Shawn Nee, who has a long history of confrontations with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department over his right to take pictures in public, had another run-in with deputies on the subway.
The incident took place last October but Nee just went public with it on Friday.
Nee and another photographer were waiting for Occupy L.A. activists to arrive at the Wilshire/Normandie Metro station when a deputy approached him, informing them that they did not have the right to take photos inside the station if they did not have a “media pass.”
But it says the complete opposite on the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority website:
- Only permissible in public areas, proof of fare required in marked fare required areas (station platforms of all rail stations and the Metro Orange Line)
- No commercial photography without prior authorization and consent from Metro
- Hand held equipment only, no tripods are permitted
- No photography inside moving trains for privacy and safety reasons
- No flash photography, especially into oncoming transit vehicles (rail or bus)
- Photography must not interfere with passenger safety or movement at any time
While Nee asserted his right to take pictures inside the station, the deputy informed him that his main issue was that he didn’t want to be photographed because it was a “safety issue.”
Unknowing to the deputy, Nee was recording the entire encounter with his Vievu camera attached to his chest, which is a camera marketed towards law enforcement officers.
Nee has been using this camera for years and has managed to record many encounters unknowing to law enforcement officers, even though the camera is not hidden.
Adding to the irony of the encounter is that after the deputy informs Nee how he had no right to photograph them, he pulled out his own camera to record Nee and the other photographer.
Also adding to the irony is the fact that the MTA forbids photography inside moving trains for “privacy and safety reasons” yet they have cameras installed inside the trains recording everything.
Nee is currently a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department over his famous altercation with another deputy who accused him of being in cahoots with Al-Qaeda because he was taking pictures of the subway turnstiles.
That incident prompted Rick Sanchez, who was employed by CNN at the time, to accuse Nee of provoking the deputy “hero.”
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