Some New York City sanitation officers were recently caught on video (below) opening up people's trash bags and rummaging through in order to cite folks for not "recycling properly."
An angry resident confronted the officers on video, which was posted on the Yeshiva World News Facebook page May 31.
The man filming the video asks a female officer: "Officer, could you tell me why you’re taking out garbage from people’s houses in order to give tickets?" notes Photography Is Not A Crime, which transcribed the video.
The man then walks over to a male officer and asks: "Can you tell me why, officer, are you giving out tickets?"
The male officer replies: "You are not recycling properly."
The man begins yelling:
Now, you took out garbage from residents’ house[s] where I have a few witnesses behind you that you took out garbage in order to give summonses. I want to know how you dare do something like that! I think you have the nerve to do something like this! You go from one resident to another in order to take out garbage because you want to give out summonses!
You have some nerve! You better get out of here because this is going all over social media! You have some nerve to do it to neighbors! Is that what you're doing? Are you a human person? Who do you think you are?
The man then yells at the female officer: "Could you do me a favor? Make sure that everybody on social media should know what you have done. We have witnesses on this block, [to] what you have done!"
The man turns back to the male officer and shouts:
I want to know if you want to continue doing this type of garbage. You are taking out garbage from people’s bags in order to give out tickets! How dare you do that? I don't want to stop screaming! I want to continue screaming because you have everybody on the block upset that you have a nerve and you consider yourself an officer! Are you a human person? How dare you do this! All over social media, everybody is gonna know who you are!
The Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit in 2015 against the implementation of a similar law in Seattle that requires sanitation workers to go through people's trash cans and see if more than 10 percent of their garbage is food waste.
According to The Seattle Times, King County Superior Court Judge Beth Andrus ruled in April that the trash checking was "unconstitutional and void."
Andrus wrote in her ruling: "The city could not explain how inspectors can compute the 10 percent limit without searching through a resident’s garbage bags."
In response to the ruling, Seattle Public Utilities issued a statement: "We will study the ruling and determine what changes we need to make in the program and the city ordinance."