Videographer provocateur Joey Boots was detained, harassed and eventually ticketed for taking pictures of armed soldiers inside Penn Station in New York City Wednesday.
Boots, who regularly posts entertaining and sometimes confrontational videos of New York City life, including the video of the teenage ballerina in Times Square last year, was cited for interfering with traffic.
But only after Metropolitan Transportation Authority police discovered that photography inside subway stations was not illegal.
It all starts at 1:40 in the video when Boots is attempting to videotape armed soldiers standing near the entrance to the subway station.
A pair of MTA cops confront Boots, calling him a “creep” and accusing him of “harassing” the soldiers.
Then an MTA cop orders Boots to place his camera inside his pocket because it could be a weapon – as if that order would make sense even if he was carrying a weapon.
That exchange takes place at 2:10 in the video when an MTA officer who sounds like Joe Pesci can be heard saying:
“Don’t point that camera at me again I don’t know if it’s a real camera or not … put that thing back in your pocket.”
The video goes dark for the next several minutes because Boots followed his orders, but we can hear the cops trying to give him a guilt trip because he dared videotape soldiers against their wishes, telling him he has no respect for the military.
Boots, who happens to be a veteran himself, spending six years in the army, including a year in Bosnia, told them they had no respect for the law.
At 4:55, Boots pulls the camera out of his pocket, only for the cop to order him to stick the camera back in his pocket again.
At one point, Boots states that there are six cops and five soldiers surrounding him.
The cops then spend the next few minutes contacting their supervisors to see what law Boots violated when he videotaped the soldier.
When they discovered that he had broken no law, they issued him a citation for interfering with traffic, even though that was never brought up the entire time they were harassing him for taking photos.