Amtrak Photo Contestant Arrested by Amtrak Police in NYC’s Penn Station

Amtrak photo contestant arrested by Amtrak police in NYC’s Penn Station

More absurdity from the anti-photography brigade via Carlos Miller. This time reportedly photographer Duane Kerzic was shooting in Penn Station and ended up getting arrested by Amtrak Police, handcuffed in a holding cell and accused of criminal trespassing… in a public train station?

Apparently Kerzic was trying to take photos specifically to win Amtrak’s annual photo contest this week:

““The only reason they arrested me was because I refused to delete my images,” Kerzic said in a phone interview with Photography is Not a Crime on Friday.

“They never asked me to leave, they never mentioned anything about trespassing until after I was handcuffed in the holding cell.”

In fact, he said, the only thing they told him before handcuffing him was that “it was illegal to take photos of the trains.””

Another example of more rogue cops who think that photography is some sort of crime.

Kerzic has photographs he took of his wrists after being handcuffed here. Personally I’m not sure why cops should be allowed to handcuff photographers or any other law abiding citizen at all.

Thanks, Brad!

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8 Comments

  1. Aaron Brown says:

    I don’t understand what goes through a cop’s mind when they are arresting someone. What is the threat that they perceive they are preventing? It’s totally illogical. Thanks for bringing this out in the light.

  2. I think some police and security people feel like mini-gods and get away with a lot.

    I was in a Carrefour (a large Wal-Mart type store/chain in France) in Lyon on New Years Eve. We went in to grab some Champagne before going back to the hotel. It was chaos beyond anything I’d seen, even in San Francisco, which is home. I shot a little movie with my Leica D-Lux 3. As soon as we were leaving, two security guards approached me. I said I was just shooting vacation photos, but it didn’t work. One of them grabbed my camera and was attempting to delete photos. I was panicking … the big goof may have deleted a 4GB card of the days still photos!!!! I objected over and over and, luckily he got called away and the other one just asked ME to delete the one I took. Whew! I was so relieved. I had plans to put it with others I have on YouTube. It wouldn’t have made them look bad. It was all in the spirit of New Years Eve. Beware of the power hungry ones out there.

  3. NAPP_News says:

    Sadly, in today’s world, photographers need to be more careful in situations like this.

    However, I feel that the fault lies with Amtrak on this one. I bet they never took into consideration that most train station security enforcers would become suspect of a person intently photographing a train in a station… yet another bit of innocence lost since 9/11.

    Even if they (Amtrak) sent an alert to all personnel to raise awareness of their contest. An incident like this was bound to happen.

  4. Ran Barton says:

    The photographer at issue was on the platform level. While platforms are publicly accessible in many stations, in NY Penn they are not, unless you are boarding or detraining, which this man was not, hence the gray area and the reason for the arrest.

  5. Spokker says:

    “The photographer at issue was on the platform level. While platforms are publicly accessible in many stations, in NY Penn they are not, unless you are boarding or detraining, which this man was not, hence the gray area and the reason for the arrest.”

    The police were focused on photography, not the fact that he was lingering on the platform.

  6. Ran Barton says:

    Yes, the photography was the issue, and the aggravating factor, as I understand it, was where he had chosen to take his pictures.

  7. Dee says:

    Amtrak has a contest asking people to photograph their trains and then arrests a man for photographing their trains!!!! OUTRAGEOUS! If they did that to me, I’d so sue their butts!

  8. […] 6 months later, Penn Station Amtrak security in New York was yet to be informed that photography was allowed when […]