camera back, if the roll wasn’t stolen, you must take their picture then and there. You have every legal right to take their picture, regardless of any threats they make against you. They will in all probability have flashed your film, and taking pictures of them after they give it back will be the proof you need to show they ‘did’ indeed flash your film. You will get some type of image, even if your film was flashed.

    Sixth: Buy a thumbwheel combination locking metal box in which to put your video recorder. Oh, and make sure it isn’t a gun safe type of box. Cops hate it when law abiding civilians have guns. This safe would be placed inside your backpack. In the event you are arrested and they search your bag, they won’t be able to get the tape without destroying the box. Which, by the way, I have it on good authority is a Constitutional violation (Fourth Amend.).

    Seventh: Timestamp your on-body video at the head. Shoot your watch showing the time and don’t turn off the recorder until the tape runs out.

    And always remember, there are hundreds of cameras recording 24/7 in the Los Angeles railway system. If you were ever arrested, they will find your on-body video camera and realize they were ‘had’. They will then attempt to destroy the videotape and you will have to revert to the 24/7 recorded images, for defense, which won’t have sound. Your on-body camera recorder will provide the missing link.

    Any defense lawyer worth their ‘Johnny Cochran’ salt will drool over your stills and videotape. Oh, and they’ll probably represent you for free because the government will be responsible for legal fees when you win.

    Good luck!

    I am,
    The Hollywood Republican

  111. 272 Scott Marlowe December 2, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Wow! This looks like what I was told the Soviet Union was like when I was growing up. This guys acting like a bully and threatening to make him have his papers checked all the time.

    I think that towards the end the cop realizes he’s made a stop with no actual reasonable suspicion to do so, and backpedals a bit to sound reasonable and civilized. But the earlier threats are ugly.

  112. 273 bobStraight December 6, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Please take a minute to watch this video and then get mad. Really mad.

  113. 274 paul December 9, 2009 at 8:00 am

    That cop must watch Fox News all the time.

  114. 275 wordy December 12, 2009 at 6:15 am

    As much as I hate when cops do something like this, I hate anyone who baits them into something.

    • 276 Geoff Hall December 18, 2009 at 12:36 pm

      Shawn Nee has taken to utilizing a Vievu hands-free wearable security video camera in order to acurately document the constant degree of challenges, by law enforcement officers, security guards and others, that he often encounters while pursuing his Constitutionally protected right of photographic self-expression, especially granted to all of us in public spaces and privately owned, but legally defined, public venues.

      These types of occurrences are not limited to Shawn alone, but are experienced regularly by many citizens as reported on in various photographers’ rights websites, personal blogs and Flickr accounts. No one has to orchestrate a situation to lure police officers into this type of behavior–it is prevalent without provocation, but even if lured, does not absolve an officer of his violations.

      Shawn wears a Vievu regularly, in the course of his daily photographic activities, as protection against Constitutional rights violations. In doing so he is not only standing up for “just his” protected rights under the Constitution but for that of “all of us.” The mere act of protecting one’s rights does not constitute bating an officer. None of the photographers’ rights advocated l know of leave their homes with the intention of looking for trouble. We venture out armed to affirm and protect our rights, if needed, as granted to every citizen. Shawn Nee bated the police like a homeowner would bate a vandal by installing a home security camera.

      Attorney Brendon Loy identifies “at least three unique species” of counterproductive people who miss the boat when it comes to reading and interpreting reported police misconduct cases:


      1.) The “police can do no wrong” brigades.
      2.) The “police can do no right” brigades.
      3.) The “well, yeah, but he was being a jerk” brigades.

      There is some overlap between group #1 and this group [#3], but not too much. Generally, members of this group are a whole different type of animal: instead of being credulous believers in the purity and righteousness of the police, these folks are the masters of judgmental snark with regard to the officers’ victims. It isn’t so much that they always give police the benefit of the doubt, as that they never give that benefit to those whose rights get trampled. They can always find some fault in the victim, and they regard this fault as the overriding issue that everyone else is overlooking. Without recognizing that they’re doing so, they pose an almost impossible standard on the victims of police misconduct: unless the citizen’s behavior was totally and completely above reproach throughout the entire incident (and, frankly, it’s awfully hard to avoid getting angry when an officer of the law is blatantly bullying you), the whole thing is really the citizen’s fault, according to the people in this group. The motivation of these folks is hard to define, but their effect on the debate is clear: they make it far easier for the defenders of police misbehavior to turn the tables on their accusers, or at least obfuscate the issue by putting the victim on trial and spreading harmful memes about his or her behavior. To the extent that some of those memes may have some validity, the people in this group feel vindicated, failing to recognize that, in order for any of us to have rights, jerks must have rights too.”

  115. 277 vzw January 10, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Like I give a crap about LA. They deserve what they get.

  116. 278 teemai January 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    As a street photographer AND a volunteer with the local Police Dept (I’m authorized to write citations for people illegally parked in disabled parking places), I am very familiar with both sides. When a police officer says it is illegal to photograph anything in a public area, he is wrong; it is completely legal as the photographer said. When, however, the officer sees suspicious activity, then it’s perfectly legal to detain the person until he’s able to sort out what’s going on. In this case, the photographer’s intransigence and frustration contributed to the problem. Had he simply explained (as I have, both in SF and NYC and provided a business card listing myself as “Street Photographer”) that he was taking pictures for the transit system’s beauty and design, the situation would have been immediately defused.

  117. 279 August Michel February 21, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    I am really surprised by all of this! Amazing that this is United States. Sounds more like Stalinist Russia!

    Thanks,
    August

    August T. Michel Photography
    “We specialize in the Extraordinary!”
    AugustTMichelPhotography (.com)

  118. 280 Cara March 27, 2010 at 1:19 am

    I work in that area and get delayed because of “possible terrorist searches.”

    You cannot let this go! You have documented evidence which is GOLD in court. I work for attorneys who specialize in POLICE BRUTALITY. We represented Rodney King and he got millions!!!

    Just like that Sheriff tried to make an example of you by harassing you, YOU HAVE TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF HIM and let them know this type of behavior is not tolerated by Americans.

    Our taxes pay his salary! Without you, this peasant wouldn’t have a job.

    SERIOUSLY, SUE! It’s your right.

    • 281 Miller September 10, 2010 at 11:17 pm

      You could offer him your Attorney’s office contact information, and how they might be able to represent him in court.

  119. 282 Mike Weiss April 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Interesting video/story and agree there is no freedom, you as a photographer should have freedom to take photos in public places. Great story thanks for sharing Mike

  120. 283 Genevieve June 10, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Deputy “Goofy”, whoops, I mean “Gylfie” is just mad because he’s a fat, bald headed, idiotic loser. He doesn’t know the law or current events and it seems to me that he’s just insecure about himself because he’s so fat and ugly. It’s so funny to me, because Deputy “Goofy”, I mean “Gylfie” thinks he’s a real cop. He’s not though, he just patrols a subway station and the reason why is because he knows that if was out on the streets, like a real cop, he would probably get his fat a** kicked. People like Richard “Barney Fife” Gylfie only become cops in the first place is because they were too stupid to get a real job and he was also probably picked on all of his life for being such a fat, bald headed, ugly piece of sh*t. You may want to lay off of the donuts Deputy “Goofy”.

  121. 284 apr September 10, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    It is the rare cop that can do most things correctly let alone any two at the same time. He was asking questions that if simply answerer with a no I’m not a terrorist would lead to 20 more questions. The cops are looking for conspiracies that just do not appear in public like this. The bottom line is we have a right to not incriminate ourselves which means not answering most of his questions. So unless he wants to take us at our word (not likely the first or third time) he is a jerk.

    Most of the time the cops don’t know the law and can’t shoot straight beyond 15 feet. I recall I was on a motorcycle with handlebars that were at or below seat level (in the mid 70s). I was stopped at a stop light when a copper pulled up and said the law was a minimum of 17″ above the seat. I told him the law was a maximum of 17″ so he called in to verify and was told a maximum of 17″, as I said. Than be wanted to bebuddy buddy and talk about my riding experiences and how can you ride in that position….not even an apology. what a bunch of suspicious jerks.

  122. 285 Randall BusTard September 11, 2010 at 9:56 am

    To add to the problem, Metro has essentially invalidated any reasonable suspicion that these overpaid brown shirts might claim. Although this is a rather old thread, let it be known for future reference that Metro practically BEGS for people to shoot video and take photos, despite its bluster about photography limitations. To wit: http://www.metro.net/around/transit-flicks-video-contest/

    For those who ride the LACMTA busses and trains, you may have picked up one of he pamphlets. For those of you who have not seen the pamphlet, it depicts a male with a digital video camera on the bus, which implicitly permits video recording on Metro busses and trains: http://thesource.metro.net/2010/08/23/help-choose-the-winner-of-metros-transit-flicks-video-contest/

    Any Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies that dispute such permission should be challenged with this pamphlet, because it negates Metro’s vague rules about such activity. Moreover, for a LASD deputy to act on such behaviour may well be an act that can be litigated in civil court.

  123. 286 Alex August 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    ummm… you do realize you could have avoided all that my not being a childish ass hole and told him WHY you were taking the photos (which he asked you many times to which at most you would reply with a smart ass 6 year old answer “cuz i want to”). ugh! go get a job and grow up idiot!!! cant stand arrogant self righteous morons like you.
    p.s. I’m NOT a cop supporter, im an IDIOT hater.

  124. 287 HLunta August 8, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    This is what gives photographers a bad name and makes things more difficult for the rest of us, not better.. He was cop baiting pure and simple, surreptitiously recording his planned encounter, photographing the oh-so-important turnstile while making sure the deputies were nearby to observe, responding in a smarmy and evasive manner and generally playing to the future audience of his video recording. The cops were a little bit ham-handed and did try to b.s him regarding the transit system rules, which wouldn’t have led to an arrest even if it were true unless it’s codified in a county ordinance. The police certainly had a right to inquire into his activity and probably to a Terry stop provided they can articulate their ‘reasonable suspicion’. Discarted has every right to act as he chooses but shouldn’t whine about the consequences when what could have been a brief professional, if not cordial, encounter, evolves into a more extended detention and some verbal harassment that he had hoped for so that he could retaliate via a highly edited video. Apparently he wants to be a “victim” thinking this makes him a legitimate activist. I hope so, he’s certainly not a journalist nor an artist.

  125. 288 j October 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    If anything the cop should be kicked off the force for his intimidation and threats to the FBI!

  126. 289 American October 28, 2011 at 10:44 am

    If voters and politicians don’t come together and ensure that all public officials can always be viewed in public anywhere in the United States, we will have lost our first amendment right in my opinion.

  127. 290 americanarepigs October 28, 2011 at 11:55 am

    @cavedweller

    What you said “I’m a police officer and a photographer and I can see both sides of this incident. I won’t address the constitutionality of what occurred other than to say that the Supreme Court has ruled that stopping, detaining and identifying subjects involved in suspicious activity’s is justified (see Terry V. Ohio). To many people, taking a photo in a subway is a completely innocent act. What most people don’t know is that, as police officers, we are privy to information that the average citizens do not know. We receive intelligence reports regularly and they detail possible threats against national security.”

    Thats bull. Then outlaw the production and retail of all cameras and video camera recorders in America. Solves all chances of any terrorists attacks right?

    Oh yeah by the way, any “terrorist” that’s ever happened in American soil is planned out by the American government itself. Go educate yourself.

  128. 291 angryhippy October 30, 2011 at 11:46 am

    METRO is currently having their annual video contest for a 2:00 minute video documenting why you love riding METRO. The bottom line a picture is not a crime until it is used to commit a criminal act. Possessing a bag of fertilizer is not a crime until it is knowingly sold to someone to use to commit a terrorist or illegal act. Lets start detaining people coming out of home depot garden department with fertilizer. You’re never TOO safe. I only use public transportation and this L.A. County Sheriffs Metro Division Officer is not the exception. They all act like this. But they really don’t know who this guy is so they need to take control of the situation immediately for their own safety. He could have been a little more tactful and this situation could have been avoided. However since he hadn’t committed an illegal act he was within his rights to respond how he did. Thumbs up for THE TRUTH!

  129. 292 Some guest October 31, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I still can’t believe that this is actually happening in the US. I’m from Central Europe and I have encountered unreproducible actions by authorities first-hand. Annoying identity checks and so on. But at least (in the majority of cases) the police officers attended their duty lawfully.

    I thought that this whole paranoid counter terrorism was exaggerated in comedy shows and the like.

    PRO TIP for actual terrorists: Put a person (e.g. your girlfriend) next to the crucial infrastructure you want to record and act like a tourist or a boozed frat boy. This won’t look suspicious… 😉 At least less suspicious than some bearded hipster photographing subway scenes with a Canon EOS… 😛

    But seriously: Do you think that someone went to the parking garage of the World Trade Center to take some photos to document the thickness of the walls prior to the first attacks? I assume that there are better ways to analyze potential targets for terrorism.

    This kind of escapist police procedure makes me lose even more faith in humanity. Apart from the fact that the police officer was openly threatening you before he could even substantiate that you were committing a crime… Ah this makes me angry. Sorry for my bad English and all the best for your freedom advocacy.

    And please, American citizens, read your constitution! RTFM! It was a quite modern one back in the days, with honorable intentions. And now some of your high-profile politicians seem to be religious fundamentalists who want to establish a state religion or other madmen. At least they should know the constitution.

  130. 293 Satria November 1, 2011 at 8:00 pm

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  131. 294 joe cooper November 25, 2011 at 11:09 am

    A couple of years ago, a person was stopped after filming parts of the london underground network… the police detained him, and searched though the footage he took. Turned out he was videoing the positions of the security camera’s and eventually found out to have links to alcaldia.

    So next time your stopped for taking pictures, tell them why! fucking idiot.

    • 295 discarted November 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      Hey Joe,

      Would really like to see ANY actual EVIDENCE that is also CREDIBLE to support your fabricated claims. Since one would think that something as significant as to what you’re saying would be international news. However, nothing like what you’re stating was ever reported because it never happened.

      It’s also “you’re” and what the hell is alcaldia? Did you mean al-qaeda?

      Enjoy the boot-licking.

      • 296 killercopdotcom November 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm

        I’m not afraid of al-qaeda, I’m afraid of al-kozinski and al-matz.

  132. 297 Ryan November 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    That cops just earned a spot on MY hit list!

  133. 298 Ash November 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I’m sorry but this guy is a p*r*i*c*k. He isn`t detained for taking photos, he`s detained for refusing to give a reasonable explination on why he was performing actions that, while not illegal, cause a security concern. The cop was well within his rights to do this & fully explained himself multiple times. Fair enough, the cop shouldn`t have threatened him with FBI hitlist & shouldn`t have tried to bluff him with the Metro rules, but the guy went there to be detained, that was his objective & he acheived by being completely un-cooperative, unjustified & a d*ckhead. I have every sympathy for the police officer & hope he continues to do his job the exact same (if a little more informed). I understand that the police are being heavily critisized due to their actions in OWS, but I would have happily seen this cop arrest this douche for wasting police time.

  134. 299 awdwadwad November 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    ‘m sorry but this guy is a p*r*i*c*k. He isn`t detained for taking photos, he`s detained for refusing to give a reasonable explination on why he was performing actions that, while not illegal, cause a security concern. The cop was well within his rights to do this & fully explained himself multiple times. Fair enough, the cop shouldn`t have threatened him with FBI hitlist & shouldn`t have tried to bluff him with the Metro rules, but the guy went there to be detained, that was his objective & he acheived by being completely un-cooperative, unjustified & a d*ckhead. I have every sympathy for the police officer & hope he continues to do his job the exact same (if a little more informed). I understand that the police are being heavily critisized due to their actions in OWS, but I would have happily seen this cop arrest this douche for wasting police time.

  135. 300 JRuffin1 December 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm

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  136. 301 Gilf September 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Gilfie is one of many embarrassments to law enforcement. A fat, profiling egomaniac with very little sense.

  137. 302 Willynilly October 2, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Did anything ever become of this? This officer is an imbecile.

  138. 303 killercopdotcom November 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Legally kill Officer Gylfie #2955 and Officer Bayes #456 and you could collect a large cash reward. In the name of public safety and the interests of justice.

  139. 304 MassFatt December 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    G-o-o-f-i-e, it’s pronounced Goofie. Sorry you don’t believe in rogaine and diet pills you old ass gray-haired, feather-weight fat pussy LMFAO

  140. 305 cheavyhasawii March 13, 2013 at 11:57 am

    HaHa. Somebody posted this fat geeks pic and home address on the sites of the crips, hells angels, mongols and vagos….No respect for fat pedophiles like Richard Goofie

  141. 306 frankpaws March 13, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Richard Gylfie is sexually attracted to little girls?? That’s gross. What a fuckin’ child molester

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