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Old Oct 22, 2009, 11:46 AM   #281
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You're right. Taking a picture of a child doesn't change anything. But taking a picture of a child, and then taking a picture of the license plate of the vehicle the child is in, makes whatever evil purpose the photographer has in mind, easier.



You're right. Taking a photo, or drawing a map, or just hanging out, are not illegal, and aren't always a prelude to a crime. What matters is if one person thinks another person is suspicious while doing those things.
The point that javacleve and I keep repeating is that suspicious activity has nothing to do with photography. That someone taking a picture of a child without permission (as I routinely do) is not a suspicious activity. Suspicious activity is usually pretty obvious, and needs no camera.

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Old Oct 22, 2009, 11:52 AM   #282
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The point that javacleve and I keep repeating is that suspicious activity has nothing to do with photography. That someone taking a picture of a child without permission (as I routinely do) is not a suspicious activity. Suspicious activity is usually pretty obvious, and needs no camera.

Dave
I get what you are saying, Dave, but I think what the others are saying (it's finally sinking in LOL), is that there WERE possibly other reasons besides the photography in this situation, which caused the father to be suspicious.

It still seems extreme to me, but I think they are correct in that we weren't there and we don't know the whole story--what the father actually said, etc. Whether the police should have followed it up, is a judgment call on their part. I hope it was warranted in this case (based on what the father said), and it does concern me at some level. But I think I understand what they are saying??
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 11:56 AM   #283
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That someone taking a picture of a child without permission (as I routinely do) is not a suspicious activity. Suspicious activity is usually pretty obvious, and needs no camera.
Don't you get it? I agree with you on this point.

The mere fact that someone took a picture doesn't all by itself, mean they were acting suspiciously.

But someone may be acting suspiciously, in the view of another, with or without a camera, and that other person is free to report his or her suspicions to the police, and the police are free to proceed as they see fit.

As much as you might not like it, that's all that happened here. That kind of think happens thousands of times a day. Most of the time, it turns out to be nothing. But sometimes crimes are solved. In fact, that's the way most crimes get solved.
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 11:58 AM   #284
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it's not really "screening" but John G has already allowed that they would not respond to a frivolous call. Now, perhaps we are arguing over the definition of "frivolous."
And what if your call falls within the police definition of "frivolous"?
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 12:04 PM   #285
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You want the police to screen their calls?

What if it's your call they choose not to respond to?
You illustrate the danger in adults relating to children.

Middle aged Lady delights in being with children. To some person this is "suspicious behavior." They call the Cops. The police investigate and interview the woman. They are compleletly satisfied that the call is bogus.

Woman never goes near a child again.

On a larger scale, adults in general are now afraid of being with children. Lost kid? Abused kid? "None of my business" says the person who formerly was that childs neighbor.

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One trail runs past Hillside Elementary. When the county offered to spend $365,000 to rehabilitate the system of seven trails, some residents said they thought improving a hiking trail that runs so close to an elementary school would be an invitation to pedophiles.

''We met with violent opposition,'' said Fred H. Hubbard, the village naturalist, who spoke at the county's Feb. 15 meeting. ''We had hoped we would get some input from the residents on how to rehabilitate the system, but we didn't get even that far.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...50C0A9609C8B63
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The bogeyman myth
Simon Castles
July 8, 2007

In seeking to protect our children from pedophiles, we are also, sadly, undermining the healthy bonds between men and children.

AT MY local cafe, which is plain and daggy enough to be family-friendly, children often sidle up to where I'm reading the paper to say hello. They don't actually say hello, of course. They stare at me, seemingly fascinated, or say something random like, "I've got white shoes on", or they show me something they're holding in their sticky little hands.

Occasionally, if I'm on one of the couches, they'll climb on up, placing a steadying hand on my thigh as their feet sink into the cushions.

When I'm with my girlfriend, these moments are amiable and warm. The child's parents are at ease (as much as parents can be). When I'm on my own, though, it's different. Something darker enters the picture when it's just me, a man in his mid-30s alone, and there's a child who has wandered away from his or her parents in search of distraction. I sense the parents' apprehension, even as they try to fight it. Discomfort acts like a contagion: they feel it, I feel it, the child feels it. It's as if the moment can't quite bear the weight of all the things thought and not said.

I suspect most men know this dispiriting feeling. In an age haunted by the spectre of pedophilia, average men do pay a price for the sins of a few. It's in the wariness and suspicion that now attends their interactions with children. A clearly positive imperative to protect children from a most repugnant crime has a downside, in the way it has corrupted the informal, healthy bonds between men and children.

Many men today worry (and if you don't believe me, ask a few) about appearing to enjoy children too much, about innocently touching children, about picking children up from school, about photographing children. The natural has come to feel aberrant.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinio...351515157.html
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 12:14 PM   #286
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Why do you think 911 Call Centers record everything? Do you think that they use the recordings to justify, after the fact, their decision not to investigate a call? Do you think they have a database of phone numbers from which they've received a lot of calls that turned out to be nothing?

My community has Neighborhood Watch block captains. These people are more likely to call 911 than other people. The 911 Call Center doesn't know that these people are associated with our neighborhood watch. If the 911 Call Center determines that these people call too often, are they going to put my community's Neighborhood Watch block captians on a "Frivolous Caller" list?

How stupid would that be?

The police investigate every single call. They don't know which calls are about actual crimes, and which aren't. That's why they investigate.
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 12:24 PM   #287
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I get what you are saying, Dave, but I think what the others are saying (it's finally sinking in LOL), is that there WERE possibly other reasons besides the photography in this situation, which caused the father to be suspicious.

It still seems extreme to me, but I think they are correct in that we weren't there and we don't know the whole story--what the father actually said, etc. Whether the police should have followed it up, is a judgment call on their part. I hope it was warranted in this case (based on what the father said), and it does concern me at some level. But I think I understand what they are saying??
After this thread began, I tried to photograph people from my car to theirs. Unless the person has their face right up against a window, it's simply impossible to do so, without sticking your body out of your window, and thrusting the camera almost into the car itself.

So we have the evidence of the picture itself. The OP simply turned his camera and took the shot.

If he HAD twisted his body and leaned out of his car, almost into theirs, the activity would still be legal, but certainly "suspicious."

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Old Oct 22, 2009, 12:30 PM   #288
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Why do you think 911 Call Centers record everything? Do you think that they use the recordings to justify, after the fact, their decision not to investigate a call? Do you think they have a database of phone numbers from which they've received a lot of calls that turned out to be nothing?

My community has Neighborhood Watch block captains. These people are more likely to call 911 than other people. The 911 Call Center doesn't know that these people are associated with our neighborhood watch. If the 911 Call Center determines that these people call too often, are they going to put my community's Neighborhood Watch block captians on a "Frivolous Caller" list?

How stupid would that be?

I never said ANYTHING about a "frivolous caller" list. It makes it very difficult to discuss something if you are going to put words in my mouth. I suggested that a CALL might be frivolous, if someone is complaining but a LAW IS NOT BEING BROKEN.

ETA: Take the dandelion issue raised earlier: suppose someone's lawn is full of dandelions, because they are too busy making drugs inside to take care of it, or that they don't really live there and are just using the house as a cover or a brothel...in this case, the overgrown lawn COULD be an indication that a crime is being committed, but it's so remote that it's not worth the time to investigate every overgrown lawn. Ditto for a photograph being taken, in my book. I think Chato's point about the fears affecting everyone's behavior is a good one. Like I said before, pedophilia is pretty rare, so the fears are indeed not commensurate to the risk.

On the other hand, I happen to know that a paranoid schizophrenic lived on the street behind me, and called the police quite often that there were people outside his house coming to get him. Do you think the police rushed over there every time????

Last edited by javacleve; Oct 22, 2009 at 12:36 PM.
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 12:32 PM   #289
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Quote:
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You want the police to screen their calls?

What if it's your call they choose not to respond to?
You illustrate the danger in adults relating to children.
Do I?

I'm talking about the possibility of the police screening calls. I didn't even mention children or adults. Perhaps you could make the connection clearer.

Obfuscate away.
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Old Oct 22, 2009, 12:34 PM   #290
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I never said ANYTHING about a "frivolous caller" list. It makes it very difficult to discuss something if you are going to put words in my mouth. I suggested that a CALL might be frivolous, if someone is complaining but a LAW IS NOT BEING BROKEN.
And how do you suppose the 911 Call Center might determine that a call is frivolous without the police investigating?
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