Video Shows Man Arrested For Sneezing At #NoNewNYPD Protest
Video has surfaced showing a man being arrested for sneezing at a peaceful protest against New York City’s decision to expropriate $170 million to hire 1,300 new police officers on Tuesday night.
Protestors had gathered at City Hall before marching to Union Square and taking a subway to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s house.
The offending sneeze was recorded and uploaded to Vine. The subsequent arrest, which took place in front of Gracie Mansion around 9 p.m., was recorded and uploaded to YouTube.
Recordings from the scene show officers forcing protestors into a barricaded pen on the sidewalk before an unidentified man can be seen sneezing over the barricade in the general direction of a white-shirted police officer.
The footage shows the officer immediately shove the barricade to the side, chase down the protester with other officers and arrest him.
As officers detain him with zip ties on the ground, the man can be heard saying he cannot breathe and bystanders yell for the officers to let him go.
Here’s the sneeze that got this guy arrested & charged with assaulting an officer, at peaceful #NoNewNYPD demo. https://t.co/UJJD3ePdz3
— Keegan Stephan (@KeeganNYC) June 24, 2015
“I was standing right next to him,” witness and recorder of the footage, Daniel Aguilar said. “I saw him sneeze, but nothing even came out of his mouth – no spit or anything – and then the cop called to other cops and they all started chasing him.”
According to police the man was not released for the minor infraction but instead remains in jail waiting to see a judge as of Thursday morning.
He was charged with six crimes: resisting arrest, two counts of obstructing government administration, two counts of disorderly conduct, and harassment.
The several dozen protestors argued that the $170 million could be better spent elsewhere, and that the subsequent hiring of 1,300 new officers would result in more selective and over-aggressive policing.
Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled the proposal in response to what he called a “recent surge in crime.”
The NYPD currently employs 34,600 uniformed personnel and another 890 are expected to graduate from the Police Academy next month.
The budget deal represents a 4.7 percent increase from the one approved last year.