Tatyana photographs the sidewalk display and storefront of some Muslim missionaries in Brooklyn and gets accosted by the Muslims, who try to intimidate her and call the cops. Instead of telling the Muslims that public photography is legal, the cops defer to them and tell Tatyana to stop stirring up trouble. The Muslims file a harrassment complaint against Tatyana and she files one against them. Tatyana notes that if the missionary follows through on his threat to sue her he will be able to find out where she lives, and notes the implied threat.
It sounds like Tatyana could use some good legal advice. Perhaps some of our readers in NYC could provide suggestions?
We weren’t there, of course, but from Tatyana’s description it almost sounds like the NYC police are following a policy of appeasing Muslims to avoid trouble. But of course the cops wouldn’t do that, would they?
UPDATE: I am closing comments on this post. My intent here was to provide some modest publicity for what strikes me as troubling behavior on the part of NY police, and also to provide a venue for constructive suggestions for Tatyana. I am not interested in providing a forum for second-guessing. I think it should go without saying that you should be able to photograph people on a NYC sidewalk without someone screaming at you or calling the cops.
This would ordinarily be a minor case for anyone who wasn’t involved. However, we are no longer living in ordinary times. One of the first thoughts I had when I read Tatyana’s posts was that this is the kind of event that happens in Europe, and the NY police officers acted as one might expect French or Dutch police to act. By placating the difficult parties they reward and therefore encourage bad behavior. I think it’s important that this kind of mindless, “we don’t want any trouble” response by government functionaries not become the norm in the USA.