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Quad Pilot Stands Up To Police

Old 06-26-2014, 02:53 AM
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eddieC
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Default Quad Pilot Stands Up To Police

Courtesy of Aero-News.net:

Quadcopter Flyer Threatened With Confiscation Of His Aircraft

Kensington Metro Park Police In Michigan Try To Thwart Flight

A quadcopter pilot who wanted to take some video of his friend riding a bicycle in Kensington Metropark west of Detroit, MI, found himself face to face with law enforcement officers ... and held his ground.

The quadcopter pilot was Jonathan Hair. He was getting set to fly his model aircraft when he was approached by two officers who told him it was not allowed. The officers said the park would be liable if someone were injured by the aircraft.

The problem (for the officers) was that neither of them or a supervisor who came later could cite any specific regulation or rule that prohibited the activity.

According to the blog*Photography Is Not A Crime, they tried ... telling Hair that his RC aircraft could be confiscated, asking for ID, asking where he had parked his car, they even asked if he had paid to get into the park ... but through the entire encounter, Hair remained calm and polite, and refused to be intimidated.

One officer even told Hair "you can't control that all the time" referring to the aircraft. "You can't tell me that you do."

At one point the supervisor told Hair that the leash laws written for dogs applied to remote-controlled aircraft.

Still, the bottom line was he was not allowed to fly the aircraft in the park. While that was not a clearly-established rule, the supervising officer assured Hair that it would be very soon.

Hair let the video camera run during the entire encounter, and posted it on YouTube. Judge for yourself.

"Drone" VS Metropark Police!: http://youtu.be/S_AWp4tQyNk

Last edited by eddieC; 06-26-2014 at 03:01 AM.
Old 06-26-2014, 03:38 AM
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Nice to see a cordial conversation on both sides, although that first cop was trying to intimidate with asking to see his ID, location of vehicle, etc. Hope they get that sorted out there and elsewhere.
Old 06-26-2014, 04:09 AM
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Why not just pack up and move along? Address the issue with Parks and Rec. and the city counsel. All this does is portray our hobby in a poor light. Confronting the cops never works in any situation. Were the minority here. The only way to make progress here is to win the people over.
Mike

Last edited by rcmiket; 06-26-2014 at 04:19 AM.
Old 06-26-2014, 05:30 AM
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Yes, there is living within your rights and then there is being a good representative of the hobby. I fly my RC planes at a local park too and have never had a problem. But if a cop told me to stop, I would stop. I would also ask what the city ordinance was that made my activity illegal or that made it necessary for him to stop me from doing what I was doing. Cops do have the responsibility to stop activity, even if it's not illegal, that they believe poses a risk to public safety.

Oh, and before refusing to answer a police officer's questions, one might ought to be sure and know the local laws. In Texas, everyone is required by law to carry an ID with them and present to the police if they ask for it. Refusing to show ID is an arrestable offense by itself. They do that because of all the illegal immigration and drug trafficking that happens here, but it's also real handy to catch people who have warrants and such.
Old 06-26-2014, 07:03 AM
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The gent with the camera may be advised to check into the federal wiretapping statutes , with specific regard to recording someone's conversation without their consent .

While ol init4fun is of the belief that a public setting is just that , public , and that anything said or done should be fair game for both audio and video recording , it would appear that the law specifically prohibits the clandestine audio recording of any conversation even in a public setting ! I would have not believed so myself had my research not turned up dozens of cases of folks being prosecuted for specifically this , secretly recording cops behaving badly . In one such case in my home state , not only was the guy doing the recording charged and found guilty of the wiretapping , but the officers he recorded misbehaving were fired also ! It would truly appear that video recording in public IS 100% protected , but not the audio of folk's conversations recorded in public places without their consent .... How messed up is THAT ? ....

Last edited by init4fun; 06-26-2014 at 07:07 AM.
Old 06-26-2014, 10:05 AM
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Why not just pack up and move along?
And let the cops 'make up rules' as they go? The guy was doing nothing wrong, the cops didn't have any right to make him move.

Cops do have the responsibility to stop activity, even if it's not illegal, that they believe poses a risk to public safety.
Says who? They're there to enforce laws and gather evidence for prosecutors. It's a good thing such 'public servants' and that attitude weren't around when the Wright brothers flew.

The gent with the camera may be advised to check into the federal wiretapping statutes , with specific regard to recording someone's conversation without their consent .
In Michigan, it's legal for one party to record a conversation or video without the knowledge of the other. At least for now...,

Sorry, but I'm proud the guy stood up for himself. It took guts and confidence.
Old 06-26-2014, 10:32 AM
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Metropark Rules & Policies:

http://www.metroparks.com/Multimedia...egulations.pdf

Nothing even remotely (pun intended) related to RC of any kind. Now move along, citizen!
Old 06-26-2014, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by eddieC View Post
In Michigan, it's legal for one party to record a conversation or video without the knowledge of the other. At least for now...,
Honestly eddie , I ain't lookin for a fight on this or to be seen as being picky , but I promise you that I'm 100% correct , and that it most certainly does apply to Michigan as well as all the other states of our country , as these are Federal statutes that were used to prosecute these people . To be clear , I too am 100% for being able to record anything in public also , but when they WANT to make an example of someone the laws are already in place for them to do so .
Old 06-26-2014, 10:48 AM
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Honestly eddie , I ain't lookin for a fight on this or to be seen as being picky , but I promise you that I'm 100% correct
Hey no problem. But I'm afraid you're wrong. My cousin is a lawyer at the state capital in Lansing, that's the law here:

http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/michigan-recording-law

Last edited by eddieC; 06-26-2014 at 10:52 AM.
Old 06-26-2014, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by eddieC View Post
And let the cops 'make up rules' as they go? The guy was doing nothing wrong, the cops didn't have any right to make him move.



Says who? They're there to enforce laws and gather evidence for prosecutors. It's a good thing such 'public servants' and that attitude weren't around when the Wright brothers flew.



In Michigan, it's legal for one party to record a conversation or video without the knowledge of the other. At least for now...,

Sorry, but I'm proud the guy stood up for himself. It took guts and confidence.
I couldn't AGREE MORE. Just do what the police say, without question? Is Texas a "police state" . Their mandate is to enforce the laws, not to be Judges, who interpret the laws. This is why you can fight a cops decision in court. The pilot had no obligation to show his ID, or submit to any other test. He represented our hobby perfectly. With the FAA now involving itself in our hobby, this young man demonstrated that he was in fact, more intelligent and better informed than the police. This is not the first time or the last time we're going to see this nonsense. Know the laws of your state and if necessary, teach them to your local police officers.

Last edited by Bolshoi; 06-26-2014 at 10:58 AM.
Old 06-26-2014, 10:58 AM
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Confronting the cops never works in any situation. Were the minority here.
I believe we're the majority here (we outnumber the police).
Old 06-26-2014, 10:59 AM
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jester_s1
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Here's my point with the above comment that cops are responsible to stop dangerous behavior even if it's not illegal. I have a 5 year old that I take to playgrounds frequently. So let's say some teenagers show up with skateboards and are doing stunts on the playground equipment. And lets say, like most cities, that there is no law against that. But if a police officer is present and sees that there are children playing and the skateboarders are close enough to them that a botched stunt could cause a child to be injured, the policeman's duty is to tell the kids to stop. It's nothing against skateboarders or their rights to use public property, rather it's about the safety of everyone involved. If the cop perceived the drone pilot as posing a threat to the safety of others, right or wrong, it's his duty to speak up and stop the unsafe activity.
Old 06-26-2014, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by eddieC View Post
Hey no problem. But I'm afraid you're wrong. My cousin is a lawyer at the state capital in Lansing, that's the law here:

http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/michigan-recording-law

No problem , I figured that would be your response , complete with the nice big block letters , but whatever dude ......

But for anyone truly curious , just do as I did and type "Federal wiretapping statutes" into your search bar and read the first two or three hits , and then just for kicks search "prosecutions under the federal wiretapping statutes" and read a couple of them as well .

And after doing that reading , decide for yourself if you ever want to secretly record someone's conversation , be you in Lansing or anywhere else ....
Old 06-26-2014, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by eddieC View Post
I believe we're the majority here (we outnumber the police).
Your not a majority anywhere. YOU may think you are but trust me your not. What the quad community forgets is they are a VERY small bunch who by the actions of some are being judged by the majority as a problem, True or not those are the cold hard facts. Good luck but your on the losing end on this.

Mike.
Old 06-26-2014, 12:32 PM
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after doing that reading , decide for yourself if you ever want to secretly record someone's conversation , be you in Lansing or anywhere else ....
This wasn't being 'secretly' recorded, dude. And it was in Michigan, where it's been OK to do for years. Eavesdropping & wiretapping are different, neither party's aware.

The cops felt like hassling the guy, and he stood his ground. Good for him!
Old 06-26-2014, 12:43 PM
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If he was on a city, county, or state park/property it is within their legal rights to request anyone to stop doing whatever activity they desire for the safety of the public. And he is fortunate the police and the park employee was to dumb or to nice as to enforce their ability to force him to quit.
Old 06-26-2014, 12:59 PM
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If he was on a city, county, or state park/property it is within their legal rights to request anyone to stop doing whatever activity they desire for the safety of the public. And he is fortunate the police and the park employee was to dumb or to nice as to enforce their ability to force him to quit.
And we wonder why our rights are dwindling beneath our feet...,

He wasn't doing anything to put the 'safety of the public' at risk. The cops overstepped their bounds, and were hard-pressed to come up with reasons he should stop.
Old 06-26-2014, 01:21 PM
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Where you there?

Mike
Old 06-26-2014, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by eddieC View Post
And we wonder why our rights are dwindling beneath our feet...,

He wasn't doing anything to put the 'safety of the public' at risk. The cops overstepped their bounds, and were hard-pressed to come up with reasons he should stop.
Ask your cousin how the Michigan recording law applies when the party specifically does not consent to having their voice recorded and requests the recording be stopped. At 0:36 in the video they asked him to stop recording. I am genuinely curious.

*Continuing to record their voice after this request would be an offence in Australia and most parts of the USA. He could have been arrested for this act alone. As Init said, you can record video, but not voice without consent or a warrant. I don't agree with it, but that is the law.

*EDIT: after more research it seems in the USA you can voice record a police officer without his consent.

Last edited by Rob2160; 06-26-2014 at 04:43 PM.
Old 06-26-2014, 02:04 PM
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We are walking a thin line with the FAA, Homeland Security and other government organizations who don't know what we as a RC hobby do. Actions like this can only hurt our right to fly our RC aircraft at authorized flying sites. Most government agencies don't care about our hobby, they ready to say no to all RC activity. Actions such as this does not help our cause.



Rich
Old 06-26-2014, 02:45 PM
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Ask your cousin how the Michigan recording law applies when the party specifically does not consent to having their voice recorded and requests the recording be stopped. At 0:36 in the video they asked him to stop recording. I am genuinely curious.

Continuing to record their voice after this request would be an offence in Australia and most parts of the USA. He could have been arrested for this act alone. As Init said, you can record video, but not voice without consent or a warrant. I don't agree with it, but that is the law.
I did ask. As long as you're a party to the conversation, you have the right to record it. As far as it being 'the law', it's not so worldwide.

I'm glad I don't live in Australia.
Old 06-26-2014, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
Here's my point with the above comment that cops are responsible to stop dangerous behavior even if it's not illegal. I have a 5 year old that I take to playgrounds frequently. So let's say some teenagers show up with skateboards and are doing stunts on the playground equipment. And lets say, like most cities, that there is no law against that. But if a police officer is present and sees that there are children playing and the skateboarders are close enough to them that a botched stunt could cause a child to be injured, the policeman's duty is to tell the kids to stop. It's nothing against skateboarders or their rights to use public property, rather it's about the safety of everyone involved. If the cop perceived the drone pilot as posing a threat to the safety of others, right or wrong, it's his duty to speak up and stop the unsafe activity.
I completely agree, I have a 5 yr old as well, and I encountered the issue you described but with teenagers riding bikes. Personally I believe that it is primarily my job to protect my kid from dangers on the playground etc. I'm sure you do everything to protect your children as well. The police have a vital role, but perhaps they should be utilized if/ when a real problem occurs.

I was referring specifically to the police in the video claiming that flying the small quad copter is a Public Safety issue. If this is the standard for determining public safety, then playing baseball at a public park could be considered a Public Safety issue . Many, many more people have been injured by baseball strikes to the head than have been injured by an RC heli, plane etc. The police are not preventng these games from being played at parks. The same could said for a number of park activities. In truth, most injuries in this hobby are self inflicted.

Cheers
Old 06-26-2014, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by eddieC View Post
I did ask. As long as you're a party to the conversation, you have the right to record it. As far as it being 'the law', it's not so worldwide.
Fair enough..

Last edited by Rob2160; 06-26-2014 at 04:52 PM.
Old 06-26-2014, 03:11 PM
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Detroit has the one of the highest crime and murder rates in the us. I am glad to see so such law enforcement resources combating the real criminals so it can be a safe place.

Good job Detroit police!
Old 06-26-2014, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jwrich View Post
We are walking a thin line with the FAA, Homeland Security and other government organizations who don't know what we as a RC hobby do. Actions like this can only hurt our right to fly our RC aircraft at authorized flying sites. Most government agencies don't care about our hobby, they ready to say no to all RC activity. Actions such as this does not help our cause.



Rich
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They could care less about hurting the hobby. it's all about them.

Mike

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