It's been a crazy two years for Dick George. In 2012, the NYPD arrested and strip-searched George after he took photos of officers stopping three young people on the street. Now, he's $125,000 richer.
The NYPD settled with a man named Dick George, who alleged that while he was sitting in his parked car in Flatbush in 2012, he saw two NYPD officers get out of an unmarked car and perform what is known as a stop-and-frisk of three youths. George said he captured the search on his mobile phone. He claimed he went up to the youths and told them next time that happens to make sure they get the officers' badge numbers.
He filed a federal lawsuit saying his knee was injured during the arrest and that the officers purposefully deleted photos and audio from his phone to destroy evidence. The department settled the suit with him for $125,000.
When the officers heard George talking, they arrested him for disorderly conduct, strip searched him at the station and deleted his photos. The NYPD is now letting all officers know that it's legal for people to peacefully record the police. The laws about what police activity you can and can't record are changing all the time. It's important that both officers and civilians stay informed.
I love police officers and am so thankful for the tough job they do and how well they do it. I trust police departments to act with integrity and respect in enforcing the laws passed down from the state. This must-watch video shows how amazing most police officers really are. Those are the kinds of videos I want to see more of.
That being said, no one is perfect and it's up to law-abiding citizens to make sure the police are keeping the trust we place in them. That's where video recording and photos come in. But, remember, you must remain peaceful and not interfere with police activity if you've got your camera out.