Randy Credico charged with menacing police officers

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Randy Credico. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
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ALBANY—Randy Credico, a comedian running in the Democratic primary for governor, was arrested Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx and charged with menacing a police officer.

Credico said he was accosted by police officers without badges who he began filming while they were talking to an “older black man” at the Van Cortland Park subway station. The incident happened shortly after 4 p.m., while Credico was en route to an appointment with Journal News columnist Phil Reisman in White Plains.

Credico said he began taping the officers—who turned out to be New York Police Department officers assigned to the transit system—out of curiosity. People have a right to film police officers in public, a point which the N.Y.P.D. recently clarified in the wake of the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who was killed during his arrest last month.

“The guy got right into my face, and says, you've got to move back. The next thing you know I got arrested,” Credico told Fred Dicker on his radio show, speaking from a holding cell in the Bronx. “This is something out of a Dostoevsky book.”

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An N.Y.P.D. spokeswoman confirmed the arrest, and said Credico was “yelling and cursing” at the officers. When they asked him to back away and stop, the spokeswoman said, Credico began “menacing the officers with an umbrella he was carrying.”

Credico was charged with menacing a police officer, obstructing government administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. The spokeswoman said there was also an outstanding warrant, which Credico told Dicker was actually for an unrelated man named “Gredico.” Credico is currently awaiting arraignment in the Bronx.

Howie Hawkins, a Green Party candidate, issued a statement on Thursday morning condemning Credico's arrest and calling for his release.

“Americans have the constitutional right to videotape cops in public places. Such taping is critical to help reduce the problem of police violence against citizens, particularly people of color and those who politically dissent,” Hawkins stated.

Hawkins and Credico are both pushing for a higher minimum wage, and Credico has made the legalization of marijuana a cornerstone of his campaign. Credico told Dicker he was not in any possession of marijuana at the time of his arrest, but he has made publicly smoking in violation of the law a regular political tactic.