A Queens man is suing the NYPD in hopes of paving the way for New Yorkers to record police activity without being harassed.
Ruben An, 24, said the NYPD wrongfully arrested him in 2014 for recording with his cell phone three cops talking to a guy who had previously been passed out on the street.
An was arrested on charges of obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct, according to the lawsuit, to be filed in Manhattan federal court.
He has been acquitted on all of the charges.
The lawsuit alleges that the NYPD has a practice of permitting officers to interfere with New Yorkers’ First Amendment right to record in public places.
It seeks a declaration from the court that An had a right to record public police activity and that the officers’ actions violated that right.
Video of the arrest from a nearby building. An enters at 30:45
He also seeks an injunction “from continuing to retaliate against New Yorkers for recording public police conduct,” according to his lawyers from the Legal Aid Society and Proskauer Rose.
An’s lawyers did not say when they will officially file the lawsuit but they released two videos Wednesday that they say supports their case.
The video from An’s cell phone shows him approaching three officers who were talking with a man on the corner of Lafayette and east 8th Street near Astor Place.
The cops ask An to back up and he does. Then one of the officers asks him for his identification. He refuses and he is cuffed.
The second video is surveillance from a nearby office building. It shows the man laying on the street and the cops helping him up and then talking with him as they await an ambulance. An pops on the scene within five minutes of the officers’ arrival, and is gone within three minutes.