Video recorded with a GoPro Helmet cam then posted by youtuber Moto Royali on May 13 shows nine New York cops ordering a black man to stop his motorcycle at a motorcycle-only checkpoint before officers go on a fishing expedition, claiming his helmet camera was illegal.
"He can't have this camera on his helmet," one officer says with a straight face to another officer.
"Yeah, he can't be out here with anything on it," an officer replies.
Even though the man riding the motorcycle wasn't breaking any laws to be pulled over for probable cause, officers ask for his ID in an apparent effort to conduct a fishing expedition.
One of the officers continues acting as if the stop was legitimate in the first place when he gave no legitimate reason why he made the stop.
"Are you going to inspect his bike?" the skinny cop with dark brown hair asks another officer.
"I think it's, uh, this area," the officer says while waiving his hand in a circle around the area of the motorcycle.
The officer looks down at the bike momentarily before suddenly realizing what he has a problem with isn't the motorcycle.
"I think it's . . . I think it's just the camera," he says again with a straight face while the other officers avoid eye contact and pretend to be busy on their phones.
"OK? Because, I know guys like to like, you know, record while you're riding on whatever. But if it happens to fall off it more or less becomes like debris, you know," he continues explaining with a serious demeanor.
"So, you can't have anything on your helmet like cameras, mohawks, the GoPros; you can't have anything attached."
"Because if it winds up becoming dislodged while you're driving. You know, it's going to hit people behind you, or whatever the case is. That's mainly the reason behind it," he explains.
The motorcyclist replies to the officer by requesting the specific statute pertaining to helmet cameras, mohawks and GoPros like he stated.
"One thing I notice . . . is that people talk about that. But when I tried to look it up, I didn't see anything," he responds to the officers ridiculous act.
"Give me a second," the officer says before borrowing a cell phone from a nearby cop to read the statute.
He then spends the next minute stalling and advising him to google the local -level statute.
"It says that you can't add anything to your helmet. It doesn't say specifically, camera."
"Yeah," the cop taking charge of the detainment says.
"It's not cameras. That's what I'm saying. It's anything being attached [to the helmet]," he says before repeating the same excuse.
"If say a GoPro comes off, and it hits you, and comes off while your driving or something like that."
"It's more or less for your safety. Stuff like that. Other than that, you're good," the officer says before allowing Moto Royali to be free to go on his way.
After recording the video, Moto Royali narrated an intro. with a brief explanation and saying it was his first time to be harassed by police in New York.
"This happens every day in New York City," he tells viewers.
"But for me, it was the first time."
New York began conducting motorcycle-only checkpoints, which are not carried out on drivers in cars, in 2006 after a New York State Police officer was killed while pursuing a speeding motorcyclist.
Soon after, New York State Police set up a motorcycle checkpoint program named "Operation 5060" after the badge number of New York State Police Trooper Craig J. Todeschini.
In 2015, Congress banned federal funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints, according to RussBrown.com.
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