A photographer who was taking pictures inside the Los Angeles subway system was detained for 25 minutes where he was accused of working for Al-Qaeda and threatened with having his name placed on a terrorist watch list.

It was all caught on video.

Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy Richard Gylfie proved to a be an arrogant, bullying moron who deserves to be fired. The cop who continually touted that he was watching out for the public’s safety proved to be a threat to public safety.

While Gylfie was obsessing about Shawn Nee’s still camera – thinking it was going to lead to the explosion of the subway station – he was being recorded by Nee’s video camera, which was hanging around his neck.

If these are the guys who are protecting us from terrorism, we are doomed as a country.

“I want to know if you are in cahoots with Al-Qaeda to sell these pictures to them for terrorist purposes,” Gylfie said with a straight face.

First Gylfie stated that it was illegal to photograph inside the subway station. Or at least against the rules of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He was wrong.

  • 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

Then he accused Nee of taking photos of the subway turnstiles to sell them to Al Qaeda, as if Al Qaeda was not aware that you could simply Google such images.

Then he stated that terrorists took pictures inside the London subway system before they planted bombs during the 2005 attacks. He was wrong on that count as well. Those terrorists were suicide bombers.

Then he threatened to turn Nee’s name over to the Terrorist Liaison Officer, who would then place his name on a watch list.

Every time you take a plane, any time you go on any type of ah … public transit system where they look at your identification, you’re gonna be stopped.

You will be detained. You will be searched. You’ll be on the FBI’s hit list.

Is that what you want? That’s the direction you’re heading.

Every time you move you will be stopped and detained and searched. Delayed.

What are you taking pictures of?

You gonna tell me or no?

Okay, so you’re taking pictures of the infrastructure. Of the subway system.

Possibly to plant a bomb or something.

Then he stated that he had the right to detain Nee under “reasonable suspicion.” But he was wrong here as well because the legal act of taking pictures does not constitute reasonable suspicion.

Reasonable suspicion is evaluated using the “reasonable person” or “reasonable officer” standard, in which said person in the same circumstances could reasonably believe a person has been, is, or is about to be engaged in criminal activity; such suspicion is not a mere hunch

In other words, just because Gylfie is delusional and living in a fantasy world where all photographers are terrorists does not give him a legal right to detain a man for simply taking photos.