Once again, it's important to note that unless you are interfering with legitimate law enforcement activity, it is 100% legal to photograph or videotape anyone in public, including cops. Obviously how cops interpret interfering is the key here, but judging by the video (see below) and written account of community activist Ed García Conde, who was handcuffed and taken to a jail cell for filming cops on Thursday night, it seems he was well within his rights at the time.

Conde, who writes the Welcome 2 Melrose blog, and a group of staff and volunteers from the Bronx Documentary Center were approached by officers after exiting the building Thursday evening just before 11 a.m. One person in the group was carrying a broken beer bottle out to the trash and using a cup to keep the liquid from spilling. Conde wrote, "Sergeant Delgado was accusing me of having an open container of alcohol...The sergeant refused to acknowledge the evidence in question and was hell bent on issuing summonses."

When the man holding the beer was being questioned by police, Conde took out his cell phone to record the interaction (and to capture "Sargeant Delgado’s aggressive, disrespectful attitude"). As you can see in the video, Delgado tells him to stop, and Conde responds, "It's my legal right, you cannot tell me to put it down." Conde wrote: "He called to the two officers under him and slammed me against the Bronx Documentary Center, rattling the windows, and proceeded to handcuff me."

Conde was taken to the 40th Precinct, where he was eventually given two summonses: one for open container and the other for attempting to create a dangerous situation. He also encountered other sympathetic officers who didn't bother searching him, and promised to come to his defense regarding the summonses ("[he] told me not to worry that if worse comes to worse and he’s called in that he will say that I wasn’t guilty").

Reverend Ruben Austria was one of the people who helped him get out of the precinct that night, and he wrote about the experience on his blog:

What I saw this evening confirmed to me again that the NYPD is in dire need of a policy and culture change from top to bottom. Nothing justified the behavior of the sergeant in this evening’s incident. It should have been crystal clear that the staff and volunteers of the Bronx Documentary Center were not in the least a threat to public safety. What Ed was guilty of was asserting his right to be treated with courtesy, professionalism and respect, which he did fully within the bounds of the law. When Ed, a Latino resident of the community refused to cower, the sergeant (also Latino) felt the need to teach him a lesson using coercion and force.