On Thursday, April 21st 2011 I have witnessed that the NYPD officer Zee Munawar has illegally stopped a subway rider who was taking photos with an SLR camera thru the subway car's window. NYPD officer Munawar and his partner have entered into the subway car #6141 of the MTA A-train on the Broadway Junction station. Shortly after the A-train departed, the C-train followed it on the parallel line and the subway rider took out his SLR camera and started to take photos of the gaining C-train thru the window. At this time NYPD officer Munawar broke-off the conversation with his NYPD partner and approached the subway rider. He then began to question the subway rider for the next 5 or some minutes. I was not able not hear the whole conversation from my seat but I heard the NYPD officer Munawar ask the rider for identification and I also heard the officer telling the subway rider that it is illegal to take photos in the subway. [continued below]....
..... During the conversation with the subway rider, NYPD officer Munawar was taking notes of some kind that I was not able to see from my seat. NYPD officer Munawar then left the scared subway rider alone and went back to chat to his NYPD partner. Couple of minutes later they exited the subway car #6141 on the HoytSchermerhorn and went up the stairs. The subway rider who seemed very scared and concerned after this incident. When the NYPD office Munawar was done questioning the subway rider, I quickly wrote down his information. Later when I got home, I did an internet researched and it confirmed that NYPD officer Zee Munawar was the same officer who illegally stopped the innocent subway rider.
As a photographer I know that this information is not true and that anyone can take photos in the MTA subway. I checked the MTA rules of conduct and this is what the MTA rules of conduct say:
"Section 1050.9 - Restricted areas and activities.
Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted except that ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods may not be used. Members of the press holding valid identification issued by the New York City Police Department are hereby authorized to use necessary ancillary equipment. All photographic activity must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Part."
Since the subway rider only used his SLR camera and did not use any ancillary equipment, including a built-in pop-up flash, then he should have not been illegally stopped by the NYPD officer. I believe that the NYPD officer Zee Munawar has acted very un-professionally and has intimidated and scared an innocent person.