It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Homeland Security cop arrests man for filming FBI building in NYC

page: 1
15
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:21 PM
link   

Homeland Security cop arrests man for filming FBI building in NYC


carlosmiller.com

A 43-year-old man was jailed for six hours – and had his camera and memory card confiscated by a judge - after filming an FBI building from across the street in New York City Monday.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:21 PM
link   

Randall Thomas, a professional photographer, said he was standing on the corner of Duane Street and Broadway in downtown Manhattan when he used his video camera to pan up and down on the 42-story building at 26 Federal Plaza.

He was immediately accosted by a security guard in a brown uniform who told him he was not allowed to film the building.

Thomas asserted his legal right to film from a public street. The guard called a Homeland Security Officer who asked Thomas what he was filming.

“I said ‘that’s none of your business,’” Thomas said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Wednesday night.

The federal officer handcuffed Thomas and sat him on the curb for ten minutes, before escorting him inside the same FBI building and taking him to the 10th floor and placing him in a holding cell.


TPTB are out of control. Photography is not a crime. Anyone who wanted to could very easily have pulled up Google Earth and saw the exact same thing this guy was filming. He was not compromising national security and there was absolutely no need for Homeland Security to get involved. This is ridiculous.


TA

carlosmiller.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:47 PM
link   
I wonder if the same thing would have happened if 100 or more people decided to film the same building at the same time? If the arrests of this photographer becomes known all around Manhattan, then it would be a "fun" experiment for the people to film the building at the same time and see what the FBI does about it.

However, this is not the first time I hear about this kind of incident. I don't remember where, but lately it has become a crime to film some people without any authorization or take photos of certain buildings.



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:56 PM
link   
AFAIK (and I am not a lawyer), it's legal to take photographs of anything you can see from the street. That is, if you can see it, you can photograph it.

I do understand that the FBI and other law enforcement officials are skittish about having themselves photographed, because of the possibility of someone using the photo to track or do them harm. However, as far as I know, there is no law forbidding anyone from photographing them.

The "disorderly conduct" charge sounds like a crock. That is a catch-all to allow police to arrest anyone for doing something the police don't like you doing. I think that charge is beginning to lose effect.

The problem with all this is, whenever you have an incident such as this, it boils down to your word against theirs. They can take away your camera (illegally) and erase it, and then you hav no evidence of any meeting. Or they can take you in for "disorderly conduct" or whatever, and you can go to court and have the charges dropped. And then, you're right, but you don't have your pictures, and you've been hassled and prevented from doing what you were legally doing.

The right to do something is meaningless, if you are hassled for doing it.

In Chicago they just take your camera, destroy it, beat you up, and arrest you for resisting arrest or whatever. At least, that's what they've done to reporters filming things they didn't want seen.



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:39 PM
link   
I was in a country in Africa where I was warned not to photograph buildings as I could be arrested for it.

I was so thankful to return to the USA where I thought nothing like that would happen.

Unfortunately, I guess I was wrong about that.

Yes someone might eventually get off the hook on charges like this, but even if you do, you've wasted so much precious and valuable time with being detained, going to court, and all the associated hassles of stress etc that even if he's not convicted it still has taken a bite out of his life for doing essentially nothing wrong.

The only advice I would give him, is to maybe try to think of a less confrontational answer than "none of your business", when the authorities ask you a question, that's not the answer they like to hear, even if it may seem like the most appropriate answer at the time. I almost wonder if he could have avoided detainment if he had just told them he's a pro photographer making a documentary in that area and was checking out all the buildings on that street, that just happened to be one of them, or something. But they might have locked him up anyway, who knows?

Still, I wonder.....?



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:51 PM
link   
Didn't the communist USSR government do this kinda thing, to anyone caught filming KGB HQ or the Kremlin, during the cold war?

[edit on 20-8-2009 by In nothing we trust]



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 08:50 PM
link   
reply to post by chiron613
 



The "disorderly conduct" charge sounds like a crock.

Yeah, it's a trumped up charge. They couldn't think of any other reason to detain the guy, so they used that. And you're right, the right to do something is basically meaningless when 'they' are going to act like this. Sad day in America.


reply to post by Arbitrageur
 



I was so thankful to return to the USA where I thought nothing like that would happen. Unfortunately, I guess I was wrong about that.

To the detriment of America, it does appear that way. I don't know if it would have mattered if the guy explained himself, but I have my doubts. They probably would've detained him regardless of what reason he gave for being there; it sounds like that had already been decided.


reply to post by In nothing we trust
 



Didn't the communist USSR government do this kinda thing, to anyone caught filming KGB HQ or the Kremlin, during the cold war?

I'm honestly not sure on that. I'll do some digging when I get a minute and if possible, find you an answer.

Thank you all for the replies, insight, stars and flags.


TA



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 09:37 PM
link   
a tiny bit of tort reform would solve this.

make the govermental agency responcible for the violation of civil rights , responcible for recovery of damages , time lost , personal suffering... as a civil court action

in short... the gov loses its immunity if they violate civil rights.

no diffrent from how they would treat you for a equal and oppisite act against the goverment.



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 11:53 PM
link   
reply to post by TheAssociate
 

Welcome to the slippery slope -


SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORTING (SAR)


Source : Federal Information Sharing Environment



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:01 AM
link   
What about all those tourists who take pictures of that building?

Are they subject to arrest and harassment as well?



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:03 AM
link   
reply to post by jam321
 




Are they subject to arrest and harassment as well?


Good question. I have no clue how arbitrarily or consistently they do this. I've heard of similar cases for quite a while, so I'm guessing it's not so very random. I guess all anyone can do is watch where they point their cameras.


TA

Edit:

Still looking for Soviet Union laws on filming. Might take a while but I'll post what I find if I find anything.

[edit on 21-8-2009 by TheAssociate]



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:13 AM
link   
While I don't agree with him being arrested I have to ask one question.


Is he looking for trouble?

It states that about 2 years ago he was arrested for taking photos of the same building. If he already expierianced trouble taking pics of that building why would he return to the same building and do it again?

Again, I'm not saying its right what happened to him. It just seems to me he went there knowing what would happened and now he is acting suprised.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:18 AM
link   
reply to post by jd140
 


You've got a point. What happened still isn't right, but you do have a point...

Maybe he thought that he had cleared things up after the first incident. Who knows...


TA



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:34 AM
link   
reply to post by TheAssociate
 


Who knows.

I do know if I'm detained and questioned by the FBI for taking still pics of a building, I'm not going back 2 years later to the same building to video tape it.

If it was that important of me to shoot that building then knowing what happened the first time, I would call ahead of time and ask permission.

But thats just me.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:36 AM
link   
reply to post by newworld
 


Such a thing has happened before actually. Sometimes when the authorities get out of control photographers protest by assembling as many as they can get and then they all go out to photograph the trouble spot. That would actually be quite a good idea in this case too.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:41 AM
link   
reply to post by PsykoOps
 





That would actually be quite a good idea in this case too.


Absolutely agreed. Some form of protest needs to take place, or they will just continue doing things like this. These people take silence as consent. It's time to start speaking up.



TA



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 02:19 AM
link   

His charges: Disorderly conduct; failure to comply and impeding duties of a federal officer.


Well it's pretty clear that it isn't illegal to film or photograph the building, or he would've have been charged with that. All they charged him with was a bunch of trumped up charges because they can't charge him with the "crime" of video taping the building.

You know it's funny that a corporation like Google can take photo's of people's houses and and all the federal buildings that they want and place them on the internet where the whole world can see them, but American citizens are harrassed, detained, arressted, and have their belongings confiscated from them for exercising their constitutional rights.

I'd like to know exactly how this security guard accosted him. If he is just a security guard then he has no legal right to put his hands on anyone, nor detain them if they are not actually on the property. His authority as a security guard for the building stops the minute he steps off the property. If i was this photographer i'd sue the security guard and the company he works for.

If we keep allowing them to infringe upon our rights like this pretty soon we won't be able to take a photo of a beautiful sunset, our kids playing at the beach, or a squirrel sitting in a tree.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 02:32 AM
link   
reply to post by jd140
 




If he already expierianced trouble taking pics of that building why would he return to the same building and do it again?


Maybe because he wants to exercise his first amendment rights. Maybe because he has every right to photograph any building that he wants to as long as he can see it from the public way. Maybe because the minute we accept them infringing upon our rights like this we all lose them forever.

Maybe because in protecting his first amendment rights he is protecting the first amendment rights of every American citizen.

I applaud him for doing what he did, we need more people to stand up for their freedoms.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 02:45 AM
link   
Door swings both ways, if you can't film them then they shouldn't film you , talk about double standards .



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 10:49 AM
link   
He did it 2 years ago and now doing it again with the know he could be arrested for doing it, add the fact it told to the guard it wasn't his business while it is his business as the man was taking pictures of the building the guardian is supposed to guard, I think he should fell happy to not have been tazed, I've seen a lot of video on this very website where people got tazed for far less then that.

Photography is ok but official buildings is not that ok, I thought it was stipulated in the law, I'm not saying he is a terrorist but if the guy who had been arrested was a terrorist you'll all screaming "hooray" but when it's "normal" citizens then it is police brutality or state.

I'm the first to criticise police brutality but when the guy clearly knew what will happen I just say he got what he deserved.




top topics



 
15
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join