Pamela Held was initially pulled over by police for not having an inspection sticker on her car. In the course of events, Officer Sean Christian obtained Held’s cell phone, which had nude photos of her. Christian then forwarded the photos to his own cell phone and Held is now suing the police department.
Held’s nightmarish ordeal unfolded the night of Feb. 6 when five cops in a police van pulled over her Sentra in Ridgewood because it had no inspection sticker. The cops found prescription drugs in the car, so the officers, including Christian, hauled Held and her pal to the stationhouse.
When cops began grilling her about her whereabouts that night, Held told them she was visiting a friend and had text messages to prove it. She gave one officer the security code to open her phone and pointed out the messages. Then police left the room, with the phone, while she was processed on misdemeanor drug charges.
Three hours later, she was released. Shortly after leaving the precinct, Held looked at her phone and saw what had happened.
She counted 20 nude photos and five sexy videos of her that had been forwarded to the phone number. Fearing the worst, she contacted lawyer Richard Soleymanzadeh, whose private investigator traced the mystery number on Held’s phone to Christian and learned he was a cop.
In a brief interview with The News, Christian, on the job 10 years, denied swiping the photos and videos from Held’s phone. He denied ever meeting Held or working at the 104th Precinct. Christian, who remains on the job, claimed the number that appeared on Held’s iPhone belonged to his brother.
This isn’t my phone. I don’t know this woman. I don’t even for the police. It’s my brother’s phone.
But in a secretly recorded call to the number associated with the stolen images — and with Internal Affairs detectives listening in — Christian seemed quite familiar with Held, a source said. He chatted and flirted with Held for 50 minutes, even calling her back when the call dropped.
So Internal Affairs can basically confirm that this all occurred as Christian spent considerable time chatting up Held.
Detectives examined Christian’s phone records and it does not appear it ever received the photos or videos. Christian told detectives he never received Held’s images, another source said. But Soleymanzadeh contends there was no “message undelivered” notation on Held’s iPhone, indicating the images were sent.
The police should look at Christian’s phone a little more closely then. They can start by obtaining his phone records and logs from his cell phone provider. Just because the photos aren’t currently on his phone doesn’t mean he never received them or removed them to another device.
For the record, it doesn’t matter if Held uses drugs or failed to get an inspection sticker on her car. The police were only supposed to look at her cell phone to read the text messages that indicated she was telling the truth about her whereabouts. It does not give the police the right to take any photos, nude or not, and forward them to another number.
Would you like to walk down the street and be subjected to a strip search that you didn’t consent to or have knowledge of? That’s what could happen once the Department of Defense and the NYPD complete their research into detecting weapons from a distance.
It’s called Terahertz Imaging Detection. It measures the energy radiating from a body up to 16 feet away, and can detect anything blocking it, like a gun.
Naturally, there are those who don’t understand that even if you don’t have anything to hide, you still have a right to privacy.
“It’s definitely a privacy issue, but it’s for our safety. So it’s just one of those things, a double-edged sword,” added Clarence Moore of Union, N.J.
“I think it’s good. I think if someone has something to hide and they’re going to worry about it, who cares?” Robert McDougall added.
Others, including the New York Civil Liberties Union, doesn’t think this way.
“It’s worrisome. It implicates privacy, the right to walk down the street without being subjected to a virtual pat-down by the Police Department when you’re doing nothing wrong,” the NYCLU’s Donna Lieberman said.
One particular comment from a person on the street should stop and make everyone think.
“If they search you, you’re not giving consent, so they can do what they want, meaning they can use that as an excuse to search you for other means. I don’t think that’s constitutional at all,” Devan Thomas said.
Whether or not you have anything to hide, there is the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
United States Marine Corps. Sgt. Shamar Thomas from Roosevelt, NY went toe to toe with the New York Police Department. An activist in the Occupy Wall Street movement, Thomas voiced his opinions of the NYPD police brutality that had and has been plaguing the #OWS movement.
Thomas is a 24-year-old Marine Veteran (2 tours in Iraq), he currently plays amateur football and is in college.
Thomas comes from a long line of people who sacrifice for their country: Mother, Army Veteran (Iraq), Step father, Army, active duty (Afghanistan), Grand father, Air Force veteran (Vietnam), Great Grand Father Navy veteran (World War II).