The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is creating a policy outlining how officers should deal with citizens who record them in public.
The policy, of course, is a response to the above video that went viral earlier this month showing an officer threatening to physically batter a citizen who videotaped him.
“If You Take My Picture Again, I’m Going To Fucking Break Your Face.,” stated the officer.
The NFTA has refused to release the officer’s name, assuring the media that he was suspended for two days.
But several Photography is Not a Crime readers have determined that his name is David Capretto, a cop with a history of violence against citizens.
According to The Buffalo News:
The attorney, Mickey H. Osterreicher, is a former Buffalo Courier-Express photographer who now specializes in media law in the area. Upon receiving the letter, NFTA Police Chief George W. Gast arranged a meeting with Osterreicher.
“It was a low-key discussion about First Amendment rights and photography in public places,” Osterreicher said. “People have the right to take pictures in public places.”
The meeting was productive, he said, and the NFTA is in the process of establishing a photo and video policy similar to one Osterreicher helped Amtrak draft in 2009.
However, Amtrak seemed to renege on that policy a year later and we have no word since whether or not they are still allowing photographers to take pictures.
To give you an idea how light this officer’s punishment was, check out the story of a Tulsa police captain who was suspended for two weeks without pay after he refused to take his officers to a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day at a mosque.