HARLEM — The NYPD "wanted" poster that branded two Harlem activists as "professional agitators" is akin to McCarthyism, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler said Tuesday.
Nadler blasted police in Harlem's 30th Precinct for putting photos of Matthew Swaye, 35, and Christina Gonzalez, 25, along with their home address, on a "wanted" poster after the couple filmed police making stop-and-frisk arrests and posted the videos online, as first reported by DNAinfo.com New York.
"I am appalled by reports that the NYPD crafted a ‘Wanted’-like poster advising officers to look out for ‘Professional Agitators’ — [Occupy Wall Street] activists who were apparently legally documenting the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk activities," Nadler said in a statement Tuesday.
"Such conduct, apparently geared at curbing political dissent, smacks of McCarthyism and has no place in the United States. Law enforcement officials may not brand as enemies or agitators people who simply question their authority or speak out publicly against their actions."
Swaye and Gonzalez discovered the poster when they went to a community council meeting at the precinct last Thursday.
"Above subjects MO is that they video tape officers performing routine stops and post on YouTube," the sign said. "Subjects purpose is to portray officers in a negative way and too [sic] deter officers from conducting there [sic] responsibilities."
Gonzalez said he was shocked by the flier and brought it up at the meeting.
"I stood up immediately and quietly said, 'My face is on this,'" he said. "I tried to validate myself, talked about my degrees."
He added that he called and spoke with an officer at the precinct the following day and was told the poster was taken down.
Police have not responded to multiple requests for comment.
The New York Civil Liberties Union also condemned the poster.
"At best, it's a horrific example of unethical behavior and bad judgment," NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman told DNAinfo.com New York. "At worst, it's an invitation to target these individuals as if they were on the 10 most wanted list."