‘Get that camera off my face’: NYPD harasses reporter interviewing students on public street
A New York City police officer allegedly broke the lens guard off of an NY1 news camera while reporter Lindsey Christ was interviewing students on a public street.
According to Christ, she was talking to the students about reports that officers assigned to schools in mostly-white neighborhoods like Park Slope and Gramercy Park routinely tell Black and Latino students to quickly leave the area at the end of the school day.
Footage taken on Tuesday shows Christ talking to students on the street outside of John Jay High School when an unidentified officer enters the frame.
“Let’s go. That means you got to go.,” the officer says, motioning the students away. “Let’s go.”
“Wait. Why do they have to go?” Christ asks.
“You gotta get that camera off my face,” the officer replies while reaching for the camera. “Not on me. On them. Not on me.”
“You’re allowed to shoot the NYPD,” Christ tells the officer.
“And I’m telling you not to put that camera on me,” the officer replies. Christ said in her report that the officer broke the lens guard shortly after the argument.
Christ had a similar encounter the following day outside of a school in Murray Hill, where an officer declared the street in front of a school as school property. Several other school safety officers allegedly arrived on the scene to question NY1’s right to film before other officers stepped in and confirmed that Christ and her crew had the right to be there.
The issue of police treatement of students of color in mostly-white neighborhoods was brought to the surface by an Oct. 1 report in DNAInfo New York about police allegedly harassing a group of Black teens outside of a Park Slope school.
“I was really really upset and disturbed,” one resident, Sara Bennett, said at a Sept. 30 community meeting. “Not by the kids, but by the way the police were yelling at them to get out of the neighborhood.”
Authorities later argued that they frequently try to get “large groups of young people” away from the area because of reports of fights at the Atlantic Center Mall, but critics contend that the mall is at least a mile and a half away from the site of the incident Bennett saw.
NY1 reported that Park Slope Collegiate and three other schools will hold a community meeting on Friday to discuss the issue.
Watch Christ’s report, as posted online, below.