For years, the New York City Police Department has publicly acknowledged that they recognize citizens have the legal right to record them in public.
And for years, the NYPD has continually violated the rights of citizens to record them in public.
After all, lawsuits mean nothing if the cops are not held personally liable.
So NYPD cop Jonathan Munoz has nothing to worry about, even though surveillance cameras prove him to be a lying thug when he arrested a man last year for attempting to video record him pawing his female friend.
The video from three surveillance cameras was recently obtained by the law firm, Rankin & Taylor, PLLC, and posted online with narration, which you can see below.
It shows Munoz walking up to a young woman smoking a cigarette on a public sidewalk, then placing his hands on her in a frisky, suggestive manner.
Sensing that the advances were not welcomed, Jason Disisto asked another friend for his phone, so he could start recording.
That was when Munoz stormed up to him and grabbed his arm with two other cops joining in. They then threw him in a car and drove away, but not before throwing the phone out the window where it landed on the sidewalk and broke.
It was essentially a kidnapping.
Munoz then accused Disisto of lunging at him and taking a him, which is why he was charged with obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest, charges that were eventually dismissed.
But Munoz, of course, remains on the beat, making the streets unsafer.
That incident is one of dozens that were investigated by the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Dozens of New Yorkers complained last year that NYPD officers lashed out at them after they pulled out video cameras to record a police search or confrontation despite their legal right to do so, according to data obtained by NBC 4 New York’s I-Team, prompting a review by the independent agency overseeing police misconduct claims.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board investigated 42 cases over a six-month span in 2014 where civilians videotaped police, according to a meeting report. In 27 of those cases, the complainant accused police of acting inappropriately in response to being videotaped. The investigation was prompted primarily by a rash of similar anecdotes, and no historical comparative data exists.
While the Civilian Complaint Review Board certainly has its hands full, it can only make recommendations, which are usually ignored by the NYPD’s top brass.