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If the T ever restricts photography again, it'll be because of yutzes like this

Gnomi addresses the moron fashion photographer yesterday who did everything from blocking people from getting on and off the train at Washington Square to smoking on the platform and signs it:

That chick who insisted on being able to get to the waiting area despite your desires to get that perfect shot.

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Although I agree with the poster entirely, I must point out that it is normal for fashion models to be wearing what the subject calls for regardless of location or weather; they have a job to do. Fashion cycles run 6 months ahead, so she didn't look "ridiculous". More than half of the location shoots you see are intended for the future seasons.

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Do you mean "*further* restricts"?

One bit from the MBTA policy, regarding photography for personal use:

"[...] any person taking pictures on, in, or of MBTA property, vehicles, or employees must provide proper identification* upon request of an MBTA Transit Police Officer or other MBTA Official."

They seem to be claiming, for example, that any MBTA "Official," from Grabauskas on down, has the right to demand your ID if s/he sees you snapping a tourist photo of a bus driver or a trolley when you are not on MBTA property nor in an MBTA vehicle.

While it is conceivable that some overreaching Bush-era edict gave every MBTA employee the power to violate basic Constitutional rights anywhere that any MBTA property/vehicle is in public view... I suspect the reality is that this is just a typical photo policy: it claims legal force it does not have, and the employees generally don't know&follow the policy anyway.

I think, perhaps there should be a law against claiming police-like legal force that one does not actually have.

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and you have my full support.

Today there are no checks and balances when lies about how the world actually works are propagated by self-important fools like MBTA's mis-managers.

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I was thinking of the T's earlier policy, which required you to go down to Park Square and file a request for a one-month photography pass - which you'd then get in the mail after they researched your ancestry.

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"Yes, hello, please give me a photographic pass. My ancestors founded Newbury. Here are the genealogical records. You may now select which cheek to kiss. I totally suggest the left."

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?

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After the simultaneous news of possible fare increases and service cuts, you can probably guess which set of cheeks they can kiss.

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At least near the end of the permit days.

You would email them a form with your personal info on it, then about a week or so later you would get the notification that your pass was ready.

Then you could go down to the State Transportation Building and pick it up from some of the nicest people the T has ever employed. I loved dealing with them.

Of course the whole process was kind of obscure, you needed to know who to email, where to find the office once you got there and past the security guards who always seemed as though they wouldn't let you in.

The upside was that no employee would dare question someone wearing a permit unless they did something really dumb (trespassing, etc). Things have actually become more difficult since the permits were abolished. I've been kicked out of two stations in the past year for simply stopping for a few seconds to take half a dozen quick photos in deserted lobbies.

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I think, perhaps there should be a law against claiming police-like legal force that one does not actually have.

Color of law.

While it is conceivable that some overreaching Bush-era edict gave every MBTA employee the power to violate basic Constitutional rights anywhere that any MBTA property/vehicle is in public view

Numerous times, the courts have found airports, subways, train stations, etc. to not be "public property", and thus the ID checks and searches are fair game. If you check out Amtrak/CSX lines, there's almost always posted no-trespassing signs. Basically, the USSC perspective is a bit of a fantasy, namely, that you have alternatives. In Boston, for example, the answer would be "bike, walk, take a taxi." For flights, I suppose the answer is "ride a horse."

As for the "of MBTA property" bit, that's overreaching, yes. As long as you're on public property or private property with permission, you can do whatever the flip you want to...just make absolutely sure you know where public property is...and that you don't get nailed on a "blocking" charge if the cops show up(ie standing on the street, even at the edge.) In Boston, make sure you don't draw a crowd, because that brings about its own legal problems- "disturbing the peace". In short, there are about a zillion ways a cop can arrest you for taking photos, without arresting you for actually taking photos.

FYI, any cop in the state can walk up to you and ask you to identify yourself, and it's a crime to refuse to do so. Note that's not the same as "show me your driver's license" if you're not driving.

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I've never known about this refusing-to-ID-yourself thing that you are talking about. Are you saying that if I am just minding my own business, walking in a public place, I'd have to ID myself or I'd be breaking a law? Could I be arrested if I refused to ID myself? This does not sound right, are you sure about it? Do you have a law I could reference on it? I think you might be wrong here.

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What I think Brett might be referring to is that certain crimes the cops have no right to ask you for an ID, but do have the right to ask you to identify yourself if you are suspected of those specific crimes.

And of course the law is very wide open as to what might determine "disorderly conduct", "disturbing the peace", and other public order crimes where police can take a broad view of these crimes. This is where Brett is right in saying that police can be creative in basically always asking someone to identify themselves if they ask you. 99/100 times they will do this because someone actually called and complained about something and they are tecnically "investigating" the call or crime.

Basically, the law says in many of these statues that simply "annoying" people, "disturbing" people, or simply using "disturbing behavior" can be considered a crime.

After "color of law", it usually takes case law to determine what actually determines "breaking" these public order laws.

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http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/21a-10g.htm (shellfish bed violations)

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/85-11c.htm (bicyclists)

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/85-16.htm (my personal favorite: anyone driving, "in charge of", or occupying, a vehicle an hour after sunset / before sunrise. Because you just KNOW that anyone in a car at night is up to NO GOOD.)

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/90-18a.htm (pedestrians)

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/90b-12.htm and http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/90b-32.htm (recreational vehicle users and boaters)

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/148a-2.htm (building code and fire code)

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/270-16a.htm (health code violations)

....and I'm now bored, so this isn't an exhaustive list.

The terminology varies slightly- some only result in a fine, others can result in arrest, but I doubt there's some requirement that the officer share WHY he's asking- so even if you have the MGL's memorized, you have no idea whether you actually have to ID yourself and what the punishments are.

Which effectively means you need to ID yourself to any LEO.

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but you forgot about the one that really is getting out of control these days.

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/272-36.htm (blasphemy)

I meant that if you are sitting on a park bench minding your own business and a cop asks you to ID yourself and you refuse, they can't arrest you for anything.

All those instances above are laws that have been written up.

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In theory, this is true.

In practice, the cop can make up something that you're doing wrong. It doesn't matter if that charge later gets thrown out by the magistrate. Once they have a plausible excuse to demand your ID, if you refuse, then you are breaking the law. If you try to walk away, you are breaking another law. Then they can go Woodman on you if they want to.

So yes they certainly can arrest you for anything they want to at any time. Go ahead and try to resist it - you'll be breaking the law. It doesn't matter whether you were doing anything wrong in the first place. If you're arguing with a cop, you already lost.

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It does matter if the charge later gets thrown out (by the judge, since arrests skip the magistrate process which Im not suprised you didn't know).

Woodman did break several real laws anyway before he was arrested.

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No, it doesn't matter if the bogus charge is thrown out once you get to court. By that time the damage is done. The victim has already been harassed/beaten up/imprisoned/put out hundreds of dollars. If any criminal charge sticks it would just be adding insult to injury.

Also, if you refuse arrest for a bogus charge, you are then committing a real crime (which may or may not stick). It doesn't matter what you actually did in the first place. Committing this real crime then gives the police license to use that great escalation of force you like - to the point at which your death at their hands is theoretically justified.

And, no, in your vast knowledge of police procedure, you seem not to know that arrests don't always 'skip the magistrate process.' It depends on what the arrest was for.

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No, it doesn't matter if the bogus charge is thrown out once you get to court. By that time the damage is done. The victim has already been harassed/beaten up/imprisoned/put out hundreds of dollars. If any criminal charge sticks it would just be adding insult to injury

If a bogus charge is thrown out, then you should sue and have an easy case.

And people simply arent getting beaten up, imprisoned for no reason. Many dumb assholes that have no idea that they are assholes use this as an excuse to blame "the man" for everything.

And yes, every single arrest skips the magistrate process and goes right to the judge. Judges do have the right to send any arrignment back to a clerks hearing, but those charges almost always get dropped right there. And this happenes in probably 1/10000 cases. And it 100% does not "depend on what the arrest was for".

So yea your wrong.

And when you talk about "theory vs. practice", practice would mean something that is routine and theory is something that could be done theoritically. So cops don't routinely break the law or make up laws to harrass people.

It sounds like you have a lot of "act like and asshole, get treated like an asshole" in your life. Its too bad and its your problem.

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In each of those examples someone has to be somehow suspected of wrongdoing...so you were wrong when you initially said, "FYI, any cop in the state can walk up to you and ask you to identify yourself, and it's a crime to refuse to do so." Please try to be more specific and clear in the future.

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95%+ of the time a flash is unnecessary and the use of one shows the person with the camera has absolutely no clue what they're doing with it. Especially if they're using an SLR. Watching someone use a $2,000+ camera obviously set to AUTO mode is just sad. But I digress...

It's really, really annoying to people operating trains when flashbulbs go off in their faces as they're trying to bring the train to a safe stop in a station.

And it happens.

All

The.

Time.

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and the T can and should remove people who are using it, especially in the path of oncoming trains.

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If, indeed, flash is specifically not allowed, then they should firmly and strictly enforce that rule and fine people who violate it, or else evict them from the T or wherever else they're using it, including in theatres.

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wherever else they're using it, including in theatres.

The same should go for shouting "fire," to boot.

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And is your refrigerator running?

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95%+ of the time a flash is unnecessary and the use of one shows the person with the camera has absolutely no clue what they're doing with it

Actually, the more experienced the user, the more likely they are to be using flash- even in broad daylight. 95% of the time, the flash is being used as fill flash (auto or otherwise, and use of flash implies NOTHING about ), there isn't much light inside a subway station (it may "look" bright, but the lux rating is very low), and 95% of the time, you should stick to talking about trolleys and choo choo's.

It's really, really annoying to people operating trains when flashbulbs go off in their faces as they're trying to bring the train to a safe stop in a station.

Whatever, dude. When they are "trying to bring the train to a safe stop", they're holding a lever at a certain braking position and they're doing something they've done 5,000 times before. They're not steering anything, and the station doesn't magically change each time they get to it; they're doing the job of something the rest of the world does with sensors and computers. It's not like the cartoons where people jump up, grab their eyes, and stumble around...or that they're trying to thread a Mac Truck through a parking lot of fine china being balanced by guys on unicycles. They're driving a train, on rails.

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Not a good idea for people to use it.

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It can take forever for pages to download

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It's "trolleys" not "trollies" as you wrote.

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People who post annoying anonymous comments on web boards... but little ones.

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Actually, the more experienced the user, the more likely they are to be using flash- even in broad daylight. 95% of the time, the flash is being used as fill flash (auto or otherwise, and use of flash implies NOTHING about ), there isn't much light inside a subway station (it may "look" bright, but the lux rating is very low), and 95% of the time, you should stick to talking about trolleys and choo choo's.

I know what a fill flash is, but I highly doubt people are using it for that effect, as I doubt most people know what it is. In a subway station you're going to get a ridiculous contrast ratio with a standard camera flash which is probably what people are using.

I've shot many, many photos in subway stations sans flash. Use of a higher ISO (400+) will let you shoot at something other than wide open without a pitifully low shutter speed.

Whatever, dude. When they are "trying to bring the train to a safe stop", they're holding a lever at a certain braking position and they're doing something they've done 5,000 times before. They're not steering anything, and the station doesn't magically change each time they get to it; they're doing the job of something the rest of the world does with sensors and computers. It's not like the cartoons where people jump up, grab their eyes, and stumble around...or that they're trying to thread a Mac Truck through a parking lot of fine china being balanced by guys on unicycles. They're driving a train, on rails.

So it would be fine if someone set off a flash bulb in your face as you're pulling into your driveway at night? Because you've done it thousands of times and all you have to do is keep pressing down on the brake.

Don't be ridiculous. It's a painfully crap idea and obviously so.

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The best weapon you have against rude people is one you already have: Your time.

If you're in a hurry, they can do whatever they want. You can't even stop long enough to complain; you'll be late. But if you have plenty of time to spare... well, THEY don't, because rude people are on a schedule. (Always.) That gives you the advantage.

It's the same with the TSA at the airport; they get away with intimidating you because, although they may not be able to arrest you for anything, they'll Make You Miss Your Flight.

I'd have just stood behind the model. I'd be happy to negotiate with the photographer; perhaps we could agree to move the shoot somewhere less intrusive to the rest of us.

Otherwise, well: I ain't got nowhere to go, buddy. Take your time. I brought a book.

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