Overzealous Security Guards Overstepping Authority

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by josephrrouse, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Every time I am taking photos around downtown Denver, I find myself Confronted by security guards. They ask what I'm doing, who I'm with, etc and (incorrectly and with out success) tell me that I am not allowed to take pictures of the buildings. Ive been downtown on three different evenings recently, and the same thing has occurred each time. Obviously, these instances leave me irked, and to some extent unsurprised (private security guards have an deserved rep for this type of behavior). What I find iniquely disconcerting, it the extent to which this us occurring, and the exaggerated degree of paranoia being displayed. What's the deal? Anybody else running into the same thing? And, assuming one is on public property, what rights do property owners/managers regarding pics being taken of their buildings?
     
  2. The deal is they have a right to put those cameras in the ceilings that take thousands of pictures of you.
    Don't pick your nose in the elevator.
     
  3. As long as you are on public property in the U.S., building owners and their security guards have no right to stop and interrogate you. However if they do try to stop you, I recommend being nice and talk with them. Don't take it personally and use this as an opportunity to educate them. Also don't do anything stupid.
     
  4. "assuming one is on public property, what rights do property owners/managers regarding pics being taken of their buildings?"​
    Photographing in general (USA)? Virtually none. Although intrusion usually isn't from public property, it can be so that may apply. Same with criminal voyeurism statutes. Some military or other sensitive areas perhaps. For the most part, however, there would need to be some separate crime or civil action at issue. Breach of peace for some over the top behavior perhaps. Maybe stalking of some kind. But note these things generally have to do with people and not structures themselves.
     
  5. However if they do try to stop you, I recommend being nice and talk with them.​
    And if they are not being nice, call the police.
     
  6. Mr. Rouse…
    I’ve about had it too. In most municipalities, private security guards have no more authority to detain you, nor accost you nor lay hands on you or your property in the public domain than the other common thugs do.
    There are exceptions. Governing bodies, acting as Pimps, are passing local ordinances giving the local gentry, major property owners and big box store mega-corporations more and more off premise “rights” over the ever shrinking middle class. I have lawyer friends in the two places that I travel to where I take pictures. They are just now researching (on my dime) exceptions to common law public freedom, especially in photography. Soon I will have attorney’s opinion letters, which will outline the law in that area. Thereafter, the next time some thug, in private patrol uniform or not, breaks the law and harms me in any way, I’m going to use my cell phone to call 911 and press charges with the responding police. If that does not work I’ll file suit naming the governing body, the guard service and whichever entity hired the guard service as co-defendants.
    That is not everybody’s solution. It is my luxury because I’m old, retired and can afford it. I’m damn tired of being treated like a Jew in 1939 Germany. I don’t want to see America get to the point where men have to drop their pants in public to be examined for circumcision.
    Please, go ahead and scoff at my ridiculous attitude and concerns. I got the same gaff and sneer when the first airport security started up in the early 1970s. I was the fool that said that before I died, every passenger would be heavily screened, probably with full body scans, luggage restricted, most personal pocket and purse items banned and people’s clothing would be stripped to the bare essentials as we’d go through security barefooted. See, I was WAY off. You get to keep your socks on………for now.
    A. T. Burke
     
  7. We'll your opposition to airport security doesn't seem to have done much good. If it ever gets to the point of flying naked, there are pluses and minuses to that. The planes will be less crowded for one thing. Though the scenery might not always be very aesthetic, there could be a few exceptions that might make it worthwhile....
    Anyone who tells you you can't take a picture while you are standing on public property and not interfering with the flow of traffic can safely be ignored (with a couple of exceptions like photographing of some active military bases). Of course if it's a real cop you have to suffer the consequences of disagreeing with them which might include being detained for a while. If it's a private security guard they are committing assault if they attempt to physically detain you when you have committed no crime. They may also guilt of False Imprisonment, depending on the circumstances. They could be technically guilty of kidnapping, though that would be a stretch.
    The best approach is to take the picture and then move on while ignoring them. Minimize the conflict but take the picture.
    You really can't stop it happening. They have their instructions. as long as they don't actually get in your face, just ignore them. They have a perfect right to ask you what you are doing. You have a perfect right to ignore them. If they touch you, it's assault, though you might have a hard time bringing charges or even getting the police interested. Not being nice isn't a crime.
     
  8. Awhile back someone started a thread that included a YouTube video of photographers in London testing security. One policeman informed a security guard that was bothering a photographer that since he was on the sidewalk (considered public property), he could point his camera in any direction he wished. I would think that would apply to a true downtown area in the US.
    Here in Las Vegas, there are very few areas with any personality so they have to create "fake" downtown shopping areas (Town Square south of the Strip and Tivoli Village on the west edge of town are two). Those are indeed private property with lots of private security.
     
  9. A.T. Burke said:
    . . . Soon I will have attorney’s opinion letters, which will outline the law in that area. Thereafter, the next time some thug, in private patrol uniform or not, breaks the law and harms me in any way, I’m going to use my cell phone to call 911 and press charges with the responding police.​
    As far as I recall, from my vague memories of my business law class in college, is that the most applicable action would be false imprisonment, which is a tort, so I believe this would have to be taken to civil court (rather than criminal).
    From USLegal.com's website:
    "False imprisonment is the unlawful restraint of a person without consent or legal justification. False imprisonment can be committed by words, acts, or by both. The common law tort of false imprisonment is defined as an unlawful restraint of an individual’s personal liberty or freedom of movement[ii]. In order to constitute the wrong it is not necessary that the individual be actually confined or assaulted[iii].

    Dietz v. Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp., 754 N.E.2d 958 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001).
    [ii] Pechulis v. City of Chicago, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11856 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 7, 1997).
    [iii] Whitman v. Atchison, T. & S. F. R. Co., 85 Kan. 150 (Kan. 1911)."
     
  10. If the conduct is being repeated, go to police in advance and ask them to watch from afar. Then when the security guard comes out to hassle you, the cop will be right there. Let the police know that the security guards are threatening you and or your equipment. If the police refuse to protect you, write a letter to the police with the time, date, and name of Offfice who refused to help you, and again make the same request in writing and ask for a written response. If the security guard continues to harrass you, then sue the guard, the guards employee, and the local police.
    00ZTA9-406685684.jpg
     
  11. Good point from Eric. Many large outdoor commercial areas are entirely private property. They can look like normal suburban streets wandering past those stores and parking lots, but while you're driving on them or walking on those sidewalks, you're no more on public property than you are when you're in a restaurant's restroom.

    These areas' guards are responsible for everything that goes on there - not for stopping people from doing things they don't like but to do what they can to prevent things that might get the property owners sued. Some kid skateboarding down the middle of one of those private streets? If he gets hurt by a car pulling out from a lot, that street - part of the property management company's turf - makes them (the management company) more exposed to legal grief from the kid's famly's lawyers. That concern about the kid on the skateboard is the same as the concern about someone tripping over the legs of your tripod on a private sidewalk that feels like a public way.

    There's a mixed retail/residential/entertainment area near us that is hundreds of acres, multiple traffic intersections, and a mile or so of named but not public streets feeding in and out of it. Every bit of it is private property. Happily, the guards there have been well-briefed on the photography issue, and keep the tenant businesses' PR interests at heart- they don't give people a hard time about "real" camera use unless it's very disruptive.

    Just the other day on that property, I passed a Quinceaneara party with a pro photographer hard at work, and two obvious engagement shoots all within a hundred yards and five minutes ... as well as what had to be a club or workshop shooting the resident waterfowl flying in and out. Tripods, long lenses and all. The management folks really don't care, as long as you aren't being an ass about things. To my delight, I've even seen them tell off the proverbial soccer mom who was actiing creeped out by a guy with a 300/2.8 chasing ducks around the pond that happens to be near the kiddie play area.

    But: it is private property. All of that is subject to their policies, and some of the guards definitely "get" it better or sooner than others. I can see how a person who doesn't realize they're on private property, combined with a newly minted guard and the wrong set of circumstances, could all add up to an unnecessarily tense exchange. But being a large surly-looking guy who carries around a bag of gear and points cameras at odd things, none of those guards has ever been anything but neutral when I shoot there, and sometimes they're genuinely, personally interested.

    Make sure, when you're out in a popular commercialized area, that you actually know if you're on private property or not. It can be surprising.
     
  12. "Don't pick your nose in the elevator." - it could get illegal, soon... :)
    You can pick a friend, but you cannot pick nose of a friend. Is already illegal... :)
     
  13. Mr. Oshiro…
    Yes that is one of the charges. "False imprisonment is the unlawful restraint of a person without consent or legal justification….”
    I have asked my attorneys to address the attorney letters to the legal justification issue both from a civil and criminal viewpoint. One of the places I like to take pictures is San Diego, CA. The average San Diego PD officer is just this side of Gestapo. They use their hands a lot when both unnecessary and illegal.
    In California some of the other charges I can bring are assault, battery and elder abuse (92). The latter can be filed without them even touching me, be it regarding a real policeman or a wanna-be security guard.
    Courts and the DA’ offices change emphasis from time-to-time on what they spend their time, effort and sympathy on. Both the San Diego DA’s office and courts are currently quite harsh on elder abuse in general. There have also been some massive jury awards. That changes insurance rates and insurability. That changes behavior.
    Since fast track cases are taking up to five years one attorney has already suggested that my estate be instructed not accept a settlement that contains a non-disclosure clause. Settlements are always less in dollar amounts without the non-disclosure clause. That is not my problem. Anyone named in my will is already getting a LOT of free money and any settlement proceeds would just be icing on the cake.
    A. T. Burke
     
  14. The law regarding taking photographs from public property of private property in view.
    United States Code Title 17 Chapter 1 § 120
    (a) Pictorial Representations Permitted. — The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.
     
  15. "As far as I recall, from my vague memories of my business law class in college, is that the most applicable action would be false imprisonment, which is a tort, so I believe this would have to be taken to civil court (rather than criminal)."​
    Huh? How did you come up with that?
    Its like saying a theft victim has a tort cause of action and can sue the person that stole from them so theft can't be a criminal matter.That's ridiculous.
    If this civel case trumps criminal case notion were true, we wouldn't see statutes like this.... http://law.justia.com/codes/california/2010/pen/236-237.html
     
  16. The ACLU recently released something on photography in public and Bert Krages' info has been around for quite a while. (One wonders if there are attorney forums where these stout fellows, esquire, are up in a snit about these two sources "working for free" and devaluing the profession?)
    The "Espionage Code" (Title 18, Chapter 37 of the US Code) discusses photography as well and the process by which certain types of places can be made illegal to photograph (in the US) but the facts of the matter are, if there is something sensitive, it's kept hidden, because signs do little to actually provide security.
     
  17. Matt said:
    Many large outdoor commercial areas are entirely private property.​
    You know why you can't shoot from the sidewalk on Lankershim Blvd., at Universal City, the entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood? Because NBC/Universal owns the sidewalk! (I work for NBC/Universal, and even we need permission to shoot there.)
     
  18. A.T. Burke said:
    In California some of the other charges I can bring are assault, battery and elder abuse (92). The latter can be filed without them even touching me, be it regarding a real policeman or a wanna-be security guard.​
    I believe that assault can also occur without touching. Assault can be merely the threat of battery. If I pull my hand back, poised to punch you in the face, that's assault. If, in fact, after appearing poised to punch you in the face with my fist, but I then merely point my finger and touch you lightly on the nose instead, that's assault and battery. Assault is generally defined as, "an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact."
     
  19. We had just this issue recently here in the UK - Scotland to be exact. Here's the story:-
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-15250846
    This whole issue gives me high blood pressure. When will these people realise that the real threat comes from people who do NOT announce themselves, as in the four bombers in the London 7/7 bombing. Britain used to have a reputation for being a pragmatic, common sense place but now it seems to have been taken over by every kind of puffed up idiot you can imagine. It's like living in a lunatic asylum.
     
  20. A slight digression perhaps but just to illustrate my point. I took this photograph when I was about 11 years old. You will see that I was standing on the railway track - strictly against the rules, but did the driver call the security guards? Did he call the police? No - he figured I was interested so invited me up into the cab of the locomotive, explained all the controls to me, then gave me a guided tour of the engine and generator compartment. Whatever happened to that world?
    00ZTFZ-406751584.jpg
     
  21. Last year I was confronted at America's 2nd largest shopping mall (Palisades Center, Nyack, NY). The security guards falsely claimed there were "no picture taking" signs at each entrance. They asked me to delete my images. I told them "only a judge is going to make that happen". And they went back to chasing unruly teens from the food court.
    I am still puzzled by the "no cameras or video" signs on NYC's bridges and tunnel approaches. Has NYC not heard of Google maps? I can view these places from space. If I were plotting some evil deeds I would not need to photograph them.
    FDR said it best: "the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself".
     
  22. Has NYC not heard of Google maps? I can view these places from space.​
    They are from cameras in aircraft rather than from satellites, but a good point anyway.
     
  23. ...treated like a Jew in 1939 Germany.​
    Now there's a little hint about your mind-set! I'm always amazed when I see yet another of these whines about being bugged by security guards. I'm out shooting almost continually and rarely get pestered. When I do it's a quick chat and nobody gets mad. Look in the mirror dude! Maybe you just have a bad 'tude.
     
  24. The only comparable situation I can think of offhand that I've personally experienced occurred sometime between 2002-2004.
    I was in Fort Worth's Trinity Park, near the duck pond, off 7th Street. After finding the duck pond rather dull, I set the camera on a tripod and photographed some sneakers dangling from a power line - another cliche, but what the heck.
    Locals might recall that at that time, almost 10 years ago, the old Montgomery Ward building was vacant and hadn't yet been transformed into the Montgomery Plaza shopping center and lofts.
    A security guard posted outside the Montgomery Ward building actually crossed 7th Street to confront me about my photographing the sneakers dangling from a power line. If you're familiar with the area, you know the fellow had to walk across a wide, busy boulevard just to chat with me. I was flattered.
    The conversation went something like this, at least in this particular embellishment of the tale:
    He: "Hey, mister, what are you doing?"
    Me: "Exploiting a visual urban cliche."
    He: "Huh?"
    Me: "I'm minding my own business. You should try it sometime. Does wonders for one's sense of perspective."
    He: "Huh?"
    Me: "These aren't the droids you're looking for."
    That was about the extent of it. He returned to his post. If he'd persisted I would have called the stormtroopers police.
    The only other incidents that involved any sort of authority, or someone acting under the color of authority, involved either actual police officers, or private security guards acting appropriately when I was on the private property they were assigned to patrol. The exchanges were all very civil, and in some cases actually friendly as we chatted about photography.
    In fact, in one case, the private security guard actually radioed for instructions and got permission to allow me to continue taking photographs. This was on one of the privately owned parking lots in downtown Fort Worth, near Sundance Square. I needed that particular spot to get the desired composition for one of the classic older buildings. In my experience the bicycle security patrolfolk around downtown Fort Worth are well aware of the value of maintaining good relations with residents and tourists, so getting permission was mostly a technicality.
     
  25. I'm always amazed when I see yet another of these whines about being bugged by security guards. I'm out shooting almost continually and rarely get pestered.​
    Ah! There it is. The "stop your whining, I never have a problem" post is as common to these sorts of threads as the "Ansel Adams did it!" rationalization is common to Photoshop manipulation threads.
    Alan -- I'd agree that "treated like a Jew in 1939 Germany" is a bit over the top as an analogy for security guard harassment of photographers but I would strongly disagree with dismissing discussions and ire over such incidents as "whining". You want to put up with being illegally detained by a private guard on public property? Fine. But the fact that it is a matter of concern to other people doesn't automatically mean that they all have "bad attitudes". The implication is that the fault somehow lies with the photographer. Nonsense.
     
  26. Because NBC/Universal owns the sidewalk!​
    Ralph, that's good to know if I ever happen to "accidently" slip and fall on their private sidewalk.
    NBC/Universal is bluffing. The reality is, even if they did own the sidewalk, regardless of what they say, California's easement law makes it as public as if the citizens owned it.
    California property owners that own property that the public has a legitimate need to cross or access, like getting to a theme park, a subway station, banks, hotels, restaurants, all of which are adjacent to Universal's private sidewalk, are subject to strict easement laws. This is pretty settled here, because of the miles of beachfront, and lawsuits regarding access to the publicly owned area of the beach that is between high and low tide.
    So, in California, you have to allow access, with or without permission. If you simply allow it without explicit recorded and posted permission, you will eventually lose your rights to the land, in accordance with the law. So, I doubt Universal has gone this route.

    The way to prevent the government/public from simply taking over your property, you are allowed to give revokable permission to use the land. It must be posted and recorded with the state/county as an easement. Once that's done, they will keep the rights to the property, but if they want to say it's private property and no longer an easement, they have to make a trip downtown and record it as such.
    While it's open and recorded, "...the owner shall not prevent any public use appropriate thereto by physical obstruction, notice or otherwise."
    By the way, all through the Writer's Strike, the strikers were picketing on the sidewalk. I doubt Universal would have allowed it if the writer's lawyers couldn't force it.
     
  27. The topic comes up - the response follows the same pattern. A few anecdotes, a few rants about the police state, and the topic fades away. Almost daily, I'm asked what I'm taking pictures for - usually when I'm right up on a store window. They are always puzzled at my odd sort of interest. I haven't had to show my ACLU citizens rights printout to anyone so far. Someone will no doubt post the URL for that here soon.
    00ZTM0-406851584.jpg
     
  28. There is a grey area on this subject in Australia, we are free to photograph in public spaces. Prevention of us doing that is also deemed to be assault or deprivation of liberty, however there are ares of public space that require permits to photograph for commercial purpose. This becomes an issue when a "hobby / amateur" photographer has all the gear ie tripod, pro looking SLR, refectories etc. I have often been approached by security in these places, I find that the common sense approach works, be civil, explain that what you are doing is not for commercial gain and let them know in a polite manner that you understand the limitation of your rights.
     
  29. Ralph-
    No Gotcha.
    John's point was that false imprisonment is part of the criminal code, not tort.
    Alan and others-
    A.T. Burke is 92. His comments about Gestapo and the treatment of Jews in Germany in 1939 are not so over the top for people who were alive during that time, because they experienced that time first hand. It was no secret what was going on in Germany before the war, and Mr. Burke and millions of others saw where it went from there. It is a touchstone of tyranny in the 20th century, and they saw it. It made a very strong life-long impression on them.
    It is the example that falls closest to hand, in the way that I am likely to use KGB or Stasi or North Korea to make a point. When someone of that time refers to it in the way Mr. Burke did, others of that time get his point without it seeming overwrought, as it is very real to them how easily authority can be used against people. The comparison does not minimize what happened in Germany in 1939; it illustrates how easily our rights can be compromised by people with power if we do not resist their abuse of it.
    Alan-
    Regarding being hassled: Not all cities are the same. Not all police departments have the same mentality. It's good you haven't been bothered, but don't think your experience is universal. There are plenty of places where it would not be the norm.
     
  30. Could security keep you from throwing a ball into the air?
    http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/futuresport/201110/throwable-ball-camera-may-revolutionize-how-we-watch-sports
     
  31. Fortunately photographers have a positive image with the public and never do anything that might seem the least bit aggressive or over the top.
     
  32. http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...ographs-have-no-apparent-esthetic-value.shtml
    It's one thing to have security guards questioning your presence, but how about those Long Beach, CA police who can stop and detain you and with an esthetically trained eye, can determine if your photos are of no value and therefore a potential security threat. Now that's an interesting photo critique process. I understand the issue of security and of not causing a scene when approached. We also hear of occasional harassment when taking photos around the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
     
  33. Mr. Zinn....
    Whining? I'm not talking about whining. I'm waaaaay past that. I'm talking about making arrests and filing suits. Whining does no good, except to give the security guards the satisfaction they made you whine. Why satisfy them? Being arrested, booked and having body cavity searches is usually not so much fun and gets expensive real quick. Unless of course there are always those people who truly do enjoy the body cavity searches.
    Bad attitude? You're damn right. I have a real bad attitude toward some thug who illegally accosts me or lays their hands on me. On the other hand, it does make me wonder why some people think that by not wanting to be rousted, manhandled, or bullied means you have a bad attitude.
    I was surprised when I looked you up. It seem you are old enough to be retired. From your comment, I originally thought your were young without much life experience. My error.
    Mr. Gubin....
    Yes, I'd agree that "treated like a Jew in 1939 Germany" is a bit over the top. I had many things running through my mind at the time, some of them old memories. If I would have written my thoughts properly, I would have said "treated like a Jew in Germany in the early 1930s". I don't want to let America get to where its citizens, who are deemed unpopular or not socially respectable, without cause, are treated like Jews in 1939 Germany. I was thinking of '39 because I have heard the few remaining contemporary Jews, and in the past some of my elders, complain of that general time period, when they would have to drop their pants in public streets so they could be checked for circumcision. Circumcision in Europe at that time was often, but not always, a sign of being Jewish. I certainly agree with the balance of your paragraph.
    Mr. Livacich....
    Thank you for your understanding. You not only know your history, but you can put it together with some comprehension of the times we lived in. You're right. We did experience it first hand. You're right. It made a very strong lifelong impression.
    I understand what you are saying when you say, "It was no secret." But it was certainly something that was considered wrong to talk about in polite society. So many people didn't want to know. So many people didn't want to have to think about it. So many people scoffed at the idea it could ever happen here or that the treatment of Jews would get worse. America wasn't alone in that. Many Jews in America returned to Germany not believing it would get worse. It seemed so illogical. They bet their lives that it would not get worse and lost.
    In the 1950s, photographers weren't criminals. Far from being socially unacceptable, they actually had some status and caused interest and made people want to be included, i.e. mugging for the photograph. That would raise the question, how did it get to the point where a photographer is automatically considered to invade privacy, molest children, make money off your likeness, and best of all, automatically presumed to be part of or aiding and abetting terrorists? We were then and are now just photographers.
    In the late 1920s and early '30s, even in a time of much more rampant anti-Semitism than today, Jews were still just Jews. They were friends, neighbors, coworkers, and teachers, raised their families and paid their bills. Isn't that kind of like photographers? It's true that Jews, because they were Jews, had different interests than some of their "Aryan" neighbors, but that's all it was, just different interests. We photographers did the same thing, worked, raised families, paid our dues, and had a little different interest. After all, not everybody sets up a tripod at 5th and Broadway. Not everybody liked some of the Jewish customs and ways of doing things. Not everybody liked the way we photographers do what we do. Hell, in the 1950s, we made people pose for pictures and then look at those boring slide shows. In 1950, nobody thought a photographer would end up in a gas chamber for being a photographer. In 1930, nobody thought a Jew would wind up in a gas chamber for being a Jew.
    It was tough in Germany between the wars. When things get tough, people look for scapegoats and places to direct their anger. Things got worse for the Jews. Terrorism is building throughout the world. The economy is in the toilet. People are angry. Like in 1930s Germany, people are taking their frustrations out on a number of things. In doing so, people who are feeling down, worried, or afraid, start pointing the finger at other people… like Jews… like photographers.
    Slowly little by little, it became "okay" to stop Jews on the street or people they "suspected" of being Jews. Now, photographers are being stopped on the street and suspected of being all sorts of stuff. In 1930s Germany, non-Jews, and people without the official authority to stop and detain felt they had some sort of moral right to accost, question, and demand information from those they suspected of being Jews. Today, non-photographers and people who don't have the official authority (like security guards), in the private domain, feel they have the moral right to stop, question, and harass photographers.
    The officials, well, the officials, now as then, are taking far too much delight in not only pushing the limits of their authority, but also exceeding them. Some of us photographers don't care to put up with it. We're called "whiners." Some Jews didn't like putting up with it either. They were called "whiners." Still, nothing really terrible had happened in the early 1930s. They weren't yet exterminating Jews then and we photographers are certainly not being exterminated now.
    Move along a little in the 1930s and pretty soon laws were being passed that, without reason, restricted Jews. Now in the 2000s, laws and/or ordinances have been passed, restricting photographers.
    Today, police are stripping film out of cameras and demanding that we delete images. By the late 1930s, the police were stopping people on the street who were suspected of being Jewish and were examining them, just like we get our pictures examined. Instead of opening our cameras, they were opening men's trouser flies. It wasn't long before non-officials, dressed in brown uniforms, started doing the same thing. Today, we have non-officials, mostly in black or blue uniforms (security guards), doing the same thing to us. Still, we photographers are expected to put up with the indignities for the good of the state. The same thing was expected of the Jews.
    Do you think the Jews thought it was going to get worse, even though they were hassled; their zippers opened, and maybe even a little roughed up? They couldn't believe it was going to get any worse, or certainly not as bad as it did. When they complained, they were considered "whiners." After all, it was so little to ask for the general public good. That is the same line we are hearing today.
    At one point, Jews outnumbered Nazis and Nazi sympathizers. But being good citizens and ordinary folk, they just went along with it. Many were proud of their country and were veterans of World War I. For many now-long-dead Jews, to not put up with it would have been thought to be wrong and anti-social. What if this group of people, who by themselves and certainly with the support they could have gathered, had said "no" and didn't put up with both the legal and social indignities?
    Believe me, I'm not blaming the Jews nor in any way saying they let it happen to themselves. They were just average, everyday people who believed in their country, believed in their German system. They believed in their hearts, that because they did nothing wrong, nothing would happen to them. That was a reasonable assumption, but, as it turned out, very wrong. The reason I brought up the situation with Jews in Germany was to point out that we now have the advantage they did not, which is a backward view of history. No, I truly and strongly don't think people are going to go to the gas chambers in 10 more years because they're photographers. Of course, on the other hand, the Jews thought basically the same thing. So, I could obviously be wrong. Gaul dang it, if history does not seem to repeat itself.
    Mr. Oshiro....
    I believe you're right that in most civilized states, assault can occur without touching. Simple battery can be a pretty light touching. But then, sometimes it's hard to prove. People in America are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. It can be mighty tough to prove that person who raised their fist was in fact committing assault with intention. Prosecutors normally only prosecute the most egregious and/or public and/or winnable events. Judges don't find 100% of the prosecuted guilty. The reason I am picking up on elder abuse is because it is an "in" and "now" topic. Prosecutors are much more likely to prosecute and judges are much more likely to find guilty an elder abuse case than an assault or simple battery case with the same level of evidence. Some states, especially California, and within California, some cities, especially San Diego, are all but going too far over elder abuse accusations. If I'm going spend time, effort and money to sue or press criminal charges, I'm certainly going to want to choose a cause as close to a slam-dunk-win as possible.
    Mr. Waller....
    I like your illustrated point. I've posted a number of pictures and stories of American culture from the Kodachrome era here on Photonet. I started out just trying to post 70 of the 75 Kodachrome years of my own Kodachrome shots, simply for the history of Kodachrome because Kodachrome was coming to an end. I then realized I was chronicling an era that many young photographers on the board never lived in. So I put beneath many of the pictures a little explanation, some of which were historical anecdotes that illustrated my experiences during the Kodachrome era. Your story is so typical of what I consider "the Kodachrome era" a much better era than we're living in today. I agree with your lament, "Whatever happened to that world?" But I would also add at least we not only got to live in it, but also appreciated it. Wasn't that a nice day for you? I hope you had many more like them, for you will never see them again.
    A. T. Burke
     
  34. John's point was that false imprisonment is part of the criminal code, not tort.​
    I didn't say anything like that at all. My point was that conduct amounting to a tort can ALSO amount to a crime after Ralph incorrectly claimed false imprisonment is a civil court tort matter and therefore wouldn't be a criminal court matter. I never said or suggested false imprisonment is not a tort.
     
  35. Sorry, John. I misunderstood.
    Also, Ralph, if I misunderstood your meaning of "Gotcha!", I apologize.
     
  36. Let's see: How many personal photographs in public and private commercial space were made per second yesterday in a radius of two miles of me here in the Boston area? How many people were accosted by security personnel where a report was filed? How many of these people were identified as possible threats based on autonomous surveillance devices? Do we have trouble, right here in the U.S.A. my friends? Trouble! Trouble! Trouble!
    The prohibited pictures per photographer incidents that day would amount to somewhat less than .0001%" Great slogan for you put-upon guys! "We are the .00001%" Why do some, with their lottery odds - "someday I'll hit it big" logic - love to bay at the moon about defending their rights from Nazi-like terrors? They argue law and apocryphal incidences like - 'chromes ripped from body cavities - that may have occurred over an indefinite period of time somewhere in some benighted municipality on the planet. Oh, but it's not just my rights as a photographer they are standing up to they say, it's an incipient holocaust .
    My world view, informed by simple logic, finds only the goodness in people. In fact, just the other day a fellow in a white robe came out of the Federal Reserve Bank and asked me what I was doing. Muttering to myself " What's it to you, you Nazi bastard?" I grinned at him. He hugged me and said "Go forth and Photograph, my son."
    00ZTWo-407045584.jpg
     
  37. "The prohibited pictures per photographer incidents that day would amount to somewhat less than .0001%""​
    Considering that a similar percentage were not under similar circumstances, the figure is irrelevant to the issue.
     
  38. Jeff:
    Also, Ralph, if I misunderstood your meaning of "Gotcha!", I apologize.​
    No problem, Jeff. Yes, I meant "Gotcha!" as in, "I understand."
     
  39. The prohibited pictures per photographer incidents that day would amount to somewhat less than .0001%" Great slogan for you put-upon guys! "We are the .00001%" Why do some, with their lottery odds - "someday I'll hit it big" logic - love to bay at the moon about defending their rights... ...My world view, informed by simple logic, finds only the goodness in people. In fact, just the other day a fellow in a white robe came out of the Federal Reserve Bank and asked me what I was doing. Muttering to myself " What's it to you, you Nazi bastard?" I grinned at him. He hugged me and said "Go forth and Photograph, my son."​
    Curious that logic is mentioned twice as the standard to be applied yet not a single point in the post actually features any...
    -Applying the situation here to countless situations that have no relevance to the situation.
    -Applying a view of "only goodness" in people to situations where someone is actually not being good.
    -Believing everyone will always 'be good'.
    -Applying an anecdotal instance with some guy in white robe to anything, much less, this instance.
    -Applying the anecdotal .00001% white robe guy situation after condemning people for supposedly applying a .00001% situation
    I don't have stats on how many people photographing architecture, protected by security, from a public place encounter such security and how many of those face demands such as stopping what they are doing, deleting images or are told false claims about the law. I do know that it is more than the inapplicable statistic we were given.
    Sure some people get a bit over riled up when there is merely an inquiry about their photography but facing a demand from someone of supposed authority that the figure has no authority to make is worthy of response. We can be confident Alan would not be bring up guys in white robes and talk about statistics of how many people are accosted each day if someone tried to make him destroy his property or prevent his right to engage in lawful activities if it were in a different context.
    Sorry Alan, If we really value liberty in the U.S., it follows that we should speak up about it when it is wrongly challenged and not be mocked for it as was done here. At least not be mocked based on illogical criteria anyway.
     
  40. JH,
    There's this thing called hyperbolic speech met with humor and self-contradictory irony.
    Being perpetually angry and suspicious is not healthy. Belligerence is usually returned in kind. Being aware that the real chances that something might occur is almost zero can't be a bad thing even if it spoils the drama. Tales of misfeasance of authority are meant to entertain - the much beloved bastard of the week story. I wouldn't want to stifle those.
     
  41. Sorry Alan, If we really value liberty in the U.S., it follows that we should speak up about it when it is wrongly challenged and not be mocked for it as was done here. At least not be mocked based on illogical criteria anyway.​
    Agreed. But we should extend that to anywhere, not just the US.
     
  42. This reminds me of the time I was walking around Walmart with an SLR and 55-200mm hanging around my neck when an employee told me to put it away. I told him it wouldn't fit in my pocket and he seemed to agree.
     
  43. I told him it wouldn't fit in my pocket​
    You need to have special trousers made for that!
     
  44. Mr. Smith…
    1. Perhaps I read Mr. Henneberger’s last sentence with different eyes. I understood him to be addressing Mr. Zinn, whom he presumed to be a fellow U. S. Citizen. Hence the term “we.” I did not see his post as even inferring exclusion.
    2. The USA used to have a long tradition of personal liberty. We never had a King to bow to. Yes, I know, things are changing, but at least it was our tradition, something not practiced by all countries for their entire history.
    3. The USA has been angrily and constantly accused of trying to promote or “export” freedom/liberty by most of the mainstream European press and politicians. Perhaps Mr. Henneberger was being “sensitive” to other peoples in other countries who hate the USA for promoting something as awful as liberty (I find it ironic that one of Europe’s major players whose press and political positions decry the USA’s promotion of liberty, gave us the Statue of Liberty).
    4. I too would like to “…extend that to anywhere, not just the US” (at the recipient’s option). However I accept that I am at odds with the majority of my fellow USA citizens. I also am not, nor am I trying to, express a thought inline with current official USA government policy.
    A. T. Burke
     
  45. Mr. Smith…
    “You need to have special trousers made for that!”
    When you get old enough your spine “shrinks” and you loose height. Alas, something else also shrinks in old age. Live long enough and you’ll find there is plenty of extra room in between the front pockets with off-the-shelf pants! :)
    A. T. Burke
     
  46. Live long enough and you’ll find there is plenty of extra room in between the front pockets with off-the-shelf pants​
    I don't think so. I'm convinced that once you get to a certain age, you receive a letter from the government telling you were you can buy 'old man trousers'.
     
  47. Mr. Smith…
    How did you know?
    My letter also said that I also have to wear them high enough to touch my Sternum. The penalty for non-compliance is life without parole. At my age, that is not much of a threat. I’d be lucky to live long enough to get a court date.
    A. T. Burke
     

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