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Photographer Harassed, Detained at DC Airport

Photographer Harassed, Detained at DC Airport

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Old Jun 2, 10, 11:26 am
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Angry Photographer Harassed, Detained at DC Airport

In March, 18-year-old and photographer Jerome Vorus was taking photos at Reagan National Airport in Virginia because that’s what he likes to do. Knowing the airport was a sensitive location, he spoke to a media relations representative beforehand and asked about any restrictions. He was told there were none. He and the representative went over which areas were leased by private companies (like the check-in counters) and she said she would notify airport police and TSA officials.

Still, the message didn’t seem to get through. As Vorus shot photos, TSA employees approached him twice and asked what he was doing. The third time, he was approached by TSA in suits who asked whether he’d spoken with media relations. Even though Vorus told them he had, they said he could not take photos of TSA employees or checkpoints. To clarify, so that he could understand the situation he was in more fully, Vorus asked the men if he could see their credentials. One man replied, “We ain’t gotta show you s#!t.”


http://discarted.wordpress.com/2010/...at-dc-airport/
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Old Jun 2, 10, 11:49 am
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It sounds like this person has the makings of a potential lawsuit or something. As long as he was in a public area, taking photos of publically viewable items and events, and not harassing/taunting/etc. anybody, I'd say he was within his rights to take as many pictures as he liked.

I'm sure there will be plenty of discussion around this, though, especially from TSA-types who undoubtedly claim that Mr. Vorus was doing something to threaten national security (or something equally as ridiculous). My guess is that something like that will pop up within the first 10 posts.

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Old Jun 2, 10, 12:07 pm
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The TSA should stop worrying about people taking pictures. A Google image search yields 28,400 results for “Reagan National Airport”.
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Old Jun 2, 10, 3:04 pm
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Originally Posted by clrankin View Post
It sounds like this person has the makings of a potential lawsuit or something. As long as he was in a public area, taking photos of publically viewable items and events, and not harassing/taunting/etc. anybody, I'd say he was within his rights to take as many pictures as he liked.

I'm sure there will be plenty of discussion around this, though, especially from TSA-types who undoubtedly claim that Mr. Vorus was doing something to threaten national security (or something equally as ridiculous). My guess is that something like that will pop up within the first 10 posts.

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+1

I thought TSA allowed pax to take photos of the checkpoint, as long as they didn't interfere with the screening process.....What a bunch of idiots!
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Old Jun 3, 10, 10:28 pm
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Hi,

My name is Jerome V. I would like to thanks for the support of the people of this thread.
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Old Jun 4, 10, 3:03 am
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Originally Posted by MiPilot View Post
Hi,

My name is Jerome V. I would like to thanks for the support of the people of this thread.
Welcome to FlyerTalk!
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Old Jun 6, 10, 3:08 pm
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Sigh. Glad to know my tax dollars are going to good use and that TSA does their job by not allowing photographers to take pictures
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Old Jun 6, 10, 8:55 pm
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Originally Posted by MiPilot View Post
Hi,

My name is Jerome V. I would like to thanks for the support of the people of this thread.
Hi Jerome V., welcome. If you decide to file a lawsuit, it's very important that you do not post anything about what happened on this or any other internet forum. Anything you post here about the incident could affect a potential lawsuit.

Now, I'm going to step back and let the real lawyers have a say.

Last edited by zitsky; Jun 7, 10 at 6:35 am Reason: Spelling
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Old Jun 6, 10, 9:02 pm
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Make sure you have a copy of the SOP in hand.
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Old Jun 7, 10, 3:24 am
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From observation, it has not as bad as it was shortly after 9-11. Many people like to park near airport runway activity to watch airplanes, sometimes taking pictures, and many were asked what they were doing by airport security.
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Old Jun 8, 10, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by clrankin View Post
I'd say he was within his rights to take as many pictures as he liked.
Since when did TSA care about our rights?
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Old Jun 11, 10, 8:17 pm
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His mistake was talking with media relations, thus tipping them off. I've taken hundreds of photos at DCA. You just take them. The morons will never know the difference.
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Old Jun 12, 10, 8:13 pm
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Article says they were with the DHS, are they in all airports? I've only seen TSA personnel. Maybe cause im flying out of FAT, we dont have much going on here
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Old Jun 13, 10, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by chanp View Post
Article says they were with the DHS, are they in all airports? I've only seen TSA personnel.
TSA screeners are part of DHS.


That being said, let's try to keep the discussion here focused on the facts and what happened, not our love for the TSA.
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Old Jun 14, 10, 8:38 am
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Employees of the TSA do not have the power to detain a person, confiscate a camera or delete photos - only the small number of law enforcement staff of TSA can detain or arrest someone.

I believe the victim in this case should have pushed for clarity on exactly who they were interacting with - any non-law enforcement employee of the TSA can be flipped-off and ignored outside the sterile area.

Even if arrested, I don't believe even law enforcement has the authority to delete photos arbitrarily - they, along with the camera, would be evidence.

I believe the victim should contact an attorney who handles these sorts of issues pro bono....at this point, the ACLU is basically useless for just about everything.
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