Posts Tagged 'NYPD'

Cyclist Protests Ticket for Not Riding In Bike Lane

I love this — this guy has a sense of humor about the way that our cities always find a way to punish the most innocent behavior (while the real dirtbags walk free, I might add).

Stern Sidekick Gets Summons For Photos

Howard Stern’s sidekick, Joseph “Joey Boots” Bassolino, was issued a criminal summons for taking photos of National Guardsman in New York’s Penn Station this past week. NYPD charged him with interfering with traffic.

“I was keeping my distance to not interfere,” said Bassolino, who goes around the city photographing and documenting “all the interesting things I see about the city.”

MTA spokesman Salvatore Arena said photography is allowed in the station, “but you are not allowed to pursue your subject in an harassing manner.”

Source: New York Daily News

NYPD Ticket Cyclist, Arrest Bystander for Joking

Breaking: joking around or near the NYPD now illegal.

In this scene, a cyclist gets ticketed for riding his bike on a Brooklyn sidewalk. A few neighbors rib the cyclist, the situation escalates, and one neighbor gets arrested for harassment, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

An officer in the van took issue with this particular bystander, telling him to “mind your own business.” “I wasn’t even talking to you!” the boisterous witness responded. And with that, the officers hopped out of the van and approached, demanding, “give me some I.D.!” “Get your hands out of my face,” the bystander responded. “I’m gonna issue you a summons right now,” the officer continued. “A summons for what?” the bystander demanded to know. A call for backup is made, and the witness recording the scene remarks “the NYPD is crazy.”

What would we do if they didn’t get these criminals off the street?

For the whole ridiculous story, go to NYC The Blog.

Surprisingly, NY Perps Sport Yankees Caps


Source: NYPD

Calling it a “curious phenomenon,” the New York Times is reporting that “dozens of men and women who have robbed, beaten, stabbed and shot at their fellow New Yorkers have done so while wearing Yankees caps or clothing.”

(This is sort of like when the Times tries to make a trend story out of three people they find feeling one way or doing a particular activity — like women who embrace their A-cup status.)

It’s a big joke. What do they expect from people in New York … green Celtics caps? I’m sure they’re wearing Yankees or Mets t-shirts, too, because guess what? People usually wear their hometown sports team gear.

I wonder if the NYPD will start unlawfully harassing Yankees cap wearers just like they do with photographers….

Article from New York Times

NYPD Cop Threatens Camera Guy With Unnatural Acts

This past weekend a camera guy came up against one of the NYPD’s craaaa-ziest cops. Or maybe he’s quite normal as the force goes?

It all happened at a raid at an underground club in Brooklyn where 10 people were arrested. The cop in the above video was none too happy  about being filmed and told Vladimir Teichberg, among other things, that he’d go to jail (“for three days”)  and get abused and raped if he didn’t stop.

For more backstory, see the Gothamist post.

NYPD Rankled Over Javits Center Photos

The New York Times’ Lens blog reports today on photographers’ rights, noting the case of photographer George Hahn, who was recently harassed by an undercover officer while taking a nighttime photo of the Javits Center in New York City. Hahn says that he was on a public sidewalk, but that didn’t stop the officer from barking out a gruff, pointed, “Can I help you?” (No, Officer, I usually prefer to work alone….)

There are terrorists and there are architecture enthusiasts. You’d think the NYPD would be able to distinguish between the two, wouldn’t you?

Article from Lens

Queens Councilman Busts Traffic Cop


Photo: New York Daily News

UPDATE: CBS-TV reports that Officer Chu is a “bona fide legend in certain parts of Queens, and not in a good way” for repeatedly abusing his position. See video of the encounter here.

A Queens Councilman decided to practice a little vigilantism and got a $150 parking ticket for his efforts. As the Daily News reports, Dan Halloran (R-Queens) was alarmed when he saw traffic cop Daniel Chu driving through stop signs — with lights on — while talking on his cell phone. So Halloran followed the car as it ran more stop signs and eventually illegally parked in front of a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Like a good citizen journalist, Halloran snapped photos of the officer’s car, and that’s when Chu returned from DD and was none too happy. Even Halloran identifying himself as a city councilman did nothing to tame Chu’s hubris.

“He said, ‘Oh yeah? You want to take pictures of me? I’m going to give you a ticket,’” Halloran recalled.

Chu then wrote Halloran a $165 ticket for blocking the crosswalk. Halloran is contesting the ticket and asking the NYPD to look into all of Officer Chu’s previously written tickets.

Jimmy Justice would be proud.

Article from New York Daily News (TOTH to Gar Travis)

You Have Rights, Sure – If It’s On Tape


Pogan-Long incident.


Honrohoe-Vazquez incident.

Is the difference between a cop being reprimanded for illegal actions a good-quality YouTube video? Well, yeah.

The New York Times uses the cases of two bicyclists who were knocked to the ground by members of the NYPD to illustrate the point. In one video, from 2008, Officer Patrick Pogan was just convicted after video emerged of him deliberately putting his shoulder into the path of cyclist Christopher Long, sending him flying. In the other video, from 2007, the actions of Officer Timothy Horohoe aren’t seen but for a split-second before cyclist Richard Vazquez crashes to the ground. Vazquez sued the NYPD and settled for $98,000 and Horohoe did not face any serious charges.

“Pogan, it’s 15 seconds,” [Vazquez's lawyer Wylie] Stecklow said. “You see that boom; it’s not hard for anybody to look at that for 15 seconds and think they understand what happened. That’s why I think that took off and became viral. The Horohoe case, there’s a lot of nuance you have to understand.”

So, the takeaway lesson we learn from this is that your rights aren’t really ensured unless you or someone else is able to capture it on tape. And capture it well. It pays to travel with a cinematographer.

Article from New York Times (via Gawker)

Talking to…Photographer Clayton Patterson


Photo by Elsaa Rensaa (via Gerry Visco)

For 30 years, Clayton Patterson has doggedly documented the streets and culture of the Lower East Side, compiling a massive archive of the neighborhood and its denizens, from punks to pushers to police. And he’s had had a big impact too: His footage of the 1988 Tompkins Square Park protests and subsequent riot lead to major reforms in the NYPD.

We posted on Patterson’s most recent brush with the law at a crime scene last month and thought it would be interesting to talk to this photographer/artist/activist about his experiences with the police and being arrested a whopping 14 times. We were right.

Being arrested 14 times is outrageous! Do you attribute those largely to having a camera, or were there other circumstances involved?
Both. The camera intimidates many cops; firemen tend not to care. It is odd because the world we live in is documented from so many different directions, however most of the cameras are corporate or government.

What is your frame of mind when photographing crime scenes and/or police? Do you have to go in preparing yourself for a confrontation?
One never wishes for a confrontation. The goal is to avoid the conflict. You are there to document the scene, not create one. However, you must never let your rights be violated. You must protect your civil rights. That is a social obligation that all of us are responsible for protecting.

Do you feel like it’s not worth photographing the cops anymore because there will likely be a confrontation and you’ll be arrested for the 15th time?
I have been threatened with arrest 15, 16 times – yes, I am tired of it. I would like an easier path, however nobody else documents my area like I do. It is a forgotten piece of Manhattan real estate, so if not me, then who? There has to be a record and a moderator of the local events.

Why don’t you carry something like a wearable recording device (like a Vievu) to document your encounters?
I have no idea what a Vievu is. My best defense was my backup, Elsa Rensaa, the woman I have lived with since 1972. But there is only so much you can do. It is not always the arrests that are the worst. It can be the charges and the beatings. I have been knocked unconscious, had teeth knocked out, and so on. And I have continuously been in court since 1988 with one case or another. I have one remaining case, a federal case. We are talking many years in court, and it is just another day for the cops and the court, meanwhile for me it is a serious undertaking, which also has many potential dangers connected to it, as well as the expense and the time. Remember, the moment of glory is short. All the noise and glamour is gone in an instant. The court cases go on and on.  Alone, on and on, for years. It gets isolating.

Does it sometimes feel like it’s a big game – i.e., “They’ll arrest me for taking pictures of them and throw on some BS charges, which will just get dropped, and then I’ll sue”?
Never. It is never just a game or just for fun. There are always consequences and always the potential of physical danger. I am getting too old to get beaten up.  I am tired of the constant stupid struggle. And remember, suing is bad for their career. The cops, through court and other such systems, can work angles in their favor, but costing the city money is a big no-no. And suing can take years. It is never easy to find a lawyer who will sue the cops. That is a rare specialty area.

Just to get a lawyer, the case must be very clear-cut. The evidence in your favor must be clear-cut, and often they want indisputable video or recorded evidence in your favor. It’s what made me such a nuisance. I was good at getting the evidence with the video camera. By using the camera I got more cops in trouble than anyone else has in the history of America. It’s what made me stand out. I had the guts and drive to do it, as well as the skills to get the shot. To get the shot, you have to be right where the action is.

Continue reading ‘Talking to…Photographer Clayton Patterson’

NYPD Act Like Fools, Mess With Photographer

Photos from The Villager

Clayton Patterson is a  fixture on the Lower East Side of New York, having documented the neighborhood for 25 years. He’s an artist, activist, photographer for The Villager newspaper, has published books, had a documentary made about him, and been featured in the New York Times.

But being the true iconoclast that he is, his relations with the Seventh Precinct haven’t always been rosy.

On March 13 he was trying to photograph a stabbing victim on Orchard Street when police bizarrely and belligerently harassed and tried to intimidate him. In their effort to block Patterson from shooting the scene, at various points: an officer smashed into him and accused him of starting it; the sergeant screamed at him — “I’m f—ing tired of you!”; two other officers jumped around wildly in front of his camera yelling “I’m a monkey”; and then an officer positioned his squad car on the sidewalk, directly in front of Patterson, to block him.

Now, there is a history here. Patterson has been arrested 14 times over the years, all when he was shooting photos. He is currently suing the NYPD over a 2008 incident where he was arrested for photographing a fire and not stopping when he was told to. So, the precinct officers know who he is (check out his photo — he’s hard to miss), and they want payback. I get it.

But it doesn’t make it right.

For officers to behave like this — in a ridiculously immature manner to impede a photographer who has every legal right to be there? I don’t care whether you like him or not; he could be the biggest thorn in your side, but that’s called life. As long as he’s following the rules, deal with it.

Show your support for photographers’ rights by calling the NYPD’s Seventh Precinct Captain Nancy Barry at (212) 477-7731.

Article from The Villager



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