Newark, DE — A railway enthusiast was prevented from photographing a special train locomotive by Newark police because he declined to provide them with identification. Now, in response to a complaint presented by the ACLU of Delaware on his behalf, the City of Newark has issued a policy directive instructing its police force that taking photographs of trains and railroad equipment is not suspicious activity that entitles the police to demand identification.
Mr. Daniel Dedinas, a railfan whose hobbies include photographing trains, was near the train tracks behind the FedEx store on Newark-Elkton Road, waiting to photograph the unique locomotive as it passed through Newark. He was stopped by two Newark police officers, who acknowledged that they had no probable cause to believe he was committing or about to commit a crime. Mr. Dedinas gave the officers his name and address, but standing on his right of privacy, he refused to give the police his driver's license or other identification. In response, the police told him he could not photograph the train until they confirmed his identity. Before that was accomplished, the locomotive passed by.