That’s right folks.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted to this blog, but tonight’s happening was internet-worthy.
I drove out to the station to sell a guitar on Craigslist. After selling my precious classical, I decided the train station looked pretty awesome in the rain. I whipped out my 5dMkII and walked around for about 10 minutes. I took some cool photos of a crummy shack-like-thing and power tower next to the station, and then some of the fence next to the parking lot. When I was taking a picture of the barbed wire fence, I heard someone shout “TURN AROUND SLOWLY!”
I said “excuse me?” confusedly, and then slowly turned around. To my surprise, two police officers were staring at me. They asked what I was “suspiciously photographing industrial stuff for…”
I replied with something along the lines of “What?” and then they proceeded to collect my IDs and vehicle information (I was parked in another lot entirely). They also asked for my social security number, and took photographs of me, to which I said “is this really necessary??” and was told “absolutely.” They agreed there was nothing illegal about my activity, but said they needed to make a “full report of the incident.”
After about 30 minutes, they realized I wasn’t some sort of strange train terrorist, but were still asking me questions. A third officer and third and fourth squad car then arrived. The fourth went to deal with a robbery that was happening literally a block away; you know, a real crime.
About 30 minutes later, we had all gotten chummy and were talking about stuff like my future career ambitions, why Santa Cruz picked a Banana Slug as their mascot over the Sea Lion, and how one of the officers wanted to buy a nice DSLR for his daughter. The officer that instigated these shenanigans told me he had a nice Nikon D90 that he likes to play with often.
Eventually, they copied the entire contents of my CF card to their police laptop and two flash drives, though the redundancy was due to technical issues (their IT admin disabled their right click feature, making the process difficult on their laptop). I told them they could have a copy of the photos as long as they didn’t sell any of them. They smiled and promised not to.
Aside from this being a terribly obnoxious waste of time, it was an interesting experience, and I’m now very likely on some sort of terrorist watch list for being a suspicious photographer… Yippie.
I guess they were doing their jobs, but I think this was the dumbest waste of my tax money and time I’ve encountered yet. Hopefully nothing even more stupid will come out of this.
Without further adieu, here are a couple of pictures I snapped in the 10 minutes I walked around before being rudely interrupted. They aren’t that great, considering I had just gotten my camera out and was just playing around before framing neat stuff. It was dark when this ordeal was over, so I didn’t snap any more after the waste of time.
Thanks for reading. As always, prints of all photos on this blog can be purchased. Simply send me an email for a quote.
I’m only a click away: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: 5dmkii, Police