[Mount Vernon, NY] While videotaping what appeared to be a routine traffic stop, by the Mount Vernon Police Department Tuesday night around 8pm, Community Activist Samuel L. Rivers was arrested. Even though it is legal to videotape a police officer performing his duties in public from a safe distance in New York as long as you ‘do not improperly interfere with police work’ according to The Warshawsky Law Firm located on the 59th floor of the Empire State Building (on the firm’s blog post ‘Is It Legal To Videotape The Police In New York?), Samuel L. Rivers was arrested without any commands to step away, or turn off his camera (which an officer does not have the right to do.) Officer Greene, an African-American MVPD officer (identified by Rivers) you will see in the videotape just pulls out his handcuffs and tells Rivers to turn around and put his hands behind his back and then was placed under arrest. The charges when asked were harassing the officer while he was doing his job.
“I was making sure persons pulled over rights were not being violated,” Rivers tells exclusively to Black Westchester. “when I was arrested and attacked by Officer Greene.”
After a few hours, with no charges being filed, Rivers was released. Stay Tuned as we update the story once we hear back from the MVPD and the Mayor’s office. See video below.