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 ~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ...

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wheregreggeats.com

~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Mon, 10/8/12 1:59 PM (permalink)
I'm at the food court in the mall ... I'd just ordered a dish from a place I'd heard was local and very good ... I order, I snap a picture of the sign, as I almost always do (just in case the food was remarkable, I'd have not forgotten to do so).
 
Within seconds I'm surrounded.
 
A 75 y/o security guard with a few teeth and a speech impediment wearing a white shirt and badge ... a lady with a janitors outfit and a mop ... and a very young teenager in the same white shirt and matching badge.
 
The lady guard says "Can I help you?" ... I said "Thanks for the offer, but, no, I'm fine thanks."
 
Apparently what she meant became more clear as she rephrased her question after drawling something into her collar-microphone ... "What are you doing? .... "I'm waiting for the food I just ordered."
 
I could keep going with the painful conversation.
 
But the gist of it is "Since 9/11" ... they have to be careful of people taking pictures of businesses and that she'd have to be confiscating my camera (phone) .... I said no.  ... then there was some discussion about getting the mall manager and detaining me.
 
"You can detain me?"  ... I hear something about homeland security and "until the police get here."
 
I said, fine, I was up for that, if they felt is was the best course of action.  I admitted that I don't know civil rights law that well, and, especially on the chance they were way off the mark legally, I'd be willing to go through the motions ...
 
I told them I'm a food blogger (neither had apparently heard the word 'blog' before) .... I told them I'd be right here, waiting for, then eating my lunch and that they'd have to detain me soon, because after I was done I'd be leaving.  
 
They swarmed back into the manager office.
 
Nothing. 
 
In the end, one followed me and wrote down my license plate I presume.
 
I'll let you know if the Feds come knocking at the door.
 
I wonder if they did have the RIGHT to detain me ... scary thing is in this day and age, maybe yes.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
#1
    Michael Hoffman

    • Total Posts: 17815
    • Joined: 7/1/2000
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Mon, 10/8/12 2:33 PM (permalink)
    Nope. A private security guard who is not a sworn law enforcement officer has no such right. That's an arrest. And such an arrest can be made by a non-sworn citizen only if he or she  witnesses the commission of a felony. The last I heard taking a picture of a menu isn't a felony in any jurisdiction in the United States.
     
    #2
      wheregreggeats.com

      Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Mon, 10/8/12 2:48 PM (permalink)
      It was the sign ... in the setting of the Food Court
       
       
      #3
        ChiTownDiner

        Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Mon, 10/8/12 2:56 PM (permalink)
        While I have had a few proprietors indicate no pictures of their food, menus or restaurants, I've never heard of this type of "post 9/11" thing!  Keep us posted if there is follow-up!
         
        #4
          joerogo

          • Total Posts: 4463
          • Joined: 1/17/2006
          • Location: Pittston, PA
          Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Mon, 10/8/12 3:01 PM (permalink)
          You're a better man than me Gregg.  I probably would have egged them on until it became an international incident
           
          How was the food?
           
          #5
            Davydd

            • Total Posts: 6222
            • Joined: 4/24/2005
            • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
            Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Mon, 10/8/12 7:45 PM (permalink)
            In this day and age of social media of Facebook, Twitter, etc. and just about every restaurant using those social media as promotion tools, taking photos is now part of the culture and norm. I'm surprised someone would act that way.
             
            #6
              ces1948

              • Total Posts: 1499
              • Joined: 8/6/2003
              • Location: Port St Lucie, Fl
              Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Mon, 10/8/12 8:09 PM (permalink)
              I do occasional mystery shops which require me to take pictures of the food court etc. The mystery shops are commissioned by the mall ownership. Taking pictures in a mall should not be a cause for alarm.
               
              #7
                felix4067

                • Total Posts: 3293
                • Joined: 12/13/2003
                • Location: Near Grand Rapids, MI
                Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Mon, 10/8/12 8:31 PM (permalink)
                Sounds to me like someone has an over-inflated idea of their power. It would be different if you were taking pictures inside a bank or something, but the food court? A sign? That's just silly. It has nothing whatsoever to do with national security (9/11 or no) and everything to do with a power trip. The only way a non-police security person can detain you is if they caught you in the commission of an actual crime, and then they can only do it until the real police arrive. Had you *stolen* the sign, they could detain you. Simply taking a picture of a sign in a public place...nope. Unless it was posted that no photography was allowed.
                 
                #8
                  wheregreggeats.com

                  Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Tue, 10/9/12 12:39 PM (permalink)
                   
                  #9
                    Mosca

                    • Total Posts: 2929
                    • Joined: 5/26/2004
                    • Location: Mountain Top, PA
                    Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Tue, 10/9/12 3:42 PM (permalink)
                    Inside a mall they do have the right to request no photographs. (Bullet point #2 in the ACLU link.) They may ask you to leave. However, they DO NOT have the right to confiscate your camera, or your memory card.
                     
                    #10
                      kaszeta

                      Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Tue, 10/9/12 4:03 PM (permalink)
                      If you find yourself in Union Station in DC, this happens all the time.  The guards will back down if you stand firm on your rights, but might make you leave.
                       
                       
                      #11
                        FriedClamFanatic

                        • Total Posts: 1496
                        • Joined: 7/14/2008
                        • Location: west chester, PA
                        Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Tue, 10/9/12 4:53 PM (permalink)
                        OMG...............I think this is the next perfect Roadfood trip!  About 40 of us, snapping and scarfing away!.  I'm a conservative...but that was nuts (salted?)!!!
                         As a piece of private property....they have the right to ask anything.........as to you, as a private citizen, they have NO Rights to your camera or your person.  They can call the cops and can likely "detain you" under a citizen arrest until they arrive....that's about it
                         
                        LOL.hope the food was worth the hassle..that also could be a first..........."Mall food makes history"! .film at 11
                         
                        #12
                          NYPIzzaNut

                          • Total Posts: 3127
                          • Joined: 3/8/2008
                          • Location: Sardinia, OH
                          Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Tue, 10/9/12 5:03 PM (permalink)
                          I have only had one problem snapping  photos of food in malls or restaurants.  In a now defunct buffet joint in Wilmington OH the manager told me he did not want me taking pix of his food buffet as he was concerned his competition might learn what he was offering (he had no competition in the city) LOL
                           
                          #13
                            FriedClamFanatic

                            • Total Posts: 1496
                            • Joined: 7/14/2008
                            • Location: west chester, PA
                            Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Tue, 10/9/12 5:04 PM (permalink)
                            At the risk of setting off a flame war.......Mods..delete if you feel the need to be politically correct:
                             
                            Greg......do you think the fact that you were sitting there buck-A naked with a 3 day growth of beard and a towel wrapped around your head had anything to do with their mis-understanding of what a food-blogger does?
                             
                            #14
                              ann peeples

                              • Total Posts: 8317
                              • Joined: 5/21/2006
                              • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                              Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Tue, 10/9/12 6:39 PM (permalink)
                              Paranoia in this world has gotten out of hand. Pictures of food, really?
                               
                              #15
                                felix4067

                                • Total Posts: 3293
                                • Joined: 12/13/2003
                                • Location: Near Grand Rapids, MI
                                Re:~ Taking a picture ... a report from the field ... Tue, 10/9/12 6:44 PM (permalink)
                                NYPIzzaNut


                                I have only had one problem snapping  photos of food in malls or restaurants.  In a now defunct buffet joint in Wilmington OH the manager told me he did not want me taking pix of his food buffet as he was concerned his competition might learn what he was offering (he had no competition in the city) LOL

                                Did he maybe think his competition was incapable of coming in and taking notes, and the only way they could find out was with a picture? I mean, it's not like a buffet (or any restaurant's offering, really) is hidden from the public. Seems like that would be a most impractical way to get people to choose your restaurant over another, keeping what you serve a secret.
                                 
                                I have never, not even once, run into a restaurant of any kind where I was not allowed to take a picture. Most of them understand that if I want to post pictures of their food, it's free publicity, and if they're nice about it I'm more likely to recommend to others they patronize the place.
                                 
                                #16
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