February 17th, 2014

NYPD Cop Attacks Man for Video Recording Him, Deleting his Footage, but Man Recovers Footage (Updated) 346

By Carlos Miller


A New York City cop beat up and arrested a man for video recording him inside a subway station from 30 feet away Saturday night, walking up to him and getting in his face all while claiming the man was invading his personal space.

Officer Rojas, shield number 23404, then deleted the video, never mentioning the camera once in his arrest report, claiming the man had physically interfered with another arrest he was making.

But after spending 24 hours in jail, Shawn Randall Thomas managed to recover the deleted footage, proving that Rojas is not only a liar, but a bullying thug as well.

Thomas also obtained footage from another man who had recorded Rojas with his knees on Thomas’ back as he lay face down on the sidewalk just outside the sub station, seconds after Rojas had bashed his face into the pavement, busting his lip.

The injury was so bad that they had to transport him to the hospital twice during his 24-hour incarceration where doctors described him as a victim of assault.

“I was bleeding profusely,” Thomas said during an interview with Photography is Not a Crime Monday night.

“I was having really bad head pains while in jail, so they took me back to the hospital the following morning.”

The incident began when Thomas was video recording another NYPD cop named Dai, who didn’t mind being recorded, detaining a man for jumping the turnstile. The video runs for more than four minutes before Rojas arrives on the scene. Four long minutes of uneventful footage but proving that everything was under control until Rojas arrived.

At 5:00 into the video, Rojas pulls out his iPhone and begins recording Thomas, walking up to him and sticking the phone directly in front of Thomas’ lens, doing this wordlessly for more than 30 seconds.

“You’re violating my personal space,” Thomas tells him.

“You’re violating my personal space too,” Rojas responds.

“What’s your name and shield number?” Thomas asks.

“What’s your name?”

The situation remains tense for several minutes with Rojas not backing down, threatening to arrest him while Thomas stands up for his rights, telling him to “back the fuck off.”

Rojas tells him, “this is my station” before ordering him out of the train station. He then grabs his arm, twisting it behind him and opening the camera’s battery compartment, removing the batteries and pocketing them.

After walking up two flights of stairs and emerging onto the street above, Rojas told him to leave, knowing that Thomas would no longer be able to record without batteries.

But Thomas pulled out his Blackberry and attempted to turn it on to document how he had just been kicked out for video recording.

“He then knocked the phone out of my hand and slams me to the ground,” Thomas said. “Then he grabbed the back of my head and slammed it into the pavement.”

Thomas began yelling for bystanders to record, which prompted at least one man to record Rojas with his knees on Thomas’ back.

By the time Thomas had been released from jail, the man had tracked him down through Facebook and had sent him the video.

Thomas also downloaded a free program called Recuva, which allowed him to recover the deleted footage in minutes.

But he is still facing charges of resisting arrest, trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstructing government, which should be enough to criminally charge Rojas considering another NYPD cop was charged with falsifying records last year in the arrest of a New York Times photographer.

Thomas was arrested last year for video recording in front of an NYPD station, but those charges were dismissed.

Rojas works out of Transit Bureau District 32, which can be reached at (718) 221-6600. Ask for  Deputy Inspector Michael A. Davidson, who heads that bureau.

Or better yet, contact newly inaugurated New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to see where he stands on the issue as he provides numerous ways to reach out to him.

By phone, call 311 if you’re in New York City or 212-NEW-YORK from outside the five boroughs.

UPDATE: Thomas has since obtained the arrest report where Rojas accused him of being in “close proximity” to them as they tried to issue another man a summons. He also claimed that they ordered him numerous times to leave the station but he refused. And he topped it all off by claiming that he had to physically escort Thomas out of the station, only for him to follow him back inside with a camera.

At first, Thomas was under the impression that Rojas had not mentioned the camera but he did slip in the word “film” when accusing Thomas of returning to the scene after being escorted out.

The arrest report should be enough to terminate Rojas if not criminally charge him. Either way, he’ll have enough time on his hands to pursue a career in fiction writing considering he seems to have a talent for it.

Randall Thomas arrest report

Send stories, tips and videos to Carlos Miller.
  • GreenTriumph1

    I’ve lived in NYC for 18 years and took the train to high school for 4 years. When the transit police were separate they weren’t such thugs.

    The brutality of NYC police now amazes me.

    The judges in NYC support the police right or wrong. They’re probably related to this officer.

    • Pat Lane

      For those of us who don’t live there, can you elaborate on this “when the transit police were separate” thing?

      Are you saying there use to be like a “Subway Police” or whatever and at some point they merged with NYPD?

      • http://www.chickenunderwear.com Chicken Underwear

        that is about it. They used to have their own administrative.structure.

        • Pat Lane

          Yea but did all the transit police suddenly become NYPD? Was there further training? Did the cops who were working transit stay in the transit, or did things get intermixed?

          • Brendan Keefe

            The NYC Transit Police was a separate department, as was the NYC Housing Police. Traffic Enforcement was a separate department as well. In 1995, Guilliani and Bratton (yes, the same Bratton who just returned as commish) consolidated those departments into the NYPD. In this video, you see the letters TB on the officer’s collar — that’s the NYPD Transit Bureau. This was Transit District 32. I know those guys — they would always get free pizza at the slice place on Flatbush and 7th.

          • Kenneth Shyne

            You know theres this weird site that can be activated at the mere stroke of a few keys. It has all this weird stuff in it called infromation. Try and just keep this between us…kinda like a secret or what have you….ssshhhhhh GOOGLE

          • Pat Lane

            Dude. Sorry if I engaged in a relatively simple conversation on a message board. Go back to reddit with your sarcasm.

          • http://jericho777.wordpress.com/ Jeffrey Hardin

            What the hell do you think these threads are for smart ass!
            Obama boy all the way!

  • James Morgan

    NYC is supposed to have a new mayor who isn’t so “COPs can do No Wrong”.. he just tried to put the brakes on “Stop and Frisk”.. but the Police are resisting. Maybe a few thousand calls and E-mails bringing “Officer Rojas” to his attention can get the message across that NYPD should at least refresh themselves on the Constitution. The Mayor should have a facebook page and office phone number.. can anyone research that for us?

    • G

      Supposely, if you have more minorities and women on the police force, relations between the police and community would improve, but with more and more videos of minorities cops violating people’s rights, the more things change, the more things remain the same. Or as the rock group The Who stated in one of their song, Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

      • srandallthomas

        Hi, I’m S. Randall Thomas. G, I’d like to respond to your comment. While I was there with a mouth full of blood and complaining of pain, I ask for just a little water to rinse my mouth. The supervisor in charge at that time, Sgt. Maldonado, a light skin black female who claim to be mixed “race”, told me to rinse with water from their broken toilet. Nearly every cop there knew what happened and saw the video, nearly all identify as Black, Spanish, Arab, or Asian, White cops were in the minority, really very few. Yet not ONE person offered me any help at all, not ONE. I honestly believe that if it were all White, they would have been more compassionate.

        • Yasmin Jeanice Mattox

          It could have been a case (unjustifiable one) of minorities having power and becoming the oppressors rather than the oppressed.

          • James M Morriss.

            Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is just more proof that the different colors of man are indeed equal; as such, equally flawed and corruptible.

          • rxantos

            People always cite “power corrupts” but they forget that blind obedience corrupts the most.

            Hitler, Stalin, Mao and others where just men. Its the people blind obedience that help this men murder millions of their own population.

            Hitler 7 million, Stalin 24 million, Mao 50 million.

            Power corrupts, but so does blind obedience.

        • Baddscorpio

          You 15 are probably just as if not more ignorant than this poster…smh. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

        • benanov

          That’s a sad belief. It doesn’t change what happened to you or the fact that we support you for having your rights violated, but it means I don’t think I like you much as a person.

          • ItIsWhatItIs

            Because its easier to dislike a single man than it is to accept something that could might skew your outlook of an entire race?

        • Grindstone50k

          Mr. Thomas, please don’t take a settlement. Push for this thug to be prosecuted. He must be removed from any position of authority as he is a clear danger to society. Thank you for your excellent video.

          • stk33

            “please don’t take a settlement. Push for this thug to be prosecuted.”

            It’s different. Not taking settlement means taking the lawsuit to the court, but it’s still civil lawsuit, so in the end the only difference is that $$ compensation for the damages will be awarded by the jury (if it happens), but it will be paid by the taxpayers anyways (or by the city’s insurance), while not a hair will drop from thug’s head; maybe he even get a promotion for the trouble. In order to prosecute him, it must be a criminal case, which has to start with criminal complaint, and would involve no money compensation.

          • n4zhg

            No reason why you can’t do both. And one more difference in taking this to court: The agency and city will be held at fault in a court of record, which can be used against them when their employees pull the same stunt at a later date. Eventually you’ll get the “pattern of abuse” that gets the Justice Department involved.

          • DerpDDerperson

            Don’t know why NYPD, doesn’t already have that pattern of abuse established.

          • n4zhg

            Because people keep taking the money. Out of court settlements usually include verbiage along the lines of “payment does not constitute an admission of responsibility”. What needs to happen is to take these thugs to trial and have a real court of record hold them responsible.

          • James M Morriss.

            If found guilty of acting outside of the law the city and him are both liable. And the tax payers are on the hook for the higher insurance premiums the settlement causes. I can’t imagine NYC is their own insurer.
            Besides that, You want him to what, go away and don’t make waves? If he is found guilty of criminal offenses he will go to prison. It is starting to happen.

          • n4zhg

            Actually. they are. The city budget for settling lawsuits is something like $80 million a year.

          • pinbalwyz

            File a criminal complaint for violation of civil rights with the FBI. Give them a copy of the video.
            – amicuscuria.com/wordpress -

        • kysauntie

          Really and what planet are YOU from? To even THINK that the racist WHITE cops would be more compassionate, indicates that y ou must be white. The brutality that is usually heaped upon NYers are from WHITE cops to Black and Hispanic citizens. BLUE is the only color that matters to the NYPD. JUSTIN VOLPE had no compassion.

          • srandallthomas

            Slow down. I’m 47 yrs old, born and raised in Brooklyn. I’m black. I am the guy Rojas beat and arrested. I suggest that all white cops would have likely been more sensitive to coming under an attack for their brutality whereas those non-white cops seem to feel immune to scrutiny for abusing someone that looks like them. If you are black, as I am, you can’t deny the way we treat each other when given the opportunity, especially if one is a cop and the other is a prisoner.

          • jimmarch

            There is some research on that showing that a lot of cop aggression against minorities come from minority cops (including black cops beating up black citizens) because the minority cop cannot be accused of racism.

            Put another way, there are two kinds of racists: the ones taught that crap from the cradle and then there’s the ones that learn it on the street when exposed to too many “inner city types” with the issues that generally entails thanks to our “War On (Some) Drugs”[tm] and other idiotic policies.

            My brother (as white as I am) was a process server in the San Francisco Bay Area for a few years and felt himself “turning racist”. He knew better, and he did the right thing: got away from that area and job to go clear his head.

            But too many cops don’t recognize the moral danger involved and stay right there in the thick of it…and the weirdest part is, it is absolutely possible for a black cop (or Latino) to learn to be racist towards blacks and/or Latinos or whatever minority is involved. The slightly better version (still messed up) is when they deflect it to distrust of anyone “dressed hip-hop” or the like without reference to skin color, but unfortunately race and subculture identification are still very, very strongly linked in America.

            (You still get “crossovers” though: it’s worth asking who is “more black”, Eminem (Marshal Mathers) or Bill Cosby? Genetically there’s no question, but culturally?)

            Lemme see if I can find the research on the “black racist cops” thing…dang, it’s one of those things that’s hard to google for. I’ll keep at it. But yeah, it happens.

          • G

            I would like to see the information on black racist cops and other racist cops from other racial, ethnic groups when you find it, jimmarch.

          • Andre Maunsell

            Arnold Disraeli was a case of minority police officer inflicting harm on a Latino suspect that was just about subdued by the arresting officer when Arnold Disraeli bursted in with his “move and you die!” bull crap. I am sure most people are aware of that video.

          • Mike

            Do you have an attorney?

          • Johnny

            Mr. Thomas, are you going to file a criminal complaint or a civil lawsuit? Please keep everyone informed. This officer must be punished criminally and civil.

          • Film The Police Always
          • Film The Police Always
          • Film The Police Always

            DO NOT SETTLE unless the settlement is over $250,000.00 and attorney fees paid separately and ROJAS is FIRED with criminal charges brought against him. The treatment by those other thugs is despicable and that there alone is worth $$$$$$$$$ They denied you medical aid.

          • Film The Police Always

            DO NOT SETTLE unless the settlement is over $250,000.00 and attorney fees paid separately and ROJAS is FIRED with criminal charges brought against him. The treatment by those other thugs is despicable and that there alone is worth $$$$$$$$$ They denied you medical aid.

          • Ken Johnson

            Mr Thomas,what happened to you was wrong…if you were in the wrong then why did the other officer say anything to you???That’s simple,because you were not interfering with them,Rojas abused his power plain n simple this jerk needs to lose his job!

          • James M Morriss.

            His loud breathing made it impossible to fill out the ticket.

          • Andre Maunsell

            Make sure that if you lawyer up that you ask the lawyer to also claim in the suit, intentional infliction of emotional distress as one of reasons for the civil suit. That is a good tort right there because obviously having a thug cop like that get up in your face has caused some emotional distress from what I have seen. Another thing, don’t swear at cops that try to provoke you. Just tell them nice uniform did your husband wash that for you? If the officer is male. If female just replace husband with wife. Be a smart ass to them if they pull that crap with you again.


          • Larry Harrell

            race card player! get a fckn grip you idiot!

          • James M Morriss.

            The “racist white cops”? That sounds very PREJUDICED to me. You know, like you are PRE JUDGING that a man will act a certain way just because he is white. Isn’t that what you accuse others of doing? kysauntie?

        • Heisenberg

          You are probably right, I suspect that your treatment probably was more contempt of cop than anything else. The charges probably will get dropped no DA in his right mind will go away with your case. Now the only issue is the civil one.

        • Phil0_Bed0

          Randal – You need to go all the way with this. The punk stormtroopers of the modern American police state are the single greatest threat we face as free citizens.
          TIP: When you go out in public, have a buddy go with you, but keep his distance. That way he can record any issues you might run into with these punk bullies in blue.

          • pinbalwyz

            A useful tip for photo safai’s one @narchist suggested is to go out as a team of 3 or 4, but (like you said) keep your distance from one another while filming in order to gain multiple camera angles. Then, disperse separately and quickly in different directions to meet later at a prearranged location. Stay in touch with each other by walkie-talkie or cell phone until you do. There is a TON of this kind of abuse going on which needs to be photo-documented and posted. If you’re bored and want to do something socially useful, something constructive, go out and photograph these thugs. The camera is today’s AK47. Everybody has one. USE them. Then, Sue The Bastards! If you can’t afford an attorney, don’t worry. Represent yourself and sue them. Other knowledgeable pro se litigants will help you come up to speed. The more, the better. Eventually, the weight of the ants will sink the caterpillar.
            – amicuscuria.com/wordpress -

        • G

          Mr. Thomas

          More of your white cops have not never been compassionate to other minorities particulary in the Southern part of the USA. Furthermore, a lot of white cops are not compassionate to labor workers even to white workers like coal miners in Appalachian Mountains and/orauto factory workers in Detroit because they (the cops) have been brainwashed that the workers are communists/anarchrists which is another form of racism when you discriminate against someone because of their political, social, and economic background

          • srandallthomas

            The issue is complex and was not the point of my posting the video. I will be more careful of this in the future. My point was not to say White vs. Black, but rather Government vs. Black. And the reason for that was to tell the new “Black” District Attorney in Brooklyn that everything is not okay for us now that he’s in office.

            So, yes, I opened the “racial” track in this discussion with the title of my video, and I regret doing that.

          • bj

            I don’t know how you kept yourself together in the face of the intimidation from that cop. Your showed so much dignity and coolness under pressure. I hope you push for criminal charges. Please keep us updated.
            BJ from Sydney

          • rust

            You *can* edit the title if you wish at Youtube.

          • Larry Harrell

            maybe you shouldn’t be a racist either! “government vs. black” , maybe you should have played it for what it is, “government vs. citizen” !!!! still wrong for what the pig did but maybe karma got your racist azz!!! suck it up and quit whining until you learn to live what you are trying to portray what the world needs to be like!!!!!

          • James M Morriss.

            Morgan Freeman said best in a recent interview. “Racism will go away when we stop talking about it.” I love that question on forms ” what race are you?” I always check other and write “human” in the space.

          • pinbalwyz

            Oh, dry up, Larry!
            – amicuscuria.com/wordpress -

          • James M Morriss.

            I don’t see it that way. I saw “African-American” the same way I see “red ford”. It is a way to clarify the mental image of the subject.

          • pinbalwyz

            Mr. Thomas, there’s more than a few of us out here who understand your intent–and it’s a good one. I’m on the west coast in the Pacific NW in a very small rural poor all white county on the Olympic Peninsula. But, if this had happened to you here, you’d have the sympathy of the jurors. Please, if you’re ever out this way, I’d feel privileged to meet you. You have uncommon courage.
            – amicuscuria.com/wordpress -

          • srandallthomas

            Thank you.

        • pinbalwyz

          Mr. S. Randall Thomas, you conducted yourself with dignity and were clearly aware of where the legal boundaries lie. I wish I were in NYC so I could make your acquaintance. I’d welcome going on a photo safari with you. Others, in your area, should work together with you to watch each other’s back. You need a witness or two with you. I was ecstatic to see you documenting the space between yourself and your subject by photographing the floor tiles. You’re my kind of photographer. Please work on your language to eliminate the ‘F’ expletives, although I understand their usefulness on the streets sometimes. All in all, you did one hell of a job. I’m sorry we have appointed thugs in this country who think nothing of brutalizing law abiding citizens. Race is no barrier to violence and incompetence.
          – amicuscuria.com/wordpress -

        • http://www.thesandersfirmpc.com/ Eric Sanders

          As we discussed on Twitter several days ago. Officer Rojas had not legal right to engage you. He is certainly not trained to respond in that manner. You must sue him, the other police officer in the video for failing to intervene, the patrol supervisors and the desk officer for failing to supervise and voiding this obviously illegal arrest. Officer Rojas should be criminally prosecuted and terminated for his conduct.

        • http://www.thesandersfirmpc.com/ Eric Sanders

          As I discussed with Mr. Thomas on Twitter several days ago. Officer Rojas had no legal right to engage him. He is certainly not trained to respond in that manner. Mr. Thomas must sue him, the other police officer in the video for failing to intervene, the patrol supervisor and the desk officer for failing to supervise and voiding this obviously illegal arrest. Officer Rojas should be criminally prosecuted and terminated for his conduct.

          • srandallthomas

            You are an attorney correct? If so do you take cases like this in NYC? I’ve been getting solicited like a whore, but I’m reluctant to engage with these lawyers. I just have a problem communicating with them.

          • http://www.thesandersfirmpc.com/ Eric Sanders

            Yes I am. Remember, we have sent each other messages on Twitter. Read my profile http://www.thesandersfirmpc.com 800-371-4835 We would work well together.

        • lovelife

          I can believe this . Power absolutely corrupts , and it seems the police are not up with the times , technologically speaking . These devices I phone ipad while can help in a crime , can also so the wrong actions of the cops . Cops must get with the times. falling on deaf ears.

      • hazy

        You are cop first and your race second.

        • G

          When blacks like former LAPD Thomas Bradley who later became mayor of LAPD and othe minorities join the force, they were look at as race first and cops second. It took Bradley 20 years to come to that conclusion. He had been colorblinded (no pun intended) for way too long.
          In some American cities, black cops were not allowed to arrest white people. It show you that they were treated as second class cops.

          • James M Morriss.

            Yes and Blacks owned slaves and some slaves were white. What’s your point? Once upon a time the Irish were treated worse that the Blacks. How is it relevant to the fact that Mr. Thomas was wronged?

          • G

            The point was that white cops like William Parker and Edgar Hoover were never ever going to treat minorities cops like as equal partners even when those minorities cops were laying their lives on the line just like the white cops.
            What is your point?

      • IceTrey

        The only color cops care about is blue.

        • G

          They also like black combine with blue when they beat people hence the name black and blue.

    • Scott Downey
    • James M Morriss.

      No the new mayor did not try to stop the “stop and frisk” program. It was ordered stopped by the SCOTUS. If the ass in charge stops the policy he will be complying with the court order. Remember the first thing this guy did, almost literally, was outlaw the carriage rides in central park area.

      • ntotrr

        It was not ordered stopped by the SCOTUS, it hasn’t reached that level. It was ordered stopped by Judge Shira Sheindlin of the US District Court. The US Court of Appeals for the 2nd District ordered Judge Sheindlin removed from the case and put a temporary stay on her ruling, They eventually decided against vacating her decision.

  • Rusty Gunn

    Well by gawd that sunuvabeeyutch should be given two weeks off with pay, that’ll teach that azzole a thing or two!!

    • Guest

      And don’t forget, a promotion. That’ll really teach him. How do you expect them to build their goon squad, if they don’t reward the goons?

  • kyle

    No one will believe this unless they watch it. Un-fucking-believable!

    Well, let me introduce NYC’s newest millionare: Shawn Randall Thomas.
    At the same time, let me introduce the sooner-to-be former cop: Officer Rojas.

    Way to stay calm in the pocket, Mr. Thomas.

    • jimmarch

      Oh yeah. Thomas is grade-A prime cool. Holy crap.

    • TheFlashingScotsman

      That’s a major pair of huevos, Shawn. Standing up to an armed psychopath like that. Not a lot of people could pull it off. My hat is off to you, sir.

    • Ian Battles

      Is lying on a police report a crime?

      How bout filing false charges? Is THAT illegal?

      • James M Morriss.

        Denying rights under the color of law is Serious stuff. Felony matter I do believe. Lying under oath( which they are when writing reports and making statements) is a “Class A Misdemeanor persuent to section 210.45 of the penal law” (from a warning printed on the police report contained in the article)

        As for the “Color of law” thing: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/color_of_law

  • jimmarch

    This is one of the best copwatching videos ever. Right as it started I was thinking “oh wow, he’s far enough back” – in other words, they can’t paint him as a hazard. And then he proved it by recording the tiles and the other bystanders much closer.

    Absolutely awesome. Main thing he needs next is a 4G data connection if he doesn’t already have one and a live-streaming app like Bambuser so if they destroy his camera or memory card completely he’s still covered to that point. But that quibble aside, absolutely awesome.

    • inquisitor

      Yes, in uncrowded surroundings I have stated that thirty feet is a very good non-threatening distance. Completely acceptable.
      Should there have been a crowd of people and such then fifteen feet distance is still acceptable. And in more crowded conditions even closer is fine.
      But maintaining distance when possible that does not diminish your unobstructed view and footage quality is a good personal policy.

      The other consideration is that if you are just cop watching and do not wish to be confronted by an officer over the issue of filming, or be harassed by an officer, or falsely arrested and beaten by an officer for filming, then having a recording device that you do not hold with your hands and out in front of you in an obvious manner would be a better choice. Such as one worn around the neck or an earpiece cam.

      But if you wish to allow it to potentially go to the next level, at your inconvenience, and test if the officer will confront you and you want to address that issue with activism, then the more obvious camera would be the better choice.

      Sometimes one may not be in the best place or it may not be the best time to deal with a officer and an arrest, but you still want the footage. So a choice like this could be made to suit what is best for you at that time.

  • Rob

    Shawn Thomas handled that like a champion. Good luck to you, sir, and thank you for standing up for your rights, and the rights of others.

  • Albert Nelson

    Good work Mr. Thomas

  • Pegr

    My only problem is that the video is tagged “assault on African American citizen”. There is no indication that the assault is racially motivated. This is an asshole cop, not necessarily a racist asshole cop. The introduction of race into this issue is unnecessary and detracts from its integrity.

    Otherwise, this is a good call. Thank you for posting it. Officer Rojas should be charged with assault under the color of law and civil rights violations. He is unfit to be a police officer.

    • jimmarch

      It matters because racist behavior by the NYPD has become legendary due to stop’n’frisk.

      • Larry Harrell

        race card

        • James M Morriss.

          No this is most definitely not a case of “Race Card”. It most definitely could be But I don’t see it that way.

          • Pegr

            Racism: the consideration of race when race is otherwise irrelevant.

            I won’t define race, as I hope that the word soon loses all meaning.

    • srandallthomas

      Good point duly noted.

      • Larry Harrell

        race card AGAIN!!!!

        • srandallthomas

          Black v White? No. Black v Black? Yes.

    • James M Morriss.

      Like any news headline, it is supposed to grab your attention without removing the need to read the article.
      How many times have you read an article and thought “That was a waste of time. all the information was in the headline.” This time it was a bit misleading but ask yourself this question; “Would Rojas have reacted to a white guy, OR a news crew of any color, any differently or do you think in his mind he just saw some “punk nigger” with a camera?” Just because “Rojas” is Hispanic in origin it doesn’t remove prejudice and bigotry from the equation. Rojas was too thick headed, self important, and cocksure of his immunity from any trouble, that he missed the signs that Mr Thomas was an articulate, intelligent educated, and confident man. That Mr Thomas was standing so far away, staying calm, not voicing any opinions or harassing the other LEO, should have been an indicator that Rojas was wrong and should have been cautious about approaching him. Better yet he should have left Mr Thomas alone completely. Alas, Rojas revealed himself to be weaker than his prejudices.

      Rojas is at least guilty of being blinded by his prejudice(s). He wrongly prejudged Mr Thomas as being weak and uneducated. That he could have reached this conclusion is a testament to how poorly suited for the job of LEO he truly is.

      • pegr

        I think we agree more than we disagree. But you can’t justify the inclusion of race with “what ifs” and assumptions that are not supported by evidence. If you would like to play that game, then yes, I believe Officer Rojas would react the same way to a white or Hispanic videographer.

        Since we’re playing “what if”, how do you think Officer Rojas would react to a well-dressed person, regardless of race, say, dressed in an expensive suit and tie? Money=power, and even a clueless cop knows better than to mess with power.

        Back on topic, Mr. Thomas conducted himself well, protested his mistreatment, had the knowledge to unerase the footage, and posted it to the world to see under his own name.

        Well done, sir.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Rojas just started his new career as a wandering cop. He’ll get fired from every PD he works in, eventually he’ll end up in some Podunk hellhole freezing his ass off in a trashed studio apartment. If he is smart, he’ll blow his brains out right now instead of 10 painful years from now

    • matism

      My bet goes the other way. His buddies get a good laugh. Rojas gets promoted. And Mr. Thomas gets punked every time the NYPD can get him outside of camera view.

  • Yale Cohn

    In a few years, when everybody is wearing Google Glass 24/7, wanna bet that balaclava masks become standard-issued police gear for all domestic law enforcement?

    • inquisitor

      And no badges, name tags, or rank and departmental identifiers.

  • Bully with a badge

    You did a great job, fight this to the end, the camera does not lie

  • Brent Busch

    I just got a call back from NYPD Internal Affairs dept. and had a 10 minute conversation with an officer. They’re aware of it now, obviously, and are now trying to piece things together. I guess we’ll see what happens now.

    • bobby day

      Just emailed Internal Affairs too.

  • bobby day

    Just emailed Internal Affairs and got a pretty quick response back from them. @Carlos – you might want to forward this response on to Shawn Thomas, if you have his contact info:

    Good evening. We have received your email and are currently generating a complaint in regards.

    If you can clarify several questions for us:

    1) What is your relation to Shawn Thomas?

    2) Who was videotaping on the platform, Shawn Thomas or you?

    3) The video towards the end appears edited, do you have the entire footage available?

    Call us at 2127418401 or you can email IAB@NYPD.ORG. Thank you.

    NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau

    • Ron

      The video appears edited because it is two separate video recordings. Didnt they even read the story?

    • srandallthomas

      Thank you, I contacted them. I thank all of you for your interest in this matter.

      • Brad Wesley

        Good job. Do you have a copy of the police report yet? I’d love to read that.

      • Reddit_Guy

        Awesome video. I really hope you get some sort of justice from this. One friendly suggestion: if you happen to make another video like this- hold the camera sideways. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt9zSfinwFA

      • bobby day

        Great. Here’s the case number if you need it:

        The complaint will be carried under Log #2014-6029

    • inquisitor

      What is your relation to Shawn Thomas?


  • Ian Battles

    I’ve called the Mayor’s office and asked if it was policy for officers to approach citizens filming and block their camera. They hung up.

    • Ron

      The office is open at midnight??

      • James M Morriss.

        Didn’t say he had JUST called, only that he had in the past. You get a lot of exercise jumping to conclusions, do you?

  • Dan

    Wow, the balls on Officer Rojas. I’m assuming that NYPD Shield, or just a shield in general as we’ve seen, make you feel 10 feet tall and the swinging dick of the moment. What’s the line from Warner Wolf, “time to go the video tape…”

    Attempted to find the current NYPD employment scale for our protector in chief Rojas, and his designation, however somewhat limited by his lack of openness with Mr. Thomas.

    Here’s the NYPD Payroll List http://www.scribd.com/doc/85826983/nypd-payroll-list, the Rojas listings can be found on Page 5731. How much do you think Officer Rojas gets paid to protect the likes of Citizens and tourists from unwieldy individuals maintaining the interests of the public via video dissemination? What is the cost to the citizens for a civil case in this matter?
    Follow the money.

    • jcfromnj

      $77K a year ? An overpaid underachieving Mall Cop …

      • James M Morriss.

        DO NOT disparage mall cops that way. They don’t have unions, they don’t have respect, the pay sucks, most don’t even have a doughnut shop to go to; now you want and go and say they’re the same as Rojas? You are a cruel man.

      • James M Morriss.

        DO NOT disparage mall cops that way. They don’t have unions, they don’t have respect, the pay sucks, most don’t even have a doughnut shop to go to; now you want and go and say they’re the same as Rojas? You are a cruel man.

  • Ron

    A false report AND also deleted the evidence.

    I guess that guy just didn’t like being a cop?

    Good to know he has a house fully paid off – not for much longer I imagine.

    • Samuel

      I reckon he will go home to his wife and say “I dun goofed”

  • Tijuana Joe

    He was a good 30 feet away. No way to spin this in favor of Rojas.
    Also that 3 minute staredown of the guy sitting down looks thuggish, so they’ll have to struggle to explain that too.
    Any concerned citizen might have been tempted to get that on tape.
    The F bomb is is little harsh but the cop was clearly out of line.
    My prediction: Rojas is in deep doo doo.

    • Ron

      I thought the cop was conversing with the suspect. Turns out he was just staring him down? Good god, what’s wrong with these cops?

      • ThatGuy

        Read the article? The guy was (allegedly) caught jumping turnstile.

      • ThatGuy

        Read the article? The guy was (allegedly) caught jumping turnstile.

      • pinbalwyz

        It looked to me like the person sitting quietly was handcuffed and the cop was waiting for backup.
        – amicuscuria.com/wordpress -

        • LibertyEbbs

          I think the partner was waiting for Rojas who had the citation book. It appeared that he was going to begin writing the ticket before he was distracted by the victim’s lawful, responsible, and Constitutionally protected behavior.

  • SamP

    “But he is still facing charges of resisting arrest, trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstructing

    Non specific catch all charges.

    • Frank Talk

      Your generic, contempt-of-cop charges. All will be dismissed. Whether Rojas faces any real discipline remains to be seen.

      • LibertyEbbs

        I think Rojas’ conduct is egregious (and criminal) enough that even with all the deference given to LEO’s he will lose his job at NYPD. He will not face the criminal charges he most certainly deserves and will probably be hired as a cop somewhere else, so his discipline will be nowhere near adequate, but I just can’t see how he stays on at NYPD. Sure hope I am not proven wrong on that one!

        • n4zhg

          The nice thing about New York is that if a cop gets fired for cause he loses his police certification and can’t be hired by another agency.

          • James M Morriss.

            So there is an upside to this…

          • James M Morriss.

            So there is an upside to this…

          • LibertyEbbs

            And will he be barred from gaining LE certification in another state? If so, that truly is good news!

          • LibertyEbbs

            And will he be barred from gaining LE certification in another state? If so, that truly is good news!

          • srandallthomas

            District Attorney Kenneth Thompson can prosecute Officer Rojas under NYS Penal Law section 210.10, just based on the report filed and the video. Section 210.10 is a class E Felony. Rojas must be terminated if found guilty.

            Kings County District Attorney’s Office
            350 Jay St. Brooklyn, New York 11201-2908
            Ask for: ADA Charles Guria
            718.250.2600 / 718-250-2000

            ADA Charles Guria runs the Rackets Division.

            The Rackets Division consists of multiple bureaus that share resources and information in order to successfully investigate and prosecute serious and complex crimes in the areas of organized crime, criminal misconduct by public officials and police officers, gang-related activity, major frauds, arson, narcotics and tax revenue crimes.

            The bureaus in the Rackets Division are: Civil Rights and Police Integrity Bureau, Major Frauds and Arson Bureau, Money Laundering and Revenue Crimes Bureau, Organized Crime Bureau and Political Corruption Investigation Bureau.

    • James Morgan

      That will change when this hits the six oclock news.

    • pinbalwyz

      Weasel charges.
      – amicuscuria.com/wordpress -

  • Doogie Howzer

    I would love to see how this ends up. Sadly I predict not much punishment for the cop.

    • dravo1

      Since you hold absolute proof that Officer Rojas is a sworn liar you can use the information publicly to inform the masses of that fact. Once you’ve posted anywhere on the web that information can be Googled by defense lawyers for years to come. Once a sworn liar your future court testimonies are worthless.

      • matism

        Unfortunately, I would not count on that in the “Legal” system today.

      • inquisitor

        If I had my old connections in NYC still intact, there would be plenty of immediate, effective and…final…solutions for this lying, bullying cop.

      • jcfronj

        Yes, they are called “Brady Cops” who testimony is in question due to past false statements. There is a database on this and most attorneys will go after this in discovery….

  • Kevin Credible

    You have a very strong case here. I just wish you didn’t curse because they have their way of using word games against people when you do. But that shouldn’t matter because you were more that 30 feet away from him. You have got to take legal action and sue those worthless people, you can’t let them get away with this. I’ve seen your work before and I know that you know what you’re doing. That bastard had no business invading your space and that is false arrest and police brutality. Sue those pigs!!

    • inquisitor

      So the cursing would be the disorderly conduct charge…maybe not even an arrestable offense but with a citation.

      • jcfromnj

        Put down the Bong Pipe.Those words are not actionable. They would have to rise to the level of “fighting words”. It’s a 1st amendment right. I’ve called them thugs and gangster’s in the past , I know that bad grammar doesn’t amount to shit, they know it too….

        • inquisitor

          Bong pipe? Really?
          Don’t fucking address me in those terms or I will slap your mom.

          • James

            Look out, we got a bad ass over here.

          • inquisitor

            Oh…you’re one of those guys.

      • pinbalwyz

        The courts have upheld the middle finger when giving cops the bird as a 1st Amendment right. Similarly, you are protected from the government censoring you (in general) based on the content of your speech. The ‘F’ word isn’t ‘nice’, but it isn’t illegal. You might be held in contempt if you used it in court, but there’s no such law as contempt of cop. Still, it’s a bad idea because a good attorney can use the fact you uttered it to prejudice the jury against you.
        – amicuscuria.com/wordpress -

  • jimmyt

    police are terrorists and should be treated as such

  • srandallthomas



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  • NAX

    I just called the number above but was told by the operator that I couldn’t speak with the Deputy Inspector because “he isn’t a regular person, ya know what I’m sayen”

    I left my information but I doubt I’ll hear back. They wouldn’t even get me a voicemail or secretary or anything.

    • Tijuana Joe

      Damn, bad news.
      Maybe he’s an “irregular” person, like Mr Rojas.

  • Dan-O

    Looks like the officer may have lost touch with reality. His station?
    His space was invaded? I would say he needs a psychological evaluation to