The NYPD has created a “wanted” poster for a Harlem couple who film cops conducting stop-and-frisks and post the videos on YouTube. Law enforcement are calling the couple “professional agitators.”
According to DNAInfo.com, the wanted posters show side-by-side mug shots of Matthew Swaye, 35, and his partner Christina Gonzalez, 25, and warned officers to be on guard against them.
“Be aware that above subjects are known professional agitators,” read the flyer, which bears the NYPD shield and a seal of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division. It also gave the home address of the couple.
“Above subjects MO is that they video tape officers performing routine stops and post on YouTube. Subjects purpose is to portray officers in a negative way and too deter officers from conducting there responsibilities.”
The flyer also listed the name and cell phone number of a Sgt. Nicholson in the 30th Precinct, and implored cops to “not feed into above subjects propaganda.”
Gonzalez, who was stunned to see her and her partner’s face on the poster, quickly shot a video of the poster and uploaded it to YouTube.
“Someone is going to look at that and see my face on what looks like a wanted poster,” said Gonzalez. “Anyone who doesn’t know about our videos and know us will look at those mugshots, read about us being so-called agitators who interfere with police activity, and see criminals. I have nothing to hide, but for the officers to know where I live is scary. I feel scared to bring people over here now.”
The couple has filmed officers stopping, frisking and arresting young people of color in Harlem and around city, which they post on Gonzalez’s YouTube account, according to Swaye. They said their actions are legal.
The couple has been arrested several times for civil disobedience within the past year, according to court documents. Swaye was part of a group of advocates including Cornel West who were detained at the 28th Precinct in Harlem in October protesting the stop-and-frisk policy.
Gonzalez was held on Rikers Island for several days in May after she called controversial and conservative Brooklyn Judge John H. Wilson a “white racist pig,” refused to apologize at a court hearing. She was subsequently hit with a contempt charge.
Gonzalez was also arrested at the Father’s Day anti-stop-and-frisk march. She was charged with second-degree assault, charges which she said were false and intended to fight.
The pair said they are considering legal options over the flyer, but will more likely use the incident to raise awareness about stop-and-frisk.
What ever happened to protect and serve?