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Published on Sep 5, 2011
On September 5, 2011, I was at Chrystie Street recording a short video clip of a Chinatown bus double parked on the street loading up passengers. I was non-obtrusive, and was not impeding the flow of traffic.
While filming, I was approached by agents of the bus company demanding to see my identification, and to view the images, and footage stored in my camera. Because it is within my right not to answer their questions, I walk away. In doing so, the owner of the bus company—and his associates—physically blocked my path down the sidewalk by grabbing my arm, and standing in front of me. They also called the police. I began filming the altercation soon after they grabbed my arm.
While waiting for the police, a photographer and part-time bus ticket seller for the company show up in an attempt to diffuse the situation; he was successful in releasing me, but not explaining to them what they did was illegal. An officer from NYPD 05 Precinct does show up to explain that THEY have "No reason to call the police, and no reason to stop and hold (me)" and "(I) didn't need to give (them) a reason" why I was filming. The bus company owner—still insisting I was the bad guy—was clearly not satisfied with this answer rolling his eyes in disgust as he left.
What really gets to me is one of them claims to be an American, but he's not from any America I know. Also watch the video as the photographer and part-time bus ticket seller berates me as not-a-real-photographer because of my "cheap ass" camera equipment (canon elph).
This leads me to ask..... If people don't know the basics of democracy, and the laws of this land, why would you risk your life riding a bus not knowing if a bus company has followed--or remotely aware of--all rules and regulations governing the operation of a motor vehicle, and the safety of passengers?
Closed Caption added. hassled harassment harass photography is legal video