My turn to be harassed by the SEPTA Transit police. I snapped a photo of an incoming Broad St Subway train at City Hall when I was faced with a person asking me if I was “authorized to take photos”. I say person at this point because while well dressed, he wore no police uniform. I told him photography was allowed in SEPTA. He claimed it was not and claimed he was a police officer. “Let’s see a badge” I sez. We all got on the train where he produced a badge. Ok fine, he’s a cop. And he continues this tirade where I didn’t have authorization to take photos. Jersey Mike heard this and added that that wasn’t true.
I told the officer to call a cop on us if that’s the case. By then we reached Race-Vine station where we were ordered off the train and detained on the platform by the officer, who radio’d for other officers, who showed up, first 2 then 2 more until we had at least 4 and at most 6 cops with us on the platform.
We got frisked for weapons and long story short, I was given a citation for disorderly conduct and was told to sign it. I of course insisted on reading what I was signing and noticed in the narrative that I “had used profanity”. This was false and I called the officer on it and he told me “you don’t tell me what to write” and so I refused to sign it. I’m still issued the citation, have a court date, etc.
He told me “that will teach you how to treat an officer when he questions you”.
I said “no, I wouldn’t do one thing different; you weren’t wearing a uniform and I had to ask you to show ID that you were a cop.” We were free to leave so we did. What a pain in the ass. I didn’t need nor do I need “authorization” to take photos; this guy is just a bully.
Geeze, you’re lucky you weren’t Tazed.