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Railfan & Railroad editor handcuffed at Broad Channel, suing

Posted by RIPTA42HopeTunnel on Thu Dec 16 10:16:19 2010

Copied from another discussion group. Apologies if it's a repost; I didn't see it.

R&R Editor Steve Barry locked up in NYPD encounter photographing vintage subway train

> Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2010 18:24:13 -0800
> Subject: [A_A] Police Encounter in New York City
>
> Editorial in next issue of Railfan and Railroad magazine
>
> > Police Encounter in New York City
> >
> > On August 21, 2010, your editor, along with contributor Mike
> > Burkhart, went into New York City to photograph the Transit Museum’s
> > historic train, which was making a run to the Rockaways. After
> > shooting for most of the day, we were waiting for the return trip at
> > the Broad Channel station when we were approached by two (and
> > eventually, five) officers of the New York Police Department. They
> > insisted that photography was not allowed. After asking for i.d., I
> > gave a verbal legal i.d. (full name and hometown) and repeatedly
> > asked for a supervisor. I soon found myself in handcuffs.
> >
> > Mike and I were eventually cited, with the Transit Adjudication
> > Bureau violation reading “. . . P.O. observed deft using his camera
> > to take unauthorized photos on south bound plat.” This apparently
> > violated Section/Subdivision 1050.9.C of the New York City Rules of
> > Conduct. By the way, the section cited states that “Photography,
> > filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted
> > except that ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods
> > may not be used.”
> >
> > Even though the tickets for photography totalled $25.00 each (I
> > received an additional ticket related to producing i.d. for another
> > $50.00) and we could easily have settled them via phone, Mike and I
> > have taken the stand that the police have gone too far. We contacted
> > the New York Civil Liberties Union, who readily agreed to take the
> > case. Our first step was to go to the Transit Adjudication Bureau
> > (with three attorneys in tow for $100 worth of tickets!) to have the
> > violations dismissed, which they were with no question, since the law
> > clearly allows photography.
> >
> > Next step is, our attorneys have filed a Notice of Claim with the
> > Comptroller of the City of New York stating that, “Please take notice
> > that Claimant Ernest Steve Barry intends to file claims for damages
> > against the City of New York, the New York City Police Department,
> > and New York City Police Department Officers . . .” and goes on to
> > list the officers involved.
> >
> > Since this is an ongoing legal matter, we’ll give you just the facts
> > that are a part of the public record at this point. The facts of the
> > incident, as stated in the Notice of Claim, are:
> >
> > “3. The time, place, and manner in which the claims arose are as
> > follows:
> >
> > “Claimant is a resident of Newton, New Jersey. On the afternoon of
> > August 21, 2010, Claimant and Michael Burkhart took photographs from
> > the southbound end of the Broad Channel subway station platform.
> > They were approached by a New York City Police Officer, identified by
> > Claimant’s observance of the Officer’s badge as Respondent Officer
> > Dutes, Shield Number 15004, and one other officer. Officer Dutes
> > demanded that Claimant cease taking photographs. During this
> > interaction, three other officers approached the group.
> >
> > “Officer Dutes then demanded to see Claimant’s I.D. and Michael
> > Burkhart’s I.D. Claimant informed Officer Dutes that he was not
> > carrying I.D., and instead provided Officer Dutes with his name and
> > hometown. Officer Dutes then placed Claimant in handcuffs, searched
> > his pockets without his consent, and escorted Claimant off the
> > platform to a waiting room. One of the officers left. Neither
> > Claimant nor Mr. [Burkhart] was able to obtain this officer's name or
> > badge number.
> >
> > “Claimant was detained for a total of approximately 20 minutes.
> > Officer Dutes issued Claimant two Notices of Violation alleging that
> > Claimant 21 N.Y.C.R.R. § 1050.9(c) by taking unauthorized photographs
> > and 21 N.Y.C.R.R. § 1050.6(d)(3) by refusing to provide I.D. After
> > issuing these Notices, Officer Dutes released Claimant. During the
> > period of Claimant’s detention, Officers Dutes, Blakely, Balkaran and
> > Brennan were present. On October 1, 2010, the Transit Adjudication
> > Bureau dismissed both Notices of Violation as facially insufficient.”
> >
> >
> > It goes on to say:
> >
> > “4. Claimant has been damaged as follows: (1) Claimant was unlawfully
> > deprived of his liberty and his free speech right of free expression;
> > (2) Claimant was subjected to unlawful use of force and physical
> > contact, and (3) Claimant was unlawfully detained, causing him
> > injury.
> >
> > “Based on the information known to Claimant at this time, Claimant
> > has suffered damages amounting to no less than 50,000 dollars for the
> > violations of his rights under state law and the Constitution of the
> > State of New York. Claimant reserves his rights to supplement the
> > nature of his claims, the identity of New York City officials or
> > employees named in his claims, and the amount of total damages.”
> >
> >
> > We’ll keep you informed as best we can as this wins it way through
> > the legal system.
>
>
> > Steve Barry
> > Managing editor
> > Railfan & Railroad

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