Charges against a man who said he was arrested for videotaping police officers were dropped this week.
Jose LaSalle says he was wrongfully arrested twice within 24 hours in August after he recorded NYPD officers carrying out what looked like stop-and-frisks at a Bronx public housing development.
This week the Bronx district attorney dropped all the charges against LaSalle, including illegal possession of a police radio, and the case is now sealed.
LaSalle is the leader of an activist group called Cop Watch Patrol. He and his lawyer defend the act of videotaping police activity.
“We (are) putting our bodies on the line to the point that we could get arrested, we could get falsely charged, sometimes we could even get assaulted and sometimes god forbid, something worse can happen,” LaSalle said.
“Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon situation in which individuals who exercise their first amendment right to videotape encounters involving the police and do not interfere, wind up on the other side in being arrested themselves,” said attorney Jeffrey Emdin.
LaSalle says he’s still waiting to get his smartphones back from the NYPD, and that he’ll continue to monitor and record police encounters.