Arrested for Photographing a Train: "It's Almost Embarrassing" - PDN

Not just in the UK, it seems!


Feb 18, 2009
By Daryl Lang

Last week in New York City, a fan of trains was arrested for
photographing a train. It might be funny if it didn?t keep happening.

Robert S. Taylor of Brooklyn was taking photos for fun last Thursday in
a subway station. Police saw him and cited him for unauthorized
photography, disorderly conduct/unreasonable voice and impeding traffic.

The charge of unauthorized photography ? a crime that doesn?t exist ?
has already been dropped, Taylor says.

?It?s almost embarrassing,? Taylor says. ?It was a waste of everybody?s

His summons reads ?[Police officer] observed respondent taking photos
from the [southbound] platform of incoming/ongoing trains without
authority to do so by [the Transit Authority].? The citation cites
section 1050.9(C) of the MTA rules of conduct. Ironically, that?s the
rule that permits photography ?in any facility or conveyance.?

Adding further irony, Taylor is an employee of the MTA, which operates
the New York City Subway. He was off duty at the time.

Photo advocacy groups have been complaining for years about police
harassment of photographers in public places such as train stations. The
problem surged after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and continues today,
despite several recent cases that ended in settlements for the

?It?s not just New York City Transit, it?s across the country,? says
newspaper photographer Todd Maisel, who serves as Region 2 director for
the National Press Photographers Association and vice president of the
New York Press Photographers Association. ?The problem is police
officers are not being properly trained.?

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