Pardon the autoplay, the video above is the only source from NY Daily News.
Brooklyn, NY – Named in at least 20 federal lawsuits, including allegations of false arrest and police brutality, an NYPD sergeant was caught on video grabbing a bystander’s cell phone, arresting him without reason, and searching his home without a warrant. Instead of getting fired or arrested for violating the bystander’s civil rights, the reckless officer merely faces disciplinary review.
On March 8, 2015, David Rivera was at home watching “50 Shades of Grey” with his girlfriend when he heard people fighting in the hallway outside his door at the Marlboro Houses. Recording the incident on his cell phone, Rivera captured a video of his neighbors being subdued by several NYPD officers.
Despite the fact that Rivera had committed no crime and was simply recording the altercation on his phone, NYPD Sgt. Diana Pichardo suddenly pulled out her gun and aimed it directly at Rivera. While continuing to back down the hallway, Rivera shouted, “Don’t point that gun at me! Don’t point that gun at me. I live here!”
After complying with officers’ orders to return to his apartment, Rivera stood inside with his door open while continuing to record the cops. When Rivera refused to close his door, an NYPD officer decided to place his foot inside Rivera’s apartment while blocking his doorway.
As Rivera repeatedly told the cops to get out of his doorway, Sgt. Pichardo abruptly approached asking him, “Who are these people to you? Give me the fucking phone, motherfucker!”
The crooked cops immediately arrested Rivera after Pichardo snatched his cell phone out of his hand and began illegally searching his apartment without a warrant or exigency. Unbeknownst to the Constitution-violating NYPD officers, Rivera had installed security cameras inside his apartment which recorded the illicit search.
Held in police custody for 43 hours on several felony charges, Rivera was finally released and the District Attorney’s decided not to prosecute him after viewing his cell phone video and surveillance videos of the incident. In a recent interview with the NY Daily News, Rivera recalled, “They saw a camera and pegged me as the enemy.”
Known by the nickname “Pocahontas,” Pichardo has been named as a defendant in at least 20 federal lawsuits, including allegations of false arrests and excessive force. According to court records, the city has paid out nearly $400,000 due to Pichardo’s incompetence.
“The officers were legally arresting the men who were fighting with them, but it was clearly unlawful when officers grabbed Mr. Rivera’s cell phone, arrested him, and entered and searched his apartment,” his attorney, Jason Leventhal, told the NY Daily News.
Last month, NYPD Officer Risel Martinez was stripped of his badge and gun after aiming his gun at bystanders recording him during an arrest and then punching Jahnico Harvey in the face afterwards for no apparent reason before arresting him without justification. Although it is legal to film cops, these NYPD officers do not care about violating the civil rights of the people they swore to serve and protect.