Thursday, July 17, 2014

Anti-police harassment case in court

From WPIX:

Debra says things went south in a hurry on September 25th, when she began recording EMTS and two police officers attending to a disabled woman at the corner of Broadway and West 73rd street.

Debra is the plaintiff representing other police video documenters, in a federal lawsuit that seeks to give people the right – under the First Amendment – to record police officers working in public places.

That right already exists in several other cities, but there is no specific law on the books in New York.

While they haven’t seen the case, a spokesperson from the NYC Law Department issued a statement regarding the NYPD’s policy in bystanders filming police.

“Bystanders are allowed to film police officers as long they’re not interfering with the officers’ duties and/or police operations,” she said. “People are also allowed to film public officials with the same principles in mind.”

However, the Justice Department recognizes a citizen’s right to roll on the cops, writing in a 2012 memorandum,

“Officers should be advised not to threaten, intimidate, or otherwise discourage an individual from recording police officer enforcement activities or intentionally block or obstruct cameras or recording devices.”

“We’re pretty confident legally, especially with the precedent from the first, the seventy, the ninth, and eleventh court of appeals. Our sense is, this makes absolute sense. That as long as you’re not interfering with the police doing their job, why can’t you record it?” said Siegel.

Debra Goodman says her desire to turn ordinary walks into an exercise in law enforcement accountability, shouldn’t come with the gift of twenty five hours in custody…which is what she says happened following her own arrest.


Anonymous said...

The tattoo really bothers me. Can't we have normal, sane people leading these efforts so that it doesn't always look like a bunch of has-been cop-hating radicals are behind the right to good government?

Anonymous said...

This is the PROTOTYPICAL reaction of the NYPD when you film them from a perfectly safeand legal distance.

Anonymous said...

What dose the tattoo have to do with being normal ?
What about citizens and their rights being abused ?

Anonymous said...

Anon # 2 good example !

Anonymous said...

The cops know that nothing good for them can come from being recorded. When they are on the scene, they basically want to be in charge, uninhibited, and accountable to no one - as it was in the old days.

I think its insurance for everyone that the police operate legally and professionally if they are recorded and know they are being recorded.

Anonymous said...

We dont need a new law to "give the right" since it ALREADY EXISTS!

It is completely legal to film a cop in public. He's a public servant in a public area, with zero expectation of privacy.

the ACLU has won a lot of people a lot of money over the years in every state in the union.

Anonymous said...

“Bystanders are allowed to film police officers as long they’re not interfering with the officers’

Bullsh*t the cops seem do do what ever they and and say YOU ARE INTERERING. They push you around "get you to flinch" then arrest you. You then have to go a circus to get it dismissed.

Anonymous said...

Its one thing to tape the police from a distance but a lot if these people who tape, like this woman suing will go right up into the scene, and the cops personal space and provoke them into a confrontation. When an officer is making an arrest there should be no reason someone is standing 3 feet away with a camera. The officer has enough to worry about maintaining everyone's safety while making an arrest or taking action and making sure no one tries to take his or her gun. Film from a safe distance across the street. The zoom on cameras now a days is great and you can still get the whole interaction without interfering.

Joe said...

Its seems the cops can make up bullshit can use the "interfering" with anything they want.
About 2 years ago I was taking photos in Flushing meadow park and observed heavy equipment (US Open sponsors setting up display cars on platforms) being driven over the mosaics.
You could hear cracking and a soon as I started taking photos the cops were all over me threatening to use stun guns when as rolled the view switch and hit some buttons.
Made me sit on the ground till backup came. They took me to the police trailer ran my ID, and were going to confiscate my digital SLR for "professional photography without a permit" and hand over my media card. They then called me a wise-ass trying to say I destroyed evidence because nothing was on the card.

It was pure harassment, it seems they can do whatever they want, make up excuses in the name "security & safety" then let a judge decide.
It appears the USTA, it's sponsors, photographers and assorted "special friends" think they own the whole dam park for there own commercial use and profit !

JQ said...

with all the nypd cameras,and there are thousands,and with all the camera equipped "smart" phones,and there are millions,the cops aggression towards citizens is unwarranted and unjustified,and their reactions are ludicrous,considering there are thousand of videos on youtube like this.The behavior exhibited in this video and many others shows that the cops are practicing a mild form of oppression that would be standard procedure by the authorities in Egypt,Bahrain,Israel,and the UAE and certain african nations.

What's fucked up is that this is still in going on under our alleged liberal mayor and enlightened police commissioner.The cops don't seem to give a shit at the cost of all this financially and the erosion of our civil liberties,even to themselves.And they seem to be gleeful in using intimidation tactics,and physically harming people.Its no different than what the mob or gangs do.

its like they want to scare people from protesting or even report things.the risk of lawsuits or the distrust of citizens doesn't deter them the least.what's the point of seeing something and saying something?

all they want to do is erect bigger blue walls,everywhere.

especially to shield film shoots,sporting events,and outdoor concerts and construction sites(e.g. rockaway pipeline,freedom tower and other giant building developments)

Anonymous said...

Good thing this guy was filming: Death of Eric Garner

Arrest a guy for breaking up a fight and then kill him. Great job.