Feb 04 2009

Amtrak police arrest participant in Amtrak photo contest

On December 21, 2008, Amtrak police arrested a photographer taking pictures on a public platform at Penn Station in New York … in response to an Amtrak photo contest calling for the public to submit photos of Amtrak trains.

We had heard about this story before, but now the Colbert Report has the story including an interview with the photographer, Duane Kerzic, and a reenactment of the incident, in the form of a great parody of the new Homeland Security USA “reality” show.   Kerzic’s own Web site includes his own description of what happened and actual photos before and after his arrest (including his injuries from the police).

Full episodes of the “real” Homeland Security USA are available in a peculiar streaming video format on the ABC television Web site.  (The player will only work if it thinks you are running Windows XP or Vista, but you can get it to work in Linux by using Firefox for Windows in the Wine environment.)

Episodes of the show broadcast to date, and available online, include such incidents as the warrantlesss “dump” of the data in a cell phone carried by a person trying to enter the U.S. from Canada, and their (and their companions’) being refused entry to the US based on a phone number in the cell phone believed to match a number associated with an entry for a different person on the no-fly list.  All without any hearing or involvement by a judge, of course, and without their being told anything about the data in the no-fly list entry used as the basis for refusing to allow them into the U.S.