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NY1 Exclusive: Tensions Rise as NYPD Increasingly Recorded by Camera-Wielding Public

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Yet another video has surfaced showing an arrest that turns physical—only in this video, the officer turns his aggression on the cameraman in an episode that highlights the increasing tension between the NYPD and those who seek to record police encounters. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

The 11-minute video begins with a police officer noticing he is being recorded.

The rest is only audio—after NYPD Officer Ryan Lathrop confiscates the phone, he seems to inadvertently leave it recording.

The man in the video, 25-year-old Naquan Miles, was eventually arrested on open container and disorderly conduct charges; he says in the process he was thrown to the ground, causing injuries. The moment is audible on tape, but not visible.

“Obviously, he must have felt like, deep down inside, he was doing something wrong. because if you’re not doing nothing wrong, then there shouldn’t be no problem with you being recorded,” says Miles.

Over the weekend, the man who captured Eric Garner’s death on camera was himself arrested on a gun charge.

The NYPD denies it specifically targeted Ramsey Orta; but what’s clear is the frequent tension between police and those who are increasingly recording their activity.

"The problem is not that the law is not clear. The problem is that police officers don’t understand what the law is,” says Chris Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Indeed, the NYPD’s own patrol guide notes it is not cause for arrest if an onlooker is taking photographs or video.

Dunn says arrests happen nonetheless, though.

“The police department’s got to get its act together. It’s got to be training police officers much more clearly about the right to photograph. And if necessary, it’s got to start disciplining officers who do the sorts of things that we see in this video,” Dunn says.

Some say it’s those recording who can be overly aggressive.

“You cannot interfere with a police action. That becomes dangerous for everyone,” says Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch.

The NYPD Hispanic Society is now calling for a law requiring a safe distance be maintained when filming.

As for this incident, the NYPD says it’s been referred to Internal Affairs and is an active investigation. Miles is not ruling out the possibility of a lawsuit.

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