This video is dedicated to Independent Journalists worldwide who’ve paid a price for seeking the truth … some more than others. ~presente
December 12th, 2006 – from I-Witness Video: On October 30, 2006 at a demonstration protesting the murder of journalist Brad Will in Mexico, members of the NYPD assaulted an independent videographer and stole his videocamera.
That’s right, stole. The filmmaker, Flux Rostrum, was not arrested. He did not receive a receipt for seized property. He was not even directly asked for his camera. Instead, without any warning, he was jumped by two police officers, one of whom is an NYPD captain, and knocked down onto the asphalt of 39th Street. One police officer was successful in wrenching the camera out of Flux’s hands. As Flux crawled around on the ground looking for the eyeglasses which had been knocked off his face during the attack, the cop with the camera quickly conferred with another officer. Then he ran off to hide the camera.
Cops Steal Journalists Camera 1st & 4th Amendment Violations (6 minutes):
When Flux attempted to get his camera back after the demonstration, he was threatened with arrest by a Lieutenant at the 17th Precinct. His lawyer was told that camera was found “abandoned” at the scene and that it had been turned over to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to be used as evidence against people arrested at the Mexican Consulate demonstration that day.
Someone at the 17th Precinct told the D.A. that the camera was found “abandoned” on the sidewalk. Now the D.A. is insisting on keeping a copy of the stolen videotape to use as evidence.
Is this the new normal? Is it legal just because the police say so?
If police do not have their own videocameras at events will they simply bonk one of us over the head and steal our gear and videotapes? What if they decide that they do not like what the videotape shows? Will they then destroy it as has happened to so many cameras seized by the NYPD over the past couple of years?
This story is a little hard to believe, isn’t it? Fortunately, you do not have to take my word for it. Not to be denied his voice, Flux made a videotape about his experience at the hands of NYPD.
This is the first blog installment in an ongoing I-Witness Video investigation, The War on Cameras.
The War on Cameras
Manhattan District Attorney