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Homeland Security cop arrests man for filming FBI building in NYC

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posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 10:55 AM
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1. Filming the building is not illegal
2. Filming the building can be an action somebody planning an attack would do
3. It is not unreasonable for a security guard or federal officer to inquire about such action if the person is acting suspicious
4. Saying "it is none of your business" and refusing to comply with the questions can be illegal if he makes a scene
5. He was likely detained on the curb 10min while they did a background check
6. He would have likely been let go if he didn't have any priors such as filming that exact same building before!


Honestly, I am all for people's rights too, but this guy sounds like he was there to pick a fight. If he is filming his own property then he can say "none of your business" and all that. If he is filming the building in a manner in which he is noticed and then puts up a fight, that is not right. The DHS officer probably worked in that building. If I saw somebody filming my office windows from the street and they would not tell me why, I would be a little concerned as well.

Lord knows I would hate to be that DHS officer who just lets the guy stonewall him while acting suspicious only to have the building attacked in the immediate future. Then everybody would be up in an uproar about how he did not do his job.

Non-story in my opinion. NYC is a busy place, and that block is packed with people with cameras, so you really have to be looking suspicious in order to be picked out by a security guard. I bet the dude was standing there filming for like 30 minutes just waiting for somebody to ask him what he is up to.

Seriously, as a citizen of society, you should answer honestly when in public and asked by law enforcement what you are up to. If I am walking in a bad neighborhood at night and a cop asks me what I am doing and I say "I'm out for a walk because it is nice out, have a good evening" chances are I will not be bothered. If I immediately act like a jerk and reply "none of your business, you have no right to ask me anything" then it looks like I am stonewalling and up to no good. Remember, for all of the bad cops out there, there are good ones too.

I know this site is chock-full of Yosemite Sam types, but if you are filming a federal building in a city notorious for terrorist attacks, in a manner in which you are attracting attention, and then you refuse to answer any questions to an officer about what you are doing, you are asking to be detained and charged with disorderly.

Let's be real here, Manhattan is not the wild wild west nor should it be.




posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:05 AM
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Listen, he wasn't arrested for photographing the building, he was arrested for this.....

"What are you photographing?.... None of your business"

the crime my friends, is called "contempt of cop". Ask almost any police officer what that phrase means, and he will most likely tell you "disorderly conduct".

So no, he wasn't arrested for taking pictures, he was arrested for not licking the boots of the cop that responded to the call.

Taking pictures does not = disorderly conduct
Disrespecting a cop does = disorderly conduct

And yes, they are out of control.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:23 AM
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I can understand the concern and the taking of his camera or memory card. Hey it wasn't that long ago we had 9/11 folks, it's better to be safe than sorry and have people taking pictures of federal buildings checked out wouldn't you agree? I mean after all isn't there a lot of other things you would rather take pictures of than a federal building? I would expect nothing less if I was doing it, than to have law enforcment ask me some questions like "why are you taking pictures of a federal building!



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:29 AM
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Hey it wasn't that long ago we had 9/11 folks, it's better to be safe than sorry


I am getting so sick and tired of people using this statement to justify the actions of jack-boot thugs with an authority complex.

That has been applied to warrantless wiretaps, indefinate detention, guantanamo and the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

That phrase is the biggest cop out statement of the 20th. and apparently the 21st. century.

[edit on 21-8-2009 by uaocteaou]



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:30 AM
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I'd like to throw this question into the discussion:
Suppose a vehicle pulled in front of your home. The driver sits there in the vehicle filming your house from the street.

You go out to the person, and ask them what they are doing. They respond with "it is none of your business, I am on public property".

How would you respond?

How about if the vehicle was a clearly marked government vehicle?
How about if the vehicle had foreign markings on it?



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by uaocteaou


Hey it wasn't that long ago we had 9/11 folks, it's better to be safe than sorry


I am getting so sick and tired of people using this statement to justify the actions of jack-boot thugs with an authority complex.

That has been applied to warrantless wiretaps, indefinate detention, guantanamo and the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

That phrase is the biggest cop out statement of the 20th. and apparently the 21st. century.

[edit on 21-8-2009 by uaocteaou]


I understand your sentiment, but we are talking about two different things. You are talking about people using that cop-out to justify giving up our rights... this is not the case here. I bet the guy would have been questioned after Oklahoma City too.

It is not a violation of your rights to be asked what you are doing when filming a federal building. It is not a violation of your rights for an officer to interpret your unwillingness to answer their questions as some degree of disorderly conduct.

It WOULD be a violation of your rights for the guard to interrogate or detain you for walking down the sidewalk near the building. It WOULD be a violation of your rights for the FBI to tap your phone while you talk on it as you walk down the sidewalk.

It is NOT a violation of your rights to be asked what you are doing when you are gathering intel on a federal building.

How can this be so blurry?



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:37 AM
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Oh, I guess i was confused, I thought the guy was photographing a multi-story building owned by the American tax-payer, during business hours in broad daylight. I didn't know he was taking pictures of someones home at odd hours.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by chise61
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.



Maybe because his life was going nowhere and he knew this would get him some good publicity?

My first ammendment rights are ok, they don't need protected by a NYC photographer.

You can take out the part where I said what happened to him was wrong if you like. Doesn't take away from the fact that he knew what would happen. He went there knowing that he would be detained.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:44 AM
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he got in trouble 2 years ago
why did he do it again?

ummm.... i don't know, maybe to exercise his rights!



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by jd140
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.



Based on that he is, in the mind of the govt. a suspected terrorist. I have to agree with the arrest as since he already has photo why does he need video, looks to me like he is scooping it out for a possible target. He could be gathering info to sell to terrorists as well.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:46 AM
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I believe he was looking for trouble considering his past. And, the reason he was not allowed to film or photograph the building, was probably because of his past. It is possible that they barred him from doing such in the future and he broke that judgement against him maybe. He is a trouble maker, and If I were a security guard and saw him, I would have done something about it as well. A simpler way of avoiding problems like this, would have been to call in advance and warn the security personnel that you were going to take extensive film and photo of the building, tell them who you were and when you would be there, that way it wouldn't be suspicious anymore. You worked with them.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:51 AM
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When was the last time any of you were in NY? Have you never seen the signs that state you cannot video or photograph particular buildings and bridges???? They are huge signs. I mean, he was not taping a Chinese supply house for fake Coach bags...it was a Federal building.

As far as those who think it is ok to question law enforcement, well, you have a 50 - 50 chance of who you will get when you talk to a cop. Good cop or bad cop. If a NYPD walks up you DO NOT give him an attitude or you more than likely will be arrested. Freedom of speech is in the constitution but not freedom to be a schmuck.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:53 AM
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reply to post by esdad71
 


Thank you.

We now know he was probably filming one of these buildings with a sign on it. So he was breaking the law.

My question of was he looking for trouble has now bee answered.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by jd140
 


If his name is Jihad Jim, then yeah I would say he was looking for trouble. If his name was John Brown, I let it go.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 11:57 AM
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Good post. S/F for you.

I just put my fire-proof suit on so I should be prepared for the flamming that will come from my post.


First, I am becoming more and more in favor of challenging authority. I have started and contributed to several threads relating to the WH limiting free speech to Swine Flu vaccines are BAD. So don't begin preaching about me being all about gov being in our business as you won't have any evidence to support this claim.

Second, this photographer must be looking for some more of those precious "15 minutes" as he has done this kind of thing before and knew what would come from it (or at least had a very good idea on what would happen). The guard acted in a manner that I deem as prudent. Had the photographer stated who he was and what he was doing there, I believe that would have resolved the situation. Anything suspicious SHOULD be investigated. Had more people paid attention to the odd behavior of the building owner(s) of the WTC, maybe the gov wouldn't have pulled it off.

Third, protesting and drawing even MORE attention to this building is not wise. It is a fed building. I work in a state building and as the lead engineer on the IT security team, I am consistently monitoring who is doing what and how long they have been doing what. The building's security team will check out people that are acting strange or stand out side taking more pictures then normal of the building. 99% of these people let the security officers know what they are doing and that ends the mystery. The 1% who are there looking for attention, to push the issue, to make a mountain out of a mole-hole get the attention they want and then are upset they got it.

We can't blame the guards, police officers or others in security for being a little over-protective and giving a response that is adversarial will probably lead to situation that the security officers don't want. If you don't want to get stung by bees, take your pictures of the hive and move along. If you stay too long or start poking the hive with a f##ing stick, don't be surprised when you get stung.

[edit on 21-8-2009 by Roadblockx]



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by uaocteaou
Oh, I guess i was confused, I thought the guy was photographing a multi-story building owned by the American tax-payer, during business hours in broad daylight. I didn't know he was taking pictures of someones home at odd hours.


So you go downtown today and film any nondescript building for an hour and see if anything happens. tomorrow go down to the federal courthouse and do the same thing and see if anyone asks you what you are up to. There is a difference here and you know it.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:03 PM
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reply to post by deltaboy
 



2 years ago got arrested for taking still pics of that building.

2 years later he returns to the same building and got arrested for taking video of it.


You don't see that as looking for trouble. With the info about big signs on certain buildings stating no pics or videos allowed goes further to convince me he was looking for trouble.



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by uaocteaou
Oh, I guess i was confused, I thought the guy was photographing a multi-story building owned by the American tax-payer, during business hours in broad daylight. I didn't know he was taking pictures of someones home at odd hours.


Is there really a difference from a legal standpoint?

The issue here is not that he got arrested for taking the pictures, the issue is that he got arrested for refusing to inform an officer whose job is to protect that building and all other public assets from harm what exactly he was doing.

Do you think that he just walked up, snapped a few shots, and then was forcibly detained while attempting to continue upon his business? TWICE?


No, he interfered with an officer who was doing his job and he was also wasting our taxpayer dollars by being a jerk and refusing to say "I am a professional photographer and I wanted to take a picture of this building."

My point: You have the right to take a picture, you don't have a right to be a douche to a federal officer while taking pictures of his workplace.

[edit on 21-8-2009 by nydsdan]



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by habfan1968
He could be gathering info to sell to terrorists as well.


Paranoia is a dead end street my friend!



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 12:04 PM
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I work directly across the street from this building in question. It is not "the FBI building" it is 26 Federal Plaza. In addition to the FBI, there are dozens of federal agencies that have offices in this building.

I have observed Federal Protective Services (the federal cops that protect federal buildings) harass tourists and others with cameras that are just taking a picture or a video of the building while in manhattan.

I don't get the fascination, it is one of the ugliest buildings in manhattan; however, this person should sue.

If you know the person involved, or have ever been arrested here in NY for this type of non-sense, U2U me as I am an attorney and would love to sue the feds for civil rights violations.

BTW: this is exactly the same conduct under Bush and Obama. Where is that Change I was promised?




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