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NYPD Commissioner Says Police Plagued by People Filming Arrests

May 26, 2016  | 

The United States is suffering from an "epidemic" of people recording law enforcement officers making arrests, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said Wednesday.

Bratton's comments came on the heels of his department's investigation into a controversial video of an officer in Harlem who allegedly pointed a gun at people filming a bust and then punched one of them.

"When you interfere with a police officer making a lawful arrest, you with your cameras attempt to really get into it — I'm not talking about standing back 10, 15 feet — or incite by yelling and screaming, raising the tension level, then you are creating circumstances that are dangerous for the public and dangerous for the police officers," Bratton said after an event in Manhattan.

"This has become a very serious — I would almost describe it as an epidemic in this country," Bratton told the New York Post.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Nannette Badger @ 5/26/2016 4:30 PM

I too work in a camera phone rich environment. When you get out of your police car have your phone angeled toward the crowd. Real concerned citizens won't be affected, the trouble makers will run.

Clay @ 5/26/2016 8:22 PM

If the cop is doing nothing wrong then he has nothing to worry about. Video will help get of the bad cops and put the bad guys away. Now..... Thus officer needs to be filmed, he is in a lot of trouble and going to cost NYC some big money.

kevcopAz @ 5/26/2016 9:12 PM

Clay, seriously? I wonder if you have worked the streets? Are you now or ever been a cop? If you are in the middle of an arrest and a crowd gathers, this does take your eye off the ball and causes interference which causes stress to you and makes things escalate and endangers all involved. Im not talking about someone quietly filming the arrest, so be it if its at a safe distance. Im talking about the yelling, intimidation and taunting of officers doing their job. The putting cameras "in their face" and you know thats going on. How would you like it? seriously there has to be some set of rules/laws protecting police , say a certain distance or if someone does so in a disruptive manner or a manner that incites others including the person being arrested they should be charged with a crime. This would allow peaceful citizens to film anything that they wish and the safety of the officers would be maintained. Don't you agree that would be reasonable?

OK then @ 5/27/2016 4:59 AM

While I agree w/ the PC that people have become obssessed w/ filming cops doing even the most routine tasks it doesn't end there. People have become so disconnected that when they see any incident, ie, an assault, robbery, etc, rather than intervening they stand around filming w/ their phones.

Lou Stitzer @ 5/27/2016 5:18 AM

The days of discretion and street justice are long gone. Warn and admonish have turned into arrests. Cameras in your face that half the time get half the story, put all on edge. People that normally would not resist, resist knowing that any physical contact by police always looks unfavorable to some. Even if the officer knows he will end up on the 6 o'clock news or Worldstar with his every action scrutinized.
I was a local cop who knew the troublemakers and their parents. A warning and bringing them home was always an option when putting through the system was overkill. Now, with all the filming and nonsense, what cop worth his salt would even consider it.
I feel for the good officers fighting the good fight. They deserve the benifit of doubt I'm glad I'm retired.

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