Thursday, February 11, 2010
NYPD stupidity cost us $30,000
From Fox 5:
"I was just about to make a motion to get on the train and the cop said, 'Come here.' I was already on the train, he said get off the train," Robert says. "I came off the train and he said I'm not supposed be taking pictures."
But you are allowed to take pictures in the transit system.
After September 11, 2001, there was some talk about restricting the public's right to take pictures in public places, but that was so controversial it was dropped.
In fact, the MTA rules are very clear: "Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted ..."
And that's exactly what Robert says he told the cops. He says he even pulled the rules up on his cell phone to show the cop. But Robert says the cop insisted there was a problem, and told him: "You have to delete them."
When Robert refused, things went from bad to worse. He says an NYPD sergeant showed up and ended up telling the cops to handcuff him and take him into custody.
The cops whacked Robert with not one, but three summonses: One for "taking photos" even though photography is actually allowed. The second for "disobeying lawful order/impeding traffic." And a third for "unreasonable noise."
Eventually, all three summonses were dismissed, and the NYPD admitted that the summons for taking pictures was issued in error.
But Robert didn't drop it there, he hired lawyer Gerald Cohen and he sued the city. In the end, the city settled and the boneheaded move by the "picture police" cost taxpayers $30,000.