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NYCLU Lawsuit Defends Right to Take Photos in NYC Subway System [View All]

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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 09:14 PM
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NYCLU Lawsuit Defends Right to Take Photos in NYC Subway System
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November 16, 2011
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The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit defending the publics right to take photographs in the New York City subway system without fear of being arrested or having to show identification to police.

The lawsuit was filed Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on behalf of plaintiffs Steve Barry and Michael Burkhart, railroad enthusiasts and photographers who were unlawfully arrested in August 2010 while taking photos of subway trains at the Broad Channel subway stop in Brooklyn. At the time, they were awaiting the arrival of a vintage subway train on display by the New York Transit Museum. They both were charged with unlawful photography, and Barry was handcuffed and charged with failing to produce ID in violation of a Transit Authority rule.

People cannot be arrested for taking pictures in public places, including the subway, and they cannot be required to carry identification documents, said NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn, lead counsel on the case. The police harassment of photographers must stop.

The lawsuit argues that the arrests violated the plaintiffs constitutional rights. It also maintains that a Transit Authoritys rule requiring people using the citys transit system to carry ID documents is unconstitutional. The City of New York, the Transit Authority and the NYPD officer who detained the photographers are named as defendants.

Barry, 54, is the editor of Railfan & Railroad Magazine, a monthly publication for railroad enthusiasts. He manages the website . Burkhart, 36, works in marketing in the Philadelphia area. They are friends and members of the National Railway Historical Society.

Barry and Burkhart, of New Jersey, traveled to New York City on Aug. 21, 2010 for a scheduled run of one of the Transit Museums vintage subway trains. These exhibitions are popular among photographers.
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