Will Paybarah, a 24-year old who has made New York City his home, was riding his bicycle last March 20th when he was asked to stop by a policeman who was about to give him a ticket for running a red light. In this day and age when social media is extremely pervasive, Paybarah took out his iPhone to record a video of the police officer’s approach only to find out that he was arrested instead for filming what was about to happen.
One ought to take note that there is no such law that forbids the filming of giving out a ticket, and the arrest was made by a certain undercover officer who goes by the name of Rich from the 10th Precinct. There were other policemen afterwards who showed up and made jokes that included how they were going to cuff Paybarah’ bicycle to a tree.
The NYPD Patrol Guide Section 212-49 does mention that the are not supposed to do anything should someone want to snap a photo, since that could be seen as a form of censorship. Paybarah, in a handcuff and seated within a patrol car, asked for the reason of his arrest only to be told that recording a police officer with an iPhone was illegal because criminals in the city do use iPhone handsets as a gun to fire bullets via the camera lens, while citing an example that a kid recently fired at an officer in the very same manner.
What do you think of the police’s reaction? After all, there are tasers that have been disguised to look like iPhones…