A woman will sue the NYPD after cops arrested her in July. Her crime? Apparently the suspect was sitting on a park bench, topless. While this might be banned in other US cities, New York City allows women to legally bare their breasts in public spaces. But some overeager police officers seem to have forgotten this little law, slapping the cuffs on the woman and dragging her down to the police station.
As Gothamist reports, Jessica Krigsman is seeking damages, claiming civil rights violations, assault and battery, and malicious prosecution. And she has good cause too.
Sitting in Brooklyn’s Calvert Vaux Park, Krigsman was approached by two uniformed police officers. Telling her that they’d received a complaint, the officers insisted she put her shirt back on. Knowing her rights, Krigsman reminded the cops that women have been allowed to bare their breasts in public in New York for more than 20 years.
Instead of realizing their error, the cops told her to “stop mouthing off.” Threatening arrest, Krigsman, apparently better versed in how to do their jobs better than they are, said that doing so would be illegal. Concerned more about being right than “protecting and serving,” the two officers handcuffed the Brooklyn woman and then forced her shirt over her head.
During the ordeal Krigsman pointed to a man sitting on a nearby bench with a bare chest. “If you’re gonna make me put my shirt on, you should make him put his on.” Of course, this only seemed to irritate the NYPD officers more, who ignored her reasonable point.
Krigsman was then taken to the 68th Precinct and held for five hours, reports New York Daily News. She was then charged with “obstruction of a sitting area” — supposedly a violation of a park code that does not allow bench hoarding. This was eventually dropped.
The Brooklyn woman suing the NYPD and her lawyer say their case is “pretty clear-cut” with the law on their side.
[Image via ShutterStock]