Another police officer proved to be ignorant of the First Amendment after he handcuffed New York Daily News photographer Julia Xanthos when she took a photograph of a rescue scene on a public sidewalk last May.
New York Police Officer John Evans sat her down on the sidewalk with her camera still strapped around her neck as other Daily News photographers snapped her photo. Then he transported her to a local precinct.
According to the National Association of Press Photographers, Xanthos (who had just gotten married and now goes by Julia Economopolis) alleges that at the precinct, Officer Evans tightened her handcuffs further, causing her great pain and making her cry.
A desk sergeant apparently intervened and then Lt. Eugene Whyte of DCPI called the precinct after being notified and ordered her cuffs removed immediately.
Despite Officer Evans seeking to charge her with disorderly conduct, Lt. Whyte prevented further incident and a meeting will be held where the incident will discussed at length.
According to The Villager, Jennifer Mauer, communications director of the Daily News, wrote it off as a simple misunderstanding.
“There was just a misunderstanding at the initial emergency response,” Mauer said. “At the station, they realized she [Xanthos] was within her First Amendment rights, the arrest was voided, and she was released immediately.”
Officer Evans, a veteran from the Iraq war, was not around to comment.191