NYC Rail Cops Harass Man for Video Recording Them

Police in a New York City train station harassed a man after he video recorded them kicking out a homeless man.

The man was recording from a second level at a Harlem train station, which prompted one of the Metro-North Rail police officers to order him to walk down and show them his ticket.

After he walked down, both officers surrounded him and kept reaching for his phone camera, ordering him to record a sign on a wall that stated something about passengers being required to show tickets when asked.

But the man never gave any indication that he did not have a ticket. In fact, a person without a ticket will be less likely to draw attention to himself by openly recording cops.

At 1:28 in the video, one of the cops tries to slap the phone out of his hands, saying, “Get that shit off my face.”

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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  • rick

    Could John Q citizen touch a cop’s camera like that? No. File a complaint against the officer for slapping the camera.

  • Ryan

    Do you know if he can legally record on a metronorth platform? Are there different rules between NYC subway system and Metronorth?

    • Vidiot

      It doesn’t appear to, but it’s vague. Metro-North rules don’t mention photography at all:

      Metro-North is part of of the MTA, which also runs the LIRR, bridges, tunnels, subways, and buses, and which specifically allows photography in its rules: in section 1050.9 (c)

      • Difdi

        Even if it specifically prohibited it, the public property rule would override their regulation.

    • Clark

      Public property, no expectation of privacy. No prohibition on filming from public areas.

  • Joel Turner

    To the monkey with a badge ; My apprehensiveness is due to the fact I’m talking to two armed and dangerous gang members, who just assaulted me and will never ever be charged with a crime. You murder,rob,rape and kill and the system covers your ass, so go have sexual intercourse with yourself. As much as I’d like to see a few sights in NY I’ll never enter and eastern block state, do you hear me comrade Bloomberg.

  • Proud GrandPa

    Please tell those who wish to change the way NY Metro treats them to plan their campaign first. Solicit several others to video and/or record. Consult an attorney beforehand who will write a list of things your team will do and not do. If you cannot afford an attorney, at least write the plan and have it notorized (for free) at your local bank.

    Try this with and without tickets. Repeat as necessary. This will eventually clog the court system. After your fifth or sixth arrest, the cops’ supervisors will get tired and issue corrective orders.

    Also enlist the help of an honest cop or cops you can trust. What do they think? Maybe they can help and your campaign will be unnecessary. I believe most police are decent and honest and want to comply with the law.

    • n4zhg

      The problem is, corrective orders have already been issued and Metro is supposedly under a consent decree in this area. You can see how well a piece of paper signed by a judge works with these scumbags.

  • Guest

    Metro-North rules don’t mention photography at all:

    Metro-North is part of of the MTA, which specifically allows photography in its rules: in section 1050.9(c)

  • eddy

    Isn’t it nice how the pigs get away with assaulting people??

    • bj

      It looked like a clear case of assault. Would it make it to court?

      • eddy

        I wish! The cop could make the justification the first time that he didn’t know what was in his hand, so he batted it away. After that, it’s pure assault in my book. If we touched a cop like that, we’d be on the ground getting our asses beat whilst they yell “stop resisting!!” ‘Merica.

  • LBrothers

    Why is it that people end up thanking cops for breaking their balls? Stand up for yourself or fold… one or the other. Quit half-stepping.

    • deymo

      Because someone has to deescalate the situation or it will get out of control. Police are trained in deescalation, but too often don’t bother.

      Would you prefer this guy get beat up and arrested by defending himself after they assaulted him? The safe choice and smart choice is to escape, gather evidence, and then pursue the matter later.

      • Phillip D Breske

        I would say that’s the “smart choice” only if you want to avoid a beating—videos of police swatting at someone’s hand or verbally abusing a suspect are almost ALWAYS relegated to the back burner until media coverage (if any) dries up. If, on the other hand, you want to pursue change (or monetary settlement), getting arrested or possibly taking a beating is far more likely to end up in your favor in the long run, depending on how you react to the beating. Whatever you do, don’t return a punch.

    • americanexile

      Because it looks good when you file a civil suit against them. Granted, yes, you probably could get more money in a settlement if they beat your disrespectful ass.

    • n4zhg

      You thank them for the large check the city will be writing with you name on it in about six months. I just wish the funds for that check came from their pay, pension and union treasury.

  • $22798478

    File charges against them for cursing and swinging at you. These cops brought this negative attention to themselves. If they would have minded their own damn business this would not have happened, but instead they wanted to CONTROL someone. ASSHOLES !

  • americanexile

    “Get this shit off my face”

    Really professional there, buddy. Glad to see our four months slaving away to pay taxes gets such a courteous response.

  • Joey Boots

    I have been arrested twice in the last year by MTA police bullies and also another time assaulted with a punch to me and my camera by a female MTA officer that I did not pursue (as of yet) – at this present time the MTA has been served with a Notice of Intent to Sue for their continued harassment of myself, and for which I have a hearing scheduled for next month. I will keep you posted Carlos, In the meantime, keep up the good work in highlighting these ugly and unconstitutional bully tactics.

  • Ian Battles

    Can you Citizen’s Arrest a cop for battery/assault?

    • ExCop-Lawyer

      It depends on the state law, but even if it is authorized, I would not recommend it. The contact will go downhill real fast.

      • Difdi

        The same is true of attempting to make a citizen’s arrest of a member of organized crime. But just because they might unlawfully attack you doesn’t mean it’s immoral or illegal.

        • ExCop-Lawyer

          Apples and oranges.

          • Difdi

            Apples and apples. It’s illegal for the mafia to retaliate against you for obeying the law, likewise it is illegal for police to do so. It is unwise to anger the mafia, it is likewise unwise to anger the police. If you are morally, ethically and legally in the right, the fact that someone is willing to commit a crime against you if you don’t back down does not magically make you wrong. It makes them criminals.

  • Guest

    Soon a growing % of people will have less obvious wearable cameras. I expect cops first reaction to this realization to be that they chase everybody away from every police scene, whether they’re holding an obvious recording device or not.

    • Phillip D Breske

      Assuming future police reactions are anything like what we’ve seen recently, I’d say their first response would be to train the officers that some Google Glass devices can be converted for use as a firearm, so having them on while standing near an officer can be a potential threat: “PLEAVE REMOVE THAT DEVICE FROM YOUR HEAD FOR OFFICER SAFETY! IT COULD BE A WEAPON!”

  • Phillip D Breske

    Fucking. Assholes.

    I know that sometimes we see videos where the suspect was acting like a jerk (although that’s never a reason for the police to abuse their authority) and in those cases I just want to slap everybody in the video. In this case, however, I wanted desperately to see both of these officers gunned down. These are obviously bad people who are bent on imposing their will on the citizens of their city. Fuck them and fuck their asshole cop buddies. I hope they are standing at ground zero in the next terrorist attack.

    No, that’s too good for them—they’ll be portrayed as heroes by ALL the media. No, what would be better is to see them in a secretly-taped video during a homosexual encounter with gang of poorly-cut trannies. And a horse.

    • $22798478

      I agree,……I wanna hear about their life dismissal.

  • steveo

    Another thing I don’t agree with is allowing the leos to keep the press out of the so-called “door-to-door” search of Watertown. Why does the pussy main stream press allow the authorities to set up a media free zone of an entire city because of one little teenager? Or at least demand that the military style raiders have vest cameras or helmet cams to show exactly what they were doing to innocent citizens. We can’t allow this kind of activity to go unrecorded. Especially when it appears to be a re-enactment of the clearing out of the Krakow ghetto from Shindlers List.

    And Bloomberg and them say they want more cameras. Fine, first put them on your leos. And he says he wants a different “interpretation” of the Constitution, I guess he means we have to suspend the freedom of religion and the 19th Amendment.

    • io-io

      Yes, I saw the video of one of the searches in Watertown. Apparently the lock-down was “voluntary”, but the police were pulling folks out of their houses, hands above their heads and not too gently either. Did I hear some one udder the phrase Fourth Amendment?

  • steveo

    And another thing, while I’m at it: Why does the govt have total monopoly over drones and spy satellites. Why can’t the media demand that they be first with the drones for documentary purposes and then the govt can use drones.

  • Paul Lebowski

    I bet if he had paid cash, they would have ripped it up lol

    • Haeshu

      That is a great point! I was wondering why they asked him ‘How did you pay for this ticket?’ He said debit card so there was a record of the purchase and they couldn’t just rip it up. This is why you shouldn’t offer any information other than what you are legally required to offer. They are looking to cheat, arrest, harass any time they can… using the information you are giving them.

  • MrMike William Barnhart
  • cj

    go to a nypd station and ask for the captain and demand it.Also Internal affairs.If they wont cooperate call the mayors office and demand a report for battery on u from the officer as u have the proof on film.Dept of justice file a complaint..find website!!