Disney officials shun videography in wake of monorail accident



Anybody who has been to Disney World knows that it’s one of the most photo-friendly places in the country.

After all, isn’t it supposed to be the most magical place in the world or something?

But that wasn’t the way it was early Sunday in the wake of the monorail crash which killed its driver and left other riders injured.

In fact, while Disney patrons were trying to determine if the driver was alive, Disney employees were telling a videographer, “no cameras.”

No cameras?

I would think you would need all the evidence you can get in the incident that has left many questions unanswered.

And I know what some people are thinking. That you shouldn’t film other people’s tragedies because it shows “disrespect” to the families involved.

Well if that was my family member who had been killed, I would want all the information I can get, including video footage. It’s not about sensitivity. It’s about the truth.

Photography is Not a Crime reader Spokker, who was kind enough to send me this video (which is already making the mainstream media rounds), was having a similar debate on a Disney forum. This is what he said.

Somethings are just wrong and that is one of them.”

I wasn’t talking about seeing the gore. I was talking about observing the aftermath, like the procedures followed and who did what. We would have learned a lot more about the Columbia accident (another fatal Disney accident) if someone had been able to get footage of the aftermath. We’d know if Disney really rushed in and cleaned the accident site to cover things up.

While the situation is not exactly the same, I can think of some incidents where footage has helped make clearer an otherwise grisly scene.

A few months ago an unarmed man was shot in the back at a BART station in the East Bay Area. Luckily for the family of the victim multiple passengers were filming with their cell phone cameras. While police confiscated some cameras (they shouldn’t have been allowed to do that), footage from multiple angles reached YouTube and showed the officer murdering the man in cold blood. Without a tape, would the public outcry be as great?

My point is that the camera catches impropriety on the part of officials, be them private or public, whom we trust to do the right thing. The camera is a powerful tool just for that purpose.



Anybody who has been to Disney World knows that it’s one of the most photo-friendly places in the country.

After all, isn’t it supposed to be the most magical place in the world or something?

But that wasn’t the way it was early Sunday in the wake of the monorail crash which killed its driver and left other riders injured.

In fact, while Disney patrons were trying to determine if the driver was alive, Disney employees were telling a videographer, “no cameras.”

No cameras?

I would think you would need all the evidence you can get in the incident that has left many questions unanswered.

And I know what some people are thinking. That you shouldn’t film other people’s tragedies because it shows “disrespect” to the families involved.

Well if that was my family member who had been killed, I would want all the information I can get, including video footage. It’s not about sensitivity. It’s about the truth.

Photography is Not a Crime reader Spokker, who was kind enough to send me this video (which is already making the mainstream media rounds), was having a similar debate on a Disney forum. This is what he said.

Somethings are just wrong and that is one of them.”

I wasn’t talking about seeing the gore. I was talking about observing the aftermath, like the procedures followed and who did what. We would have learned a lot more about the Columbia accident (another fatal Disney accident) if someone had been able to get footage of the aftermath. We’d know if Disney really rushed in and cleaned the accident site to cover things up.

While the situation is not exactly the same, I can think of some incidents where footage has helped make clearer an otherwise grisly scene.

A few months ago an unarmed man was shot in the back at a BART station in the East Bay Area. Luckily for the family of the victim multiple passengers were filming with their cell phone cameras. While police confiscated some cameras (they shouldn’t have been allowed to do that), footage from multiple angles reached YouTube and showed the officer murdering the man in cold blood. Without a tape, would the public outcry be as great?

My point is that the camera catches impropriety on the part of officials, be them private or public, whom we trust to do the right thing. The camera is a powerful tool just for that purpose.

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Carlos Millerhttps://pinacnews.com
Editor-in-Chief Carlos Miller spent a decade covering the cop beat for various newspapers in the Southwest before returning to his hometown Miami and launching Photography is Not a Crime aka PINAC News in 2007. He also published a book, The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which is available on Amazon.

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