What is it with the N.Y.P.D. and its' members so eagerness to violate the free speech/press rights of the good people for that city? On Sept. 25, 2013, a Debra Goodman attempted to record police interaction with someone on the street.
A cop came up to her, started recording her (legal) and after asking for her I.D. (with no reasonable suspicion whatsoever) and then arrested her when she refused to identify herself. She had no legal obligation to identify herself by the way.
Ms. Goodman was arrested by Officer Steven Rodriguez, badge number #28141. She later had to go to the hospital, for pre-existing medical reasons. She was shackled, including around her ankles, obviously because she was such a dangerous criminal, with her recording in public and such. She had to appear before a court hearing 5 times before charges were dismissed.
Goodman is not the only or last person who has or will be harassed or arrested by police for recording Other persons include:
Randall Thomas, Hadiyah Charles, Yosef Hershkop, Charles Gonzalez, Matthew Swayne, Ed Garcia Conde, Diego Ibanez, plus others who were too intimidated to come forward. Some have had their videos erased. Every one of those people I could have written about specifically, for more info on their cases, click here.
Now, of course, throughout the U.S. as a whole, this is still a fraction of those who have been arrested for filming police. Photography is Not a Crime documents almost every day in America, police violations of our right to record and film these public servants.
While things like this might seem frustrating, there are things you can do. Contact Mayor de Blasio. Call the NYPD switchboard at 718-250-2000.
Join the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the New York City Liberties Union. Write letters to the editor (even local to only your borough), call in to talk shows. Anything is better than allowing these abuses to continue. After all, we aren't China, let alone North Korea, and these abuses must end.