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Old Oct 21, 2009, 6:01 PM   #241
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Who cares if you think it's NORMAL?

If we don't behave according to your norms we are fair game for police harassment?
So Craig - answer these specific questions please. In the scenario of the person in a car in front of a bank wearing a ski mask. If the police are notified should they investigate? It's perfectly legal. Should they investigate or do they need to wait until a crime is actually underway?

Last edited by JohnG; Oct 21, 2009 at 6:06 PM.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 6:19 PM   #242
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Chato,

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... isn't it at least possible that one person, in the act of photographing a child, could, in the judgement of another person, appear suspicious?

And in that situation, wouldn't the police be doing their duty by invesitgating the behavior that someone else judged to be suspicious?
I'm still waiting.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 6:26 PM   #243
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Dave - here is the OPs statement:


Which part of it did I get wrong?
He took a picture of a child whose head was out of the window of the back of the car. This is not just a question of semantics. You keep saying, "in the back seat."

I don't see no seat? To take a picture of someone IN a back seat would be legal but suspicious. It would involve contortions, and the thrusting of the camera almost into the car.

To take a picture of someone hanging out of a car window, is neither.

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Old Oct 21, 2009, 6:31 PM   #244
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Chato,



I'm still waiting.
Waiting for what?

These are suspicious picture? Tell me how?







So then, someone should call the police to investigate these images for possible criminal intent?

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Old Oct 21, 2009, 6:34 PM   #245
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To take a picture of someone hanging out of a car window, is neither.

Dave
Dave - very interesting. Did you look at the photo he posted? Doesn't look like she's "hanging out of a car window". In fact it looks like her face is completely on the other side of the window - i.e. it appears the window could go up and not contact her face. So I think you're skewing reality to suggest she's "hanging out of a car window".

She is in a seat (front or back). Her body is completely inside the vehicle.

So, if the OP confirms she was sitting in the back then my statement the photographer took a photo of a small child sitting in the back seat of a car is 100% accurate. It's not semantics - it's exactly describing the situation.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 6:35 PM   #246
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It's legal and harmless. ...
So, you beleive that a stanger taking a photo of a child is always harmless? Or just this time? It turns out that this time it was harmless, but you want us all to beleive that it's always harmless, correct?

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... Yes it's perfectly legal but law enforcement will harass you for doing it. ...
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... My wife and I both picked up the phone at the same time. The caller introduced himself as Constable ***** of the RCMP. He said that he had received a call from the Father of the little girl who was very concerned about someone taking pictures of his Daughter. ...
That's the extent of the OP's descrtiption of "harassment." They didn't knock down his door and point a gun to his head as they confiscated his camera and computer. They didn't even come to the door. They called!

If I were going to harass someone, I'd do a better job than that.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 6:38 PM   #247
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It's a question of whether or not it MIGHT BE PART OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. In the example I gave Chato earlier - wearing a ski mask in a car outside a bank is not, in and of itself, criminal behavior. But police would investigate it. Why? Because it might be PART OF criminal behavior.

In many states, buying certain cold and alergy medicine is now monitored. Why? It's legal isn't it? Yes, BUT those medicines are widley used in the manufacture of narcotics. So authorities monitor looking for people who are buying large quantities of the medicine. I just bought Claritin-D and they scan my drivers license and it goes into a database. Buying Claritin D isn't illegal. Using it in the manufacturing of narcotics IS illegal. So, authorities are looking for, wait for it, here it comes SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR RELATED TO THE PURCHASE OF THIS MEDICINE - i.e. buying 40 boxes of the stuff spread out over 40 different stores.

I'm sorry, but to non photographers, the situation in quesiton is incredibly suspicious behavior. And the subject is a minor child. In most people's experience, "normal" behavior does not include taking out a camera at a stop light and taking photos of a small child in the backseat of the car next to you. Because it is not "normal" and because the subject is a small child there is suspicion. And because such action can be linked to criminal behavior - the police investigate. wearing a ski mask isn't criminal, buying cold medecine isn't criminal but depending on the circumstances (this is a recurring motif in my answers - circumstances matter) the activity could be believed to be related to criminal activity. So police investigate. When it's determined NOT to be then the matter is dropped.

Again, describe this exact scenario to 10 parents of small girls and make sure those 10 parents aren't avid picture-takers and I'll bet 9 of 10 find the behavior highly suspicious.

Again, as best as we can tell the father looked over at a traffic light and saw a guy in the car next to him take photos of his little girl in the backseat. You do NOT know if the father was aware his daughter was sad. You do NOT know that the photographer appeared to be a nice guy that would have spoken if asked. All you know is no communication was exchanged before the photographer drove away. Given those set of circumstances I'd be amazed if there were parents who DIDNt find the behavior suspicious.

And as someone else pointed out - when it's child safety, why shouldn't police err on the side of caution. A 15 minute phone call (OP correct me if I'm wrong) was all the OP had to suffer.
I get what you are saying, but I think it's a matter of degree or a judgment call, then...because a dog barking is against a noise ordinance, so that's a good reason for the police to respond. Just being unusual, though, that's a little less clear. What about a neighbor who cross dresses? Clearly not normal, but not criminal either. I really don't see taking a photograph as suspicious behavior, barring the telephoto (hidden) situation.
I still fail to see who was being protected in this situation, and what possible law was being broken. Even if the guy WAS a pedophile, for example, how would this "investigation" have led to his arrest? You said there is no list he would be put on...
You mention the Claritin D list--that goes back to whether there is a watch list for "pedophilia-like" behaviors (or, is there some other law that this photograph could be breaking)? If NOT, then there was no reason to investigate. Furthermore, I actually have a problem with the Claritin D list! I think that's a pretty big invasion of privacy for a possible small reward of catching a drug maker. But, how far do you take this--should we monitor condom purchases in case the buyer is a pimp? That may sound ludicrous; but to me, so is tracking cold medicine purchases!
I understand you will disagree with me on that, and that's okay--that's what makes this an interesting discussion.

Last edited by javacleve; Oct 21, 2009 at 6:42 PM.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 6:39 PM   #248
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So, you beleive that a stanger taking a photo of a child is always harmless? Or just this time? It turns out that this time it was harmless, but you want us all to beleive that it's always harmless, correct?





That's the extent of the OP's descrtiption of "harassment." They didn't knock down his door and point a gun to his head as they confiscated his camera and computer. They didn't even come to the door. They called!

If I were going to harass someone, I'd do a better job than that.
but wouldn't this make you think twice next time you want to take a photograph? You don't think that's a shame, if so?
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 6:43 PM   #249
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So, you beleive that a stanger taking a photo of a child is always harmless? Or just this time? It turns out that this time it was harmless, but you want us all to beleive that it's always harmless, correct?





That's the extent of the OP's descrtiption of "harassment." They didn't knock down his door and point a gun to his head as they confiscated his camera and computer. They didn't even come to the door. They called!

If I were going to harass someone, I'd do a better job than that.
In the type of situation we are discussing (a public photograph), I believe he is saying it is always harmless. If you want to get into other situations, sure there could be harmful situations. But that's not what we are discussing.
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Old Oct 21, 2009, 7:24 PM   #250
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Furthermore, I actually have a problem with the Claritin D list! I think that's a pretty big invasion of privacy for a possible small reward of catching a drug maker. But, how far do you take this--should we monitor condom purchases in case the buyer is a pimp? That may sound ludicrous; but to me, so is tracking cold medicine purchases!
I understand you will disagree with me on that, and that's okay--that's what makes this an interesting discussion.
I respectfully say you make these statements blissfully unaware of what meth does to a community, to the people it addicts and to the damage even the creation of it does. The impact to communities where the manufacturing is prevalent is devastating - more devestating than prostitution is. Respectfully I suggest you investigate what the meth labs and drug manufacturing does to a community.

Fortunately, the courts operate in the real world - not in the world of absolutes. At this point in time, there is no evidence anyone's rights are being violated. No one suffers from it. And, actually they do catch people. What you also may not understand is that many criminals are stupid. This benefits society greatly. It also benefits law enforcement. Think about it. If you use a credit card, that credit card company knows infinitely more about your buying habits than a database tracking purchases of certain cold medecines. But you don't have a problem using a credit card do you? Let's say in the past month I've used my credit card 30 times. There's a record of every one of those purchases. Now, let's compare that to the record of the single cold medecine purchase I made. If big brother really was trying to invade your privacy they'd use credit card and cell phone records to do it - not bother with a database tracking the sale of cold medecine.

Fortunately the court system is well aware of the damage of this drug problem is. And for the time being they have concluded civil rights are not being violated. And such a tracking measure is not an undue burden. Do you have any prescriptions? Guess what - that's on a database. No different than what's going on with the cold medecine. Are you writing congress that prescription drug databases are a violation of your rights? So, we have credit card records plus prescription drug databases - all which track infinitely more of your behavior than a database for certain cold medecines. But those are OK?
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