First Amendment

Infamous NYPD Sergeant Aims Gun At Man Legally Filming, Unlawfully Arrests Him, Searches Home

An infamous NYPD sergeant aimed a gun at a man legally filming an arrest, then unlawfully took his phone, arrested him, and searched his home without a warrant, video obtained by the Daily News shows.

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The Sgt., Diana Pichardo, has previously been named as a defendant in at least 20 federal lawsuits for civil rights violations, costing NYC taxpayers nearly $400,000, and will now face another.

In the video posted below, Sgt. Pichardo can be seen pointing a gun at David Rivera while he legally films Pichardo and others making arrests in the hallway of the building in which he resides.

“Give me the phone, motherf—–!” Pichardo can be heard yelling at Rivera, before taking the phone and arresting Rivera.

Pichardo charged Rivera with “a slew” of felonies, all of which were tossed by the District Attorney.

After arresting Rivera, Pichardo then leads a team of NYPD officers into Rivera’s apartment and proceeds to search the private residence without a warrant. All of this was captured on security cameras that Rivera had installed in his home.

This is the second recent incident in which an NYPD officer aims a gun at a bystander legally filming them make an arrest. On May 19, Officer Risel Martinez pulled a gun on someone legally filming him affect an arrest. Martinez later sucker-punched and unlawfully arrested another man filming him.

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“I think many police officers fear the camera and attempt to stop the recording because they’re concerned it’s going to be used against them,” said Jason Leventhal, Rivera’s attorney, who plans to file the 21st federal civil rights lawsuit against Sgt. Pichardo.

Rivera also filed a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the City agency charged with investigating cases of police misconduct. According to The News, “The CCRB substantiated Rivera’s allegations that Pichardo pointed her gun at him, abused her authority by searching his apartment without a warrant, and spoke discourteously to him.”

According to the NYPD, Sgt. Pichardo “is facing disciplinary action.”

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