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Sunday, May 19, 2013

New York Police Arrest Woman Recording Them, Apparently Stealing Wrong Memory Card

New York City police officers arrested a woman who was 
video recording them from a public sidewalk as they 
conducted some type of “vehicle safety checkpoint.”
The officers apparently stole a memory card from a camera, 
which turned out to be the wrong one, allowing us to view 
the video.
In the Youtube description, under the headline, “You stole 
the wrong SD card,” Christina Gonzalez said her boyfriend 
was also arrested.
We were arrested while filming an NYPD  
checkpoint on a bridge between a soon to be 
gentrified Bronx and a quickly gentrifying Harlem 
. We were charged with OGA, DisCon, and resisting 
arrest. I was holding a bag of yarn in one hand and
 a canvas in the other. My partner had food in his

hands when he was tackled. Even though their 
violent actions were unjust, we did not resist. 
Simultaneous with our “arrests”, the checkpoint was  
closed down.
We were held for 25 hours.
OGA is obstructing government administration, which 
generally requires the person to physically obstruct police 
from doing their job.
According to a New York attorney:
Generally, If you impair or obstruct the   
administration of law or prevent a public servant 
(often a police officer) from performing his or her 
official duty and function, then you have committed 
this crime. However, the other crucial element is 
that this intentional obstruction be done through 
intimidation, interference, physical force or an
 independently unlawful act.

But Gonzalez didn’t appear to be doing any of the above. 

She was peppering the cops with questions as to what they 

were doing and one sergeant tried to answer a question 

before telling her he wasn’t going to answer more questions.

She kept peppering him with questions, which prompted him 
to order her to move away.
When she refused, he demanded identification, which she 
also refused to provide.
That led to her arrest.
I sent her a message asking her to clarify about the memory 
card. Will update when she responds.
UPDATE: Mickey Osterreicher just emailed the following:
See the following from the NYPD Patrol Guide under PG 
208-03 Arrests – General Processing, effective 01-01-2000 
that came as a result of a 1977 Consent Decree between 
NYPD and the NYCLU. In pertinent part that section 
reads as follows:
As a rule, when a police officer stops, detains or arrests a 
person in a public area, persons who happen to be in or are 
attached to the area are naturally in position to and are 
allowed to observe the police officer’s actions. This right to 
observe is, of course, limited by reasons of safety to all 
concerned and as long as there is no substantive violation of 
law. The following guidelines should be utilized by police 
officers whenever the above situation exists:
a. A person remaining in the vicinity of a stop or arrest shall 
not be subject to arrest for Obstructing Governmental
 Administration (Penal Law, Section 195.05) unless the 
officer has probable cause to believe the person or persons 
are obstructing governmentaladministration.
b. None of the following constitutes probable cause for 
arrest or detention of an onlooker unless the safety of 
officers or other persons is directly endangered or the officer 
reasonably believes they are endangered or the law is 
otherwise violated:
(1) Speech alone, even though crude and vulgar
(2) Requesting and making notes of shield numbers or 
names of officers
(3) Taking photographs, videotapes or tape recordings
(4) Remaining in the vicinity of the stop or arrest.
c. Whenever an onlooker is arrested or taken into custody, 
the arresting officer shall request the patrol supervisor to the 
scene, or if unavailable, report the action to the supervisor 
where the person is taken.
This procedure is not intended in any manner to limit the 
authority of the police to establish police lines, e.g., crowd 
control at scenes of fires, demonstrations, etc.
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