Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NYPD Questions Tourist Videotaping In Times Square (Video)

When Aaron C. was visiting New York City from central Florida for the first time back in October, he did all the things New Yorkers do; walk around, see the sights, get questioned by the NYPD for taking photos... you know, the usual.

During a bustling evening in Times Square, Aaron saw a stretch, pink Mini Cooper pass by and recorded it on video. "When I started recording it..." he told NYC The Blog in an email, "the officer asked me what I was photographing." In video he recently shared online, you can hear the office inquire: "What are you taking pictures of, the yellow cab?"

Aaron asked the officer why he wanted to know. "I was just curious," the cop responded, adding, "you don't look like a terrorist, don't worry about it." Nervous laughter ensues.

"I was preparing myself mentally in case this turned into a larger issue," he wrote, but it didn't. "I think that he was just bored and wanted to chat for a bit." The officer tried to make a joke: "You know what a terrorist looks like? He's got a big thing that says 'Bomb' on it."

Aaron decided to make his exit after after the slightly peculiar conversation and politely bid good night. The officer did not engage him again. Watch the interaction on video below.

Though a relatively benign interaction, especially in light of the NYPD's infamous history of harassing photographers, it's worth mentioning again that contrary to what someone might inform you, taking photographs or video while in public is almost always entirely legal. Here is the directive issued by the NYPD to their officers reminding them of the public's right to photograph.

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