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ROBBED BY A COPó PROPERTY DESTROYED!

Posted by Nilet on Sun Apr 29 20:42:32 2007

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I took photos and video on the Jamaica el, covering the (J) G.O. at Broadway Junction. Afterwards, I decided to get the other end ot the (A) G.O. at Utica. Several TA workers told me photography was illegal. The first one was on the Manhattan-bound platform; I showed him my copy of 1050.9(c) and he said it only applied to the press. I read it aloud, emphasizing that anyone could take photos, though only the press could use tripods. He insisted that it didnít apply underground.

The second time was on the Queens-bound platform. I told them that 1050.9(c) permitted photography. Then, an announcement was made over the station PA that photography was prohibited. I was told that I could, if I wanted, show my paper to the people in the tower. I did so, and the woman said that photography had been prohibited after 9/11. I should that my paper was dated after 9/11; in fact, it was dated 8/12/06. She said simply that ďher superiorsĒ told her photography was prohibited but that she couldnít stop me.

A T/O also told me photography was prohibited, and didnít really respond to 1050.9(c) either. Then the cops came. They looked at the paper, asked for ID, and asked why I was taking pics. I said I was a railfan; they acted incredulous; ďwhy do you like taking train pics; trains are uglyĒ or something like that. I said that I found beauty in anything (secret to happiness!) and that no one can really choose what they enjoy doing. I mentioned that I often take rail pics, and Iím not the only one. They asked to see a few pics nicely, so I showed them a few. They started looking through all of my pics, so I told them I was invoking the fourth amendment, and asked for the camera back. They said that I was making people jittery (or something) and told me to stop taking pics and get on the train or leave. I told them Iíd like to record their badge numbers (on my camera, since I had no paper; I told them Iíd cover the lens if they wanted) and recorded numbers, then proceded to walk out to the shuttle buses. As I was leaving, one of the same cops from before came up, told me to wait, then handcuffed me and ordered me to sit on a bench. Her partner followed and stood nearby while she took the camera away and out of sight. Something was mentioned about a sergeant, though one never showed up. I told them that they needed probable cause, since this was a search, but they didnít give me anything other than ďwe suspect youíre going to do something illegal.Ē After awhile, the first cop came back, returned the camera, and removed the handcuffs. Suspicious, I turned the camera on and found all of my photos and videos deleted! I asked what happened; she said: ďYou canít prove I deleted them. I donít even know how to work that camera.Ē They went off, telling me that they would be back and threatened something along the lines of: ďIíd better not see you taking pics when we get back.Ē Since their badge numbers were on the camera and had been deleted too, I chased after them and got the numbers again, re-recording them on my camera.

Now for the questions:

1. Since my pictures were destroyed, this was essentially a robbery. At minimum, it was negligence, since the pictures were lost while she had taken the camera by force against my will. How do I press criminal charges against a cop?
2. How do I go about suing? Since my property was destroyed, I expect damages.
3. Is there some way of recovering the lost files? I havenít recorded over on the same memory card.

Iíll be filing a complaint, of course, but Iím also hoping to sue and/or press criminal charges.

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