Commissioner Bill Bratton said the city has an “epidemic” of bystanders armed with mobile phones recording cops making arrests.
On Wednesday, May 25, the New York Police Department Commissioner, Bill Bratton was asked about the investigation of a Harlem officer, who pointed a gun at bystanders during an arrest and punched one of the witnesses recording cell phone videos.
He gave a remark that “when you interfere with a police officer making a lawful arrest, you with your cameras attempt to really get into it”. He further criticized the idea of citizens trying to take videos just for evidence. “This has become very serious — I would almost describe it as an epidemic in this country,” he added.
Bratton said, “communities are going to have to make up their mind: Do that want law enforcement, or do they want mob rule?”
Officer Risel Martinez was captured on video pointing his gun at bystanders and beating one of the men, who were filming him. He was disarmed and stripped of his badge on Friday, May 20, after the video went viral on Instagram.
Recording a video of an incident might be a guarantee that justice would be served. If police officers do the right thing, then there won’t be any need to worry about cell phone videos.
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