NYPD Decides OWS Protester Couple Are "Professional Agitators," Puts Their Faces on "Wanted Posters"
Christina Gonzalez and Matthew Swaye: couple, Occupy activists, stop-and-frisk fighters, YouTubers, and, according to the NYPD, "professional agitators" worthy of a special advisory to the force. The Daily News reports that Gonzalez and Swaye, who shared their first kiss on New Year's at Zuccotti Park (d'awww), were surprised to see this poster hanging from the podium at a precinct council meeting in Harlem recently:
The protesters say they believe they were singled for posting YouTube videos of stop-and-frisks. The Daily News:
“What we do is not a crime,” said Swaye, adding that the NYPD flyer looks more like a “wanted poster” than a police department advisory.
“It’s more insidious than a wanted poster because it’s undefined,” Swaye said. “People can take their pick: Are we dangerous, criminal, insane?”
At The Nation, Allison Kilkenny has more on the story, and the problem of police intimidation of protesters in general:
While it's illegal to arrest individuals for filming police in New York City, the NYPD have circumvented those inconsequential legal barriers to launch a campaign of harassment and intimidation against Gonzalez and Swaye, who simply attempted to hold police accountable for their actions. That duty doesn't make them professional agitators, but rather concerned citizens.
Memo to the NYPD: protesting injustice is not a crime.