A Philadelphia man is free just days after local cops humiliated themselves by unlawfully arresting a man for taking pictures with his cell phone.
Neftaly Cruz, a 21-year-old senior at Penn State, was at his parents home Wednesday night when he heard a ruckus outside. He stepped out of the house and saw a line of police cars on the street.
“I opened (my camera phone) and took a shot,” Cruz told NBC 10’s Harry Hairston.
Suddenly one of the cops made a bee-line for the young shutterbug.
“He opened the gate and took me by my right hand,” said Cruz.
Neighbor Gerrell Martin watched in awe as the absurd abuse of power unfolded.
“He opened up the gate and Neffy was coming down and he went up to Neffy, pulled him down, had Neffy on the car and was telling him, ‘You should have just went in the house and minded your own business instead of trying to take pictures off your picture phone,'” said Martin.
“They threatened to charge me with conspiracy, impeding an investigation, obstruction of a investigation,” Cruz said. “They said, ‘You were impeding this investigation.’ (I asked,) “By doing what?’ (The officer said,) ‘By taking a picture of the police officers with a camera phone.'”
The best part is… they claim they were doing Cruz a favor by not making up charges against him. Chilling effect folks… the media better take notice of stupid police activites like this because next time it will be them getting slammed to the ground for taping the wrong police arrest.
Update: Ian Bernard points to a similar police taping case in New Hampshire where the man warned police that he had surveillance cameras on his property. Now he’s facing felony charges of “violat[ing] state wiretap laws by recording officers without their knowledge.” How the hell is that a crime in the first place with the amount of cameras we put in public places anymore? If anything, police departments should be happy that the general public is using technology to keep their officers honest, not pissed off at them.