https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/opin ... force.html
On a break from work, I crossed the intersection of 40th and 8th Avenue in Manhattan and, through a jungle of midtown noise and limbs, saw a group of police officers pushing an African-American man outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I couldn’t tell how the squabble started, but the man repeatedly called out: “Somebody tape me. Tape me, please.”
He didn’t resist as handcuffs were placed on his wrists, but the officer leading the pack kept shoving him against a wall. My hands shaking from a mix of adrenaline and December cold, I took out my phone and began to record the scene, along with another bystander or two.
Port Authority Police officers approached those of us filming and told us not to interfere. The other person next to me filming, a young-looking Latino man wearing a beanie hat, kept his distance, but loudly protested.
“I got the right to record all I want,” he shouted. “I don’t have to step off the sidewalk. Freedom of speech.” He then called the officers “pigs,” lacing his taunts with profanity.
When I asked a nearby police officer his name and what prompted the clamor, he threatened me with arrest for blocking the sidewalk, at which point I identified myself as a New York Times journalist just trying to observe.
The officers’ focus then turned toward the Latino man in the beanie, who continued to trade barbs with the five or so officers slowly surrounding him. He swiveled from side to side, waving his phone in a panoramic motion, its lens now serving as his shield.
I walked off toward the spot where the black man was detained to ask others if they’d seen what started the commotion. Within moments, I heard the clang of a body hitting the metal barricades behind me.
The Latino man in the beanie was pinned to the ground by four officers, one of them crushing the man’s neck and head into the concrete while another gave him quick blows to the side, as yet another cuffed him and a fourth twisted his leg.
“All right, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, man — just let me go home, please,” the man pleaded.
“Little late,” one of the officers said, tightening the cuffs.
A plainclothes officer approached me and pushed away my phone. “Sir, you want to go to jail?” he threatened. “Stop recording.”
This time, I stopped. When asked why the man in the beanie had been arrested, the officer limply offered, “Disorderly conduct.”
With the sinking feeling that his response was most likely the first step in an attempt by the police to cover for themselves, I returned to work and began to do a little digging.
The man in the beanie was Jairo Tejada Espinosa. He was charged with obstructing government administration, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and assault on a police officer, which is a felony, among other charges. (The black man we both filmed was booked on a harassment charge, a violation usually punished with a fine.) Mr. Espinosa, 33, was taken to Bellevue Hospital for injuries sustained during his arrest.