News & Politics

New York Gubernatorial Candidate Arrested for Filming Police Arrest Black Man

Randy Credico was arrested by two undercover transit cops on the subway.

Randy Credido
Photo Credit: Facebook

Randy Credico, New York progressive gubernatorial candidate for the upcoming September 9 Democratic Primary, was cuffed and arrested in the subway for videotaping two white police officers arresting a black man, according to a campaign announcement.

The comedian turned activist was on his way to a campaign interview in Westchester when he saw two white men forcefully stop a black man and began filming the incident. Unbeknownst to Credico, the two men in plain clothes were actually undercover transit police who didn’t take favorably to being videotaped and subsequently arrested him.

This is despite the fact that the Department’s Patrol Guide clearly states that “taking photographs, videotapes or tape recordings” is not cause for arrest or detention so long as the activity does not jeopardize the safety of officers or others. Moreover, according to the New York Times, other federal court rulings affirm that recording officers in public places is, in fact, protected by the Constitution.

Credico has been known to be very vocal in his criticism of New York police, particularly on the issue of stop-and-frisk policies and racial profiling which he has said is rife in the NYPD. It was only two days ago when speaking to a group of supporters that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s opponent stated:

"I welcome the decision of the Federal Court to appoint a watchdog to rein in the oppressive, racist and unconstitutional Stop and Frisk policy. For most of my campaign I have been the only mayoral candidate demanding a total end to this outrageous unconstitutional abuse by Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.”

As of last night, Credico was being held in the Bronx at the police transit office and refused release on the grounds that he has an outstanding warrant for disorderly conduct for 2012, a claim Credico has denied. Credico is scheduled to be arrainged today.

Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins has issued statement calling for Credico’s “immediate release” and the dismissal of all charges against him, according to blog State of Politics.

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.