A man who was taking pictures near a train track in Illinois was confronted by a sheriff’s deputy who informed him that he was breaking the law, so therefore he had no choice but to report the photographer to Homeland Security.

The photographer, who describes himself as a disabled war veteran and former state worker, was left wondering if the deputy had any legal basis for adding him to a terrorist watch list.

The photographer, who goes by RustyBug, posted his story on Fred Miranda’s site last week where it has generated considerable discussion.

RustyBug, who never states which sheriff’s department harassed him, said the deputy told him it was against the law to shoot within 550 feet from train tracks, which is complete hogwash.

RustyBug said he really wasn’t buying it, but he wasn’t sure either, which shows us the importance of knowing the law when it comes to photography because too many cops don’t know the law.

Perhaps this is a good time to remind readers of the photographer rights lens cloths/neck badge combos they can purchase to contribute to my legal defense fund.

RustyBug called the sheriff’s department as well as other federal agencies and discovered the deputy was lying.

However, he also discovered there is an Illinois terrorism database where cops can place you if you piss them off.

The State of Illinois has its own database specifically for law enforement officials to report AT THEIR OWN DISCRETION anyone they feel has been doing something that they felt was suspicious or unwarranted EVEN IF IT IS NOT A REPORTABLE OFFENSE.

The acronym for the database is STIC (I think I got that right). and apparently is not widely known about (DSP) yet … but this particular officer who is a member of the larger tactical force has already been made aware of its development.

The Captain informed me that I was NOT put on the list and that the officer mis-spoke @ the REQUIREMENT to do so vs. the ABILITY to do so. The Captain and I spoke regarding some strategies at how I might continue to shoot and help alleviate concerns @ LEO.

Meanwhile, a reader posted the New Jersey Homeland Security Terrorism Awareness and Prevention guide, which advises readers to be on the lookout for people “taking pictures in areas not normally of interest.”

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I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.

My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.

So if you would like to contribute, please click on the “donate” button below and contribute whatever you can afford.

You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer rights lens cloth and/or laminated card to wear around your neck like a press badge through Zap Rag.Please write “carlos3” in the comments section of the Paypal transaction to ensure I receive a portion of the sale.