On Saturday afternoon, people mulling around Times Square were shocked when a man holding an 11-inch knife ended up in a dramatic showdown with cops. Many onlookers and tourists documented the confrontation—which ended with suspect Darrius Kennedy being fatally shot by police—with their cell phones and cameras. Despite the fact that dozens of people were filming the incident, it seems the police still tried to control the flow of information: according to the Times, police confiscated at least one phone with a recording of the shooting.
Julian Miller, 22, who was visiting from Boston, followed the pursuit down 7th Avenue from 44th Street to 37th Street, where the shooting occurred. He told the Times a police detective pulled him aside afterwards and asked to see his phone and the video. “His eyes got big when he saw the video,” Miller said. “He went to go show his boss, and then they took my phone away.” He added that the officer told him not to speak with the news media, which obviously didn't work out so well.
Considering the fact the incident happened in the most heavily trafficked area of NYC, it's hard to understand why cops thought taking away one person's phone was a good idea. Moreover, this came a little more than a week after NY Times freelance photographer Robert Stolarik was violently arrested when he refused to stop taking pictures of officers in the Bronx. The National Press Photographers Association condemned the NYPD over their treatment of photographers following that—and that was far from the first time the NYPD has been accused of ignoring photographer's rights.
Update: Lincoln Rocha, a Brazillian tourist who was there for the fatal shooting, told AP that he had never seen anything like this in all his years of visiting NYC. And his first instinct was to reach for his camera: "When I saw the officers draw their guns, I was sure they would kill him...If they're going to kill him, I want to take some pictures, I want to record it," Rocha said.