I am wondering if my rights ware violated by the police when I was out taking pictures in New York. There’s also a good chance I just don’t know the law, which is true, so I came here. I was around 59 St. Columbus Circle in the Subway Station when I saw police with full SWAT uniforms standing around. They had face masks, rifles, helmets and also dogs. Thinking it was an interesting sight I took a few pictures, 4 in fact.
One of the police men came to me and asked me for my ID. As I was getting it out he told me it’s illegal to take pictures in the train Station. He also said that because I took the pictures I can now be put on the terrorist watch list. After he saw my ID and saw that I was ex military (VA hospital ID) he became a bit nicer and told me not to take any more pictures. Now what he said was I can use the pictures for personal reasons but if I post them anywhere online I will be raided by the Feds, my computer along with my photo equipment will be taken, I might be thrown in jail, and put on the terrorist watch list.
The officer let me keep the pictures and we ware both polite to each other. As a Iraq veteran I understand the uneasy feeling or someone taking pictures of me. Yet I was also more then a little intimated by what he said. Is it true? Have laws really gotten that strict against photography? Can I ask for his supervisor? Go to the police department? Or am I in the wrong?