Security guards attack man for shooting video of subway track

Matt Richardson says:

Photography is not a Crime has been one of my must-read blogs for a long time. The owner, Carlos Miller, posts stories of people getting hassled or even arrested for using their cameras in public spaces. He himself even asserts his right to photograph (or, more accurately, videorecord) despite some intimidation from Miami-Dade Metrorail Security Guards. He and his friend were arrested and released an hour later with a $100 citation for producing loud or excessive noise.

(Via Boing Boing G+ community)


    1.  That threw me too. The metro-rail is a raised track transit system. That looks like the Civic Center stop– you can see all the downtown buildings, they’re definitely not underground.

  1. This guy obviously likes the trouble, but still.  If it was me, I would show my ticket and tell them to get f*cked.  If you have a ticket, and you are waiting on the platform, and not disturbing others or the safe operation of the facilities, these transit cops can take a flying f*ck.  Welcome to the new America, right?

    1. I’m totally on the guy’s side.  I am curious however to know what went on a few moments before he started filming because those mall cops did get off their fat butts.  It takes some effort to overcome that lazy inertia. 

      1. Carlos’ friend was taking a photo of the courthouse. The security company(50 state security) that is contracted by the city pretends its against the law to take photos of or in the stations.

        1. Wait, you mean these aren’t law enforcement officers?  They’re security guards?  And they have the right to cuff and restrain people and levy fines?

          1. They have the right to detain you until law enforcement arrives.  Given they are security guards they probably have some legal use of handcuffs.  But I’m willing to bet the arrest and fine came later from the PD.

  2. …with a $100 citation for producing loud or excessive noise.

    Why do we have arbitrary & unenforceable laws on the books?  Why, so we can enforce them arbitrarily!  Sure, you didn’t break the law, but for the hassle of having us harass you & be wrong, that’ll be a hundo.

  3. Videos like these will soon be a quaint time capsule of a vanished era.  Once tiny, concealable cameras are widely available, the Man will lose this fight.

      1. Long ago, I realized and accepted the fact that I will be filmed extensively for the rest of my life.  We are never going to have less surveillance; there will be more.  Do I like it?  Not especially.  But I take comfort in the fact the era of hassling of photographers in public spaces is going away soon.

        1. I wish it was going away soon.  It seems like more people are fine with it “for security” or some other BS.

          1. See, when *I* tell the security guards “time to die”, they get all upset and throw me to the ground. Not ONCE have I had one chuckle and tell me “You brade lunner!”

    1.  Charged is not convicted. Clearly the three security stooges are screwed and their employer can kiss fifty grand goodbye. Dumb, dumber and dumbest.

  4. Just a question from the other side of the pond: if the subway is run by a private company, could they ban taking pictures? That’s the case, e.g., in a lot of supermarkets here.

    1.  They ban photos in supermarkets where you live?  What are they worried about?  The Trix rabbit trying to raid the cereal aisle?

      1. I got in trouble for taking carrot photos in a grocery on the SF peninsula. The carrots were stacked in an interesting pattern, and I wanted to document it.

        A manager politely informed me of Safeway’s “no photos” policy.

      2. Most shops don’t let you take pictures. I think it’s the whole licensing mess involved – not entirely sure. Also anywhere there’s kids, because, you know, everyone’s a pedo.

        But I’m pretty sure the same basic legal classification applies in the US – private vs public property and photography.

        1. They might not want you to take pictures, but all they can do is tell you to leave their property. They can’t take your camera or force you to delete them. 

          IANAL, YMMV, etc. pp.

          1. I’ve heard that one before and it makes no sense.  I can’t take a photo so instead I’ll just scan the item with my smartphone and upload your price immediately to my company. 

            I can’t think it’s for any other reason than they can’t imagine any photos you take in their store being used as anything positive for them.

          2. Which is really silly because it negates all the usefulness of the technology that may lead to purchases.

            When I’m at the store and I’m not sure what my better half wants, I can take a picture of the possibilities and email her and she can tell me if it’s the right thing or not.

            One time I’d taken a picture to remember where I found a particular item and then got to the checkout stand only to find out that the one I picked up didn’t have a barcode, so I showed the cashier the image and she was able to see what the item code was from the sticker on the shelf without having to send someone to check it.

            Are they going to tell people to turn off their glasses when everyone has web-glasses?

          3. I didn’t say it was _smart_, or that it had kept up with technology, just that’s why they did it.  They would consider scanning with a smartphone is the same as taking a picture.

    2. the subway is owned by the county and operated by Miami Dade Transit. MDT has hired a private company to provide security.

      in the US, it is lawful to take pictures (and video) in public (there are certain exceptions, but this is the general rule). the grocery store is not technically a public place, which is why a supermarket can ban taking pictures inside. that being said, a grocery store cannot ban pictures taken of the grocery store from a public sidewalk, as the picture was taken in public.

  5. “This guy obviously likes the trouble”

    Agreed.  Along with the great web credibility he gets for being such a stand-up man for our personal rights ;)

    I believe it is disingenuous horse shit.

    1. What part was disingenuous? The part where he was unhappy about being treated unfairly? The bit where he was put in handcuffs for having the nerve to question an imaginary law?

      The only people that like trouble in this video are the security. I suppose he should have just complied? What a bad citizen.

  6. Well, if you can’t film the tracks, then the transit authority will need to turn off all their security cameras.  

  7. The guy with the camera is an insubordinate idiot. he was obviously looking for trouble and he found it. People and Businesses have the right to allow or disallow recording of their property. The security only asked him not to take video of the Tracks. A simple request. He also looks like a Terrorist. lol 

    1. What if the business is government-owned public place and paid for by tax dollars?

      There’s no laws against being insubordinate, an idiot, looking like a ____ or any mixture of these.  There are also no laws against taking photos in a public place (or even any proof that it prevents terrorism).  He has every right to take any photos he wants and unfortunately for the taxpayers of Miami-Dade, he’s likely to get a nice settlement like a lot of other locales have been paying out.

    2. I disagree. I tend to steer clear of videos where someone is clearly baiting (not that it changes their argument, or legal position, btw). But to be fair this doesn’t seem to be the case. He’s a photography rights advocate, when someone asks him to stop filming something because it’s ‘illegal’, and it’s not, then what the fuck would you expect him to do? This is his cause you mad person.

      “He also looks like a Terrorist. lol” Pretty sure this voids your entire argument anyway, but still.

    3. It’s the “insubordinate idiots” of the world who have preserved your right to spout willfully ignorant bullshit like this.

      1. “Comon guys, why don’t we just pay the taxes and the King will eventually let us have a voice in Parliament.  I love tea just as much as the next guy.  I mean, I hate the seven soldiers that live in our house making my entire family live in the one bed, I really do, but nobody wants any trouble.  And Paul Revere looks like an Indian, lol!”

    4. Yes, we must all be subordinate to security guards who are making up rules and filing false police reports.

      You shouldn’t really refer to people as “idiots” while suggesting that anyone can disallow taking photos or videos in a public place.  It’s simply not the case.

      The security guard’s “simple request” wasn’t lawful.  If you feel more comfortable being subordinate to private security guards giving you unlawful orders on public property, that’s your prerogative.  That doesn’t mean that people who prefer a little more personal autonomy (and legal literacy) are idiots.

    5. Listen, if you wait around for a while my big brother will cross the bridge, and he’s much bigger and tastier than I am.

  8. Obviously violence was the only way to deal with this situation. It’s so stupid. This is a civil issue meant to be solved civily.

    If you think that filming or not follow mall-cop orders is assault worthy then I don’t like your system of ethics and I don’t think you even know what ethics are.

  9. Why didn’t he just say, “ok, I’m not taking pictures of the track.” Why? Because he’s HUNGRY. Being within your legal rights and being wrong can go hand in hand. Remember the jackars that decided to troll around J.C.Penny’s with an assault rifle strapped to his back, an automatic pistol, knife, 3 gun clips and a steel baton on his belt? Legal, yes…. idiotic mmmm yes.

    1. I agree. Cameras are just as dangerous and threatening as rifles, pistols, and knives.

      “Watch where you’re pointing that thing. You could record an eye out!”

      “A camera without a memory card is still dangerous.”

      “Kids, if you find a camera, don’t touch it and tell an adult.”

        1. The real danger is, as we all know, that when someone takes your picture the camera steals your soul. Photographers are all witches and should be accordingly.

  10. You would think the Miami-Dade subway security would have learned ANYTHING from the last 5 years of dealing with Carlos Miller… he insists (rightfully) on his right to photograph anything, and his mission is to test the waters… if police and security guards try to intervene, he puts it on his blog – his pending lawsuits against the subway and the PD should have been the source for an internal memo for the security guys: you can try to pick on anybody else, but leave Carlos Miller alone, it’s going to cost us a shitload of money… obviously the security guys were either new or stupid, or both… because now Carlos has enough material at his hand to buy a new house from the settlement. thank you Miami Dade security guys for wasting tax payer money. and thank you Carlos for repeatedly putting your finger into that wound. the first amendment needs some defense, and too many people forget that it exists.

  11. It occurs to me that we could use something like KickStarter, except instead of for startups it would be for covering legal costs… whether legal defense funds or bringing legal prosecution down on asshats like these rentacops.

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