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Amtrak Police Confronts Reporter for filming TSA at Chicago’s Union Station

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July 27, 2012 in U.S. News

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Following my video back on July 5th “TSA Invades Chicago’s Union Station”

I went back to Chicago’s Union Station on July 18th to meet with the Director of “Why in The World are they are Spraying” Mike Murphy. Before I met with Mike; I walked around Union Station to see if TSA was still lurking around the Union Station Grounds. As I approached Metro’s Union Station Restaurant I spotted a group of TSA agents about to eat lunch, so I decided to document them again at Chicago’s Union Station.

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=b58c13432b&view=att&th=138c95361016ea83&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P_z0jdMZTlS5mEAFJcVIEu7&sadet=1343407520805&sads=QXHhl0hTCe3uj9me80PpbtFrGs4&sadssc=1Restaurant Where I spotted TSA agents, and approached by Amtrak Police.

As I began filming I was approached by a member of Amtrak Police who noticed me from my prior TSA video. The Amtrak Police officer admitted to me that the government has seen and sent my TSA video over to them for reviewing. I was also told not to film TSA inside the Amtrak Passenger area, and if I did, I would be arrested for trespassing.
The bigger question is- should the American public have a right to film TSA agents? Or should we trust them with securing our airlines, railways, and buses?

At first I wasn’t going to release the encounter, but following the theater shooting in Aurora Colorado and the documents I’ve been able to uncover from the Department of Homeland Security, I felt that it was important to release the footage and highlight how DHS is planning on keeping us safe.

Within the first 12 hours of the shooting DHS and Fusion Centers throughout the Country began releasing Memo’s on the Colorado theater shooting. In its “PERFORMANCE VENUES – INDICATORS OF VIOLENCE & PROTECTIVE MEASURES,” DHS warns;

  • Persons using or carrying video/camera/observation equipment in or near the facility over an extended period
  • Persons discovered with facility maps, photos, or diagrams with critical assets highlighted or notes regarding infrastructure or listing of personnel
  • Persons parking, standing, or loitering in the same area over a multiple-day period with no reasonable explanation

In New Jersey, a leaked copy of the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center Incident Assessment titled “Mass Shooting at Colorado Movie Theater,” summarized the incident, gives detail on the shooter, and explains the booby-trapped apartment that James Holmes supposedly had. The Fusion Center document is quite similar to DHS warning about filming in a large gathering as shown below.

What I experienced was only days before the shootings in Aurora, but illustrates the hype of fear being indoctrinated into Police officers and Security personal nationwide. It has now come to the point in this Country where filming and taking a picture has turned into suspicious activity, and could lead to some sort of violence. The Amtrak Police Officer seemed quite upset by my July 5th Exposé, and wanted to make a point to me that filming a Security Check Point is a no no. As these two documents illustrate, DHS fears will lead to the limitation of filming and enhanced security in a more public setting.

 


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1 response to Amtrak Police Confronts Reporter for filming TSA at Chicago’s Union Station

  1. Good work, Julio. I’ve been there. I’ve had confrontations with Port Authority police in New York and Wackenhut security in Portland (I get around). Both times, I’ve told them (hollered at them, berated them, actually), “THIS IS THE UNITED STATES. I CAN TAKE PICTURES ANYWHERE I WANT. THE FIRST AMENDMENT SAYS SO!”

    I’m through with Amtrak. No longer will I justify to myself using them just so I can take a cheap vacation.

    I’ve been a customer for over thirty years (since I was 11 years old), but that’s it. No more.

    The one and only COMPETENT President / C.E.O. Amtrak has ever had – David Gunn – used to tell the politicians to get lost and mind their own business. There is no way Gunn would ever have allowed this to happen on Amtrak. Of course, Amtrak fired Gunn nearly a decade ago.

    What’s more amazing is why Amtrak Police Chief John O’Connor is putting up with this. If he ever found out one of his cops was a pedophile, a thief, a gangbanger, a deviant, or similar scum, he would have the cop arrested and fired. Yet, not only are O’Connor’s men working side-by-side with these TSA thugs, they are running interference for them.

    O’Connor is an honorable man and he is obviously being put up to this. He should resign rather than allow this to happen. All this behavior does is encourage people NOT to take Amtrak (in addition to not flying, not taking the bus, soon not driving…). It’s going to result in the bankruptcy of Amtrak. And I’ve got news for O’Connor: that loss of business starts with me and my wife.

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