NYPD harass and threaten photographer for filming them

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You may be familiar with photographer Joey Boots from the Howard Stern show. You can start the video just after the first minute.

Boots, who has an extensive YouTube channel, told the Gothamist he was in Penn Station around 4 p.m. on Wednesday when he noticed an increase in security around the station—that included soldiers with M16s (he added that he “knew for a fact” there were no bullets in them, but “they won’t tell you that”). He took two photographs of them, then a soldier said, “you can’t take photographs,” which he knew wasn’t true.

Boots says he made sure to keep a “safe distance” from the soldiers, because he didn’t want to be charged with interference. He eventually pulled out a flip cam and started shooting video, and that’s when two MTA cops came over, saying things like “stop being a creep.” One of the cops grabbed the camera, and claimed he was harassing the soldier, but Boots disagreed: “I was never charged with harassing them, because I wasn’t harassing anyone. I kept my distance, anytime I was in proximity of the soldier was when he approached me.”

Eventually, he was told to stand against a wall, surrounded by seven MTA cops and five armed soldiers, who were waiting to hear back on the radio what they could charge him with. He says they were disparaging him all the while—mocking his Italian heritage, calling him “special”—and when they found out he couldn’t be charged for the photos, he was given a summons for disrupting traffic.

Full Interview

 


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