NBC 4 New York
A Harlem couple who films police conducting stop-and-frisks says the NYPD has created a "wanted" poster targeting them. The cops call them "professional agitators" who provoke officers and just want to make the police look bad. Roseanne Colletti reports.
An activist couple who films police conducting stop-and-frisks in protest of the controversial tactic were stunned to see their own faces on a police poster while they were attending a community meeting at a local precinct.
"I saw a picture of myself and my partner looking like criminals, and I remember thinking to myself, 'Oh, my God. Who here recognizes this? They must be thinking horrible things about me,'" recalled 25-year-old Christina Gonzalez, who along with her boyfriend Matthew Swaye, 35, has been arrested multiple times at Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and stop-and-frisk protests.
Gonzalez and Swaye, who live in Harlem, were at NYPD's 30th Precinct when they saw the flyer labeling them "professional agitators." It states that the couple often posted video of police conducting stop-and-frisks to YouTube, and "cast officers in an unfavorable light."
The paper also lists the couple's address and warns police to be wary of them.
"I spent a lot of my life working as a peace activist, and to be associated with violence or something criminal is troubling," said Swaye.
Gonzalez said she doesn't set out to cast police officers in a negative light.
"It's not because we're portraying them to be bad people," she said. "It's because they're acting like bad people."
Taking pictures of police officers making arrests is not a crime.
The NYPD said the flyer is an advisory about how police officers should comport themselves when the public or individuals are videotaping police activity.
Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Get our apps here and sign up for email newsletters here. Get breaking news delivered right to your phone -- just text NYBREAKING to 639710. For more info, text HELP. To end, text STOP. Message and data rates may apply.