Cops Appear to Take Selfie as Flames Engulf NY Family's Home - NBC Chicago
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Cops Appear to Take Selfie as Flames Engulf NY Family's Home

The people who lost their home told NBC 4 New York they're a law enforcement family and don't think the officers did anything wrong

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    Two Nassau County Police Officers are getting heat for allegedly taking a selfie in front of a burning home in Uniondale -- even though the homeowner, an NYPD sergeant, says he doesn't think it's a problem. Greg Cergol reports. (Published Friday, Jan. 6, 2017)

    Two police officers were captured on video appearing to pose for a selfie in front of a home as it went up in flames on Long Island Thursday afternoon. 

    The fire destroyed the house in Uniondale, though no one was hurt. 

    Moments after the officers posed for their apparent photo op, one of them appeared to approach another man taking selfies as if to ask him to leave the scene. 

    Neighbors were shocked.

    "It's disgusting. I don't like that because it shows no concern about the people in the neighborhood," said one man who lives nearby and asked not to be named. 

    "People in the neighborhood just lost a house, and you're going to sit there taking selfies," he said. 

    Another neighbor named Vera said, "I don't think it was appropriate for the peace officers to be behaving like that." 

    But the very people who lost their home told NBC 4 New York they're a law enforcement family and don't think the officers did anything wrong. 

    The homeowner, an NYPD sergeant, told NBC 4 New York Friday, "I'm not taking any offense. I'm not offended at all by this." 

    Next-door neighbor Emma Zaccarini added that the picture doesn't tell the whole story. The 86-year-old woman in a wheelchair said that moments before the selfie, the two officers helped her escape her home next to the one on fire. 

    Asked if she thought they should be punished, she responded, "For what? For doing their job? For being kind to an old lady?" 

    Still, the Nassau County Police Department said it's taking the matter seriously. 

    "The contents of this video are very concerning to the department and are currently under investigation," the department said in a statement to NBC 4 New York. "If these officers are found to be in violation of any department rules and regulations, they will be appropriately disciplined." 

    Nassau County legislator Kevan Abrahams, who thinks the police department should implement a policy prohiting selfies like the one on Thursday, said, "Unfortunately, what you see on that video is the lowest level of professionalism."

    Nassau County Police PBA President James Carver said the union would not comment while there is an ongoing internal police investigation.