Clint Milby said he was trying out his new Canon 5D Mark II when he started getting harassed by an angry homeless man on a platform of the Houston Metro Light Rail.
He turned to his right and saw a cop car, so he waved at him in the hopes he would tell the homeless guy to back off.
But the cop was more concerned with Milby’s camera.
“NO VIDEO OF THE TRAIN!” the Metro Transit Authority cop yelled.
Milby later called MTA dispatch inquiring about the law against photography and was informed that photography was prohibited because of terrorism.
“(Terrorists) come over here and take pictures of our trains and water treatment facilities,” the dispatcher told him.
He made more calls to the police department and was continually told that it was illegal to photograph the train. But if he really wanted to do so, he would need to get written permission from the Metro Transit Authority.
When Milby insisted on knowing which statute states that it is illegal to photograph the train, he was transferred to a supervisor who also told that it was illegal to photograph the train.
However, when pressed for the specific statute, the supervisor admitted that there was no specific law against photographing the train.
But the cop assured him that he would get detained anyway and his name would be run through a terrorist database.
The cop told him there had been several terrorist plots prevented in the past by cracking down on photographers. But he was unable to name a specific incident.
Milby has been documenting his experiences on his blog.