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Posted: 12/16/2005 5:52:06 PM EDT
I hope this guy gets everything the department had.

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Man who shot photos of refinery sues Torrance police
Redondo resident says he was unlawfully detained while he was taking pictures of ExxonMobil.
By Matt Krasnowski
Copley News Service

A Redondo Beach photographer has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Torrance police, contending officers detained and fingerprinted him, took his picture and asked if he was a terrorist after he shot photos of the ExxonMobil refinery.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Jim McKinniss says that at 4:25 a.m. April 17 he was taking photographs from the sidewalk on Prairie Avenue of the refinery's fiery smokestacks as part of an assignment for a course he was taking at Otis College of Art.

The suit states McKinniss saw a security guard from the plant arrive in a vehicle, and seven minutes later two Torrance police cars arrived with their lights flashing. Four officers, not named in the lawsuit, approached him.

He reportedly told officers he was on public property and he did not think it was illegal to take photographs.

"One of the officers asked if McKinniss had heard about September 11th," the lawsuit states. The officer told McKinniss that since the 2001 terrorist attacks, it was illegal to photograph bridges, airports and refineries, although no such law exists.

"One of the officers acknowledged that it was probably permissible to take photographs of a major tourist attraction, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, since so many people did so, but he did not otherwise retract or refine his statement that McKinniss was in violation of the law by photographing the ExxonMobil refinery," the lawsuit states.

Officers then ordered him to stand motionless with his hands clasped behind him. One officer patted him down.

"While she did so, one of the officers asked McKinniss if he was a terrorist. McKinniss replied that he was not," the lawsuit states.

Later, one officer took two or three pictures of him with a digital camera. Another officer took a print of his right thumb without his consent, the lawsuit states.

The suit said the encounter ended without officers telling him that the detention and investigation were over. But when the officers returned to their squad cars, one officer said over the speaker in his car: "Thanks, Jim."

"It's pretty apparent the Torrance Police Department unlawfully detained, searched, fingerprinted and photographed a person who had every right to do what he was doing," McKinniss' lawyer, Robert Myers, said Thursday.

Myers said there have been similar complaints against police made by photographers across the country.

The lawyer said the main reason McKinniss filed the lawsuit is "to prevent this from happening to him again in Torrance. His major objective is not to make money off this lawsuit, but to make sure that he can go about taking photographs without being stopped by the Torrance Police Department."

The lawsuit also asks for punitive damages against the department, an order that the fingerprint and photographs of McKinniss be destroyed and that department officials turn over a list of any law enforcement agencies that received information about his detention.

Lt. Rod Irvine, a spokesman for the Torrance Police Department, said he had not received a copy of the lawsuit, so he could not comment on it.

But he did say that activity in the area near the refinery is "obviously a concern for us."

"It is a volatile location," Irvine added. "I think the federal government identified oil refineries as potential (terrorism) targets. It is one of our focuses of concern."


www.dailybreeze.com/news/articles/2082167.html?showAll=y&c=y

Any comments on this?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:54:01 PM EDT
the PD stepped on their dicks there, time to reap what they sow
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:55:28 PM EDT
People can take photographs while conducting reconaissance and surveillance of a target. You observe a guy taking pictures between 4 and 5 am of a refinery a couple weeks after Al-Q's #2 specifically targets refineries...Maybe/Probably he really is an art student. But the security guy acted correctly in terms of protecting his asset.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:57:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
the PD stepped on their dicks there, time to reap what they sow



Yup. And time for that guy to take up aerial photography...
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:59:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OODA_Loop:
People can take photographs while conducting reconaissance and surveillance of a target. You observe a guy taking pictures between 4 and 5 am of a refinery a couple weeks after Al-Q's #2 specifically targets refineries...Maybe/Probably he really is an art student. But the security guy acted correctly in terms of protecting his asset.



Its one thing to make contact to check him out. What they did crossed a line.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:01:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By OODA_Loop:
People can take photographs while conducting reconaissance and surveillance of a target. You observe a guy taking pictures between 4 and 5 am of a refinery a couple weeks after Al-Q's #2 specifically targets refineries...Maybe/Probably he really is an art student. But the security guy acted correctly in terms of protecting his asset.



Its one thing to make contact to check him out. What they did crossed a line.



+1 to both of you. Prudent to question, foolish to do so in a way that gets your ass and you're department's raked over the coals.

This was not an uncommon story throughout 2002.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:06:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By OODA_Loop:
People can take photographs while conducting reconaissance and surveillance of a target. You observe a guy taking pictures between 4 and 5 am of a refinery a couple weeks after Al-Q's #2 specifically targets refineries...Maybe/Probably he really is an art student. But the security guy acted correctly in terms of protecting his asset.



Its one thing to make contact to check him out. What they did crossed a line.



Where do you think they crossed the line, taking his picture or thumbprint? Just curious.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:06:58 PM EDT
A lot of railfans and model railroaders have been arrested for taking pictures, too.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:13:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LE6920:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By OODA_Loop:
People can take photographs while conducting reconnaissance and surveillance of a target. You observe a guy taking pictures between 4 and 5 am of a refinery a couple weeks after Al-Q's #2 specifically targets refineries...Maybe/Probably he really is an art student. But the security guy acted correctly in terms of protecting his asset.



Its one thing to make contact to check him out. What they did crossed a line.



Where do you think they crossed the line, taking his picture or thumbprint? Just curious.



I think after they came up and saw he wasn't Oshoma and didn't resist any (I am guessing on that) they should of said have a nice day and go to Dunkin-Doughnuts.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:15:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
A lot of railfans and model railroaders have been arrested for taking pictures, too.



True.

Instead of utilizing a valuable resource (railfans know more about some railroads than the people that patrol them) they alienate the entire community. Rather like TSA searching 80 year old women.

Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:15:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Penguin_101:

Originally Posted By LE6920:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By OODA_Loop:
People can take photographs while conducting reconnaissance and surveillance of a target. You observe a guy taking pictures between 4 and 5 am of a refinery a couple weeks after Al-Q's #2 specifically targets refineries...Maybe/Probably he really is an art student. But the security guy acted correctly in terms of protecting his asset.



Its one thing to make contact to check him out. What they did crossed a line.



Where do you think they crossed the line, taking his picture or thumbprint? Just curious.



I think after they came up and saw he wasn't Oshoma and didn't resist any (I am guessing on that) they should of said have a nice day and go to Dunkin-Doughnuts.



So you can tell by looking at him? Is it unreasonable to engage him in conversation, get a feel for his actions and look at and note his ID?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:15:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Penguin_101:

Originally Posted By LE6920:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By OODA_Loop:
People can take photographs while conducting reconnaissance and surveillance of a target. You observe a guy taking pictures between 4 and 5 am of a refinery a couple weeks after Al-Q's #2 specifically targets refineries...Maybe/Probably he really is an art student. But the security guy acted correctly in terms of protecting his asset.



Its one thing to make contact to check him out. What they did crossed a line.



Where do you think they crossed the line, taking his picture or thumbprint? Just curious.



I think after they came up and saw he wasn't Oshoma and didn't resist any (I am guessing on that) they should of said have a nice day and go to Dunkin-Doughnuts.



What does Oshoma look like? Would Oshoma resist being checked out for photographing a potential strategic target?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:11:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LE6920:

Originally Posted By Penguin_101:

Originally Posted By LE6920:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By OODA_Loop:
People can take photographs while conducting reconnaissance and surveillance of a target. You observe a guy taking pictures between 4 and 5 am of a refinery a couple weeks after Al-Q's #2 specifically targets refineries...Maybe/Probably he really is an art student. But the security guy acted correctly in terms of protecting his asset.



Its one thing to make contact to check him out. What they did crossed a line.



Where do you think they crossed the line, taking his picture or thumbprint? Just curious.



I think after they came up and saw he wasn't Oshoma and didn't resist any (I am guessing on that) they should of said have a nice day and go to Dunkin-Doughnuts.



So you can tell by looking at him? Is it unreasonable to engage him in conversation, get a feel for his actions and look at and note his ID?



Looking at his ID and making a note of it is OK. A picture would be OK, since people are allowed to take pictures of others in public. Taking his thumb print was over the line. Also, I would be MAJORLY pissed if some cops lied to me.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:15:17 PM EDT
What happens if you were to actually have a blueprint of a refinery?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:06:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
the PD stepped on their dicks there, time to reap what they sow



At 4:25 in the morning?

Are you kidding?

He should be thankful they didn't ventilate him, right on the spot.

Meanwhile, at another refinary just around the block, Dateline NBC is busy filming a segment on how easy it is to sneak into a "high-value terrorism target" without being questioned.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:21:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Skibane:

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
the PD stepped on their dicks there, time to reap what they sow



At 4:25 in the morning?

Are you kidding?

He should be thankful they didn't ventilate him, right on the spot.

Meanwhile, at another refinary just around the block, Dateline NBC is busy filming a segment on how easy it is to sneak into a "high-value terrorism target" without being questioned.



Oh noes!!!11 A photographer trying to get a picture in twilight, or at sunrise! The horror!
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:27:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Skibane:

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
the PD stepped on their dicks there, time to reap what they sow



At 4:25 in the morning?

Are you kidding?

He should be thankful they didn't ventilate him, right on the spot.

Meanwhile, at another refinary just around the block, Dateline NBC is busy filming a segment on how easy it is to sneak into a "high-value terrorism target" without being questioned.



How's he 'sneaking' in anywhere when he's standing on public property. So nobody can photograph an industrial area in the twilight now because ARFCOM says you don't need to? He was commiting no fucking crime so maybe they could have kept their hands off of him.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:37:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Skibane:

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
the PD stepped on their dicks there, time to reap what they sow



At 4:25 in the morning?



Never heard of "magic hour" huh?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:42:58 PM EDT
I was under the impression that you had to have broken a law before the police could arrest you.

What made the cops think they had the right to search him and fingerprint him?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:51:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
I was under the impression that you had to have broken a law before the police could arrest you.

What made the cops think they had the right to search him and fingerprint him?



They think that by calling it detain it doesn't canote the same as arrest.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 9:08:55 PM EDT
"Am I free to go?"

"Am I under arrest?"

Two very important questions to ask....
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 3:36:56 AM EDT
A detention means that you are free to go. The moment you are not longer free to leave, it becomes an arrest.

But it was 0425 in the freaking morning. Is it close to sunrise even in Florida this time of year? I don't know so I'm asking.

And about not looking like Osama and not resisting. Ok. If it was just a recon, then the person wouldn't resist and give away the target, nad posing as an art student or photographer would be perfect cover. And I assume that since he's white or at least not "Middle Eastern" looking you'd think he was ok oops. Did you know that the vast majority of Iranians are Persian? That means that they are aryan (meaning, get this, WHITE), and that there are aryan tribes in places like Afganistan and around the northern part of the Middle East?

And an 80 year old person is the perfect terrorist. Kidnap her grandchild or maybe even cat and promise to release them if she blows something up. It's not as if she has a lot of time left anyway.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 3:48:27 AM EDT
This just came to me:
Why would terriorists take pictures anyway?

You can get whatever you want online.




Link Posted: 12/17/2005 4:07:06 AM EDT
Stick to racial profiling
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 4:14:48 AM EDT
pure bullshit


Link Posted: 12/17/2005 4:19:22 AM EDT
As posted by MTUsA:



Stick to racial profiling


Probably said in jest, but an important tool nonetheless.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 4:30:04 AM EDT
Cops lie all the time, they were just fishing, Trying to get a reaction. I'm no JBT fan at all, but this isn't that big a deal. This guy was fishing too, fishing for a lawsuit.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 4:40:13 AM EDT

GoogleEarth

Type in "Exxon Mobil" and the Torrence one is even listed.....nice pic

Taffy
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 4:46:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By postpostban:
Cops lie all the time, they were just fishing, Trying to get a reaction. I'm no JBT fan at all, but this isn't that big a deal. This guy was fishing too, fishing for a lawsuit.




Yeah, he couldn't have been fishing for night photos of the refinery.

It's not like photography is a hobby or anything. No. Photography and terrorism go hand in hand.

Hell, we even have a terrorist forum here ... err ... photography forum.

Link Posted: 12/17/2005 4:57:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2005 4:57:54 AM EDT by Triumph955i]
DON'T QUESTION AUTHORITY!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 5:16:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:

Originally Posted By postpostban:
Cops lie all the time, they were just fishing, Trying to get a reaction. I'm no JBT fan at all, but this isn't that big a deal. This guy was fishing too, fishing for a lawsuit.




Yeah, he couldn't have been fishing for night photos of the refinery. www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/sources/non-renewable/images/pascagoula.jpg

It's not like photography is a hobby or anything. No. Photography and terrorism go hand in hand.

Hell, we even have a terrorist forum here ... err ... photography forum.




Well....



Link Posted: 12/17/2005 5:42:26 AM EDT
The police should of taken him in and questioned him fully. In today's world we need to be vigilant for terrorism.

Link Posted: 12/17/2005 5:45:50 AM EDT
So does this mean I'm a SEAL terrorist and the guys that guard them are SEAL ninjas



Holly Beach in Cameron, Louisiana in November last year.
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