Today, like yesterday, and tomorrow, it is legal to film the police in public. But laws and police practice are two different things, and today it's entirely possible that somewhere in New York City an NYPD officer will put someone in cuffs for nothing more than pulling out a smartphone to record. This latest reminder is brought to you by the good folks at NBC4. The outlet reports that the Civilian Complaint Review Board is investigating 27 claims of inappropriate police behavior in response to being recorded, logged during a six-month stretch in 2014.

One such claim comes from Jason Disisto, who was arrested last spring in Washington Heights. Disisto was standing outside of a Puerto Rican restaurant around 1 a.m. when he saw Officer Jonathan Munoz reaching into his friend's pocket. Disisto asked a friend to give him his phone so he could record, but as he lined up the shot, Munoz spotted him and rushed over to grab him. A brief struggle for the phone ensued, with two other officers joining in, and it ended with Disisto in cuffs in the back of a police car.

Before the officers drove away, one threw the cellphone out the window.

"I was scared for my life," Disisto told NBC.

Police charged Disisto with obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. In a police report, Munoz wrote that Disisto lunged and took a swing at him. It would have been hard to disprove had the interaction not been caught on surveillance camera. It couldn't have hurt that there are three different angles.

Disisto's charges were thrown out on July 11th, 2014.

Now Disisto is suing, naming Munoz, Officer Edwin Florez, and a third unidentified officer, as well as the NYPD. The lawsuit cites a "de facto policy" in the Police Department of "making retaliatory arrests against people who lawfully photograph, document or record police activity." It goes on to list 27 instances of such arrests in the past eight years. Disisto's lawyers, from the civil rights firm Rankin and Taylor, are currently preparing to sue on behalf of six others who say they have been accosted for filming the police.

"We continue to try to have the New York Police Department take [respecting the right to film] seriously as an issue," Mark Taylor said, noting that there are not often repercussions for police who violate that right.

Flores and Munoz were placed on modified duty in December, 2014, and the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the incident alongside the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, according to a rep.

"Members of the NYPD are reminded that members of public are legally permitted to record police interactions and they will not interfere with a person’s use of a recording device to record police interactions," the rep wrote in a statement.

The NYPD's public relations arm declined to say what has happened to the third officer.

Asked what people should do when officers react negatively to being filmed, Taylor was pragmatic:

I encourage people to exercise their rights, even in the face of police discouragement. The reality is there are sometimes consequences for doing so. People are generally safer to the extent that they have friends around or people to witness events, and should be particularly cautious in situations where there will not be further witnesses to police misconduct against them.