Would saying “blow me” to a citizen be consistent with the New York City Police Department’s official motto of “courtesy, professionalism, and respect”?
This question comes up now because a dancing female NYPD officer appears on cell phone video telling a street vendor to “blow me, b***h” and making an obscene gesture.
The cop seems not at all concerned about being filmed, saying “go for it; I don’t care.”
The officer and the vendor just got finished asking each other “what is wrong with you?” when things got heated. The cop was apparently in the process of ticketing the vendor for using a no-parking zone on West 34th Street in Manhattan, the New York Post reports, and “has been hit with a Civilian Complaint Review Board complaint.”
The video was uploaded by the Street Vendor Project, an organization that purports to represent the approximately 20,000 sidewalk entrepreneurs in the Big Apple and tries to fight back against harassment and abuse by police that it claims originates from special interests such as wealthy corporations and individuals. “Vendors are small businesspeople struggling to make ends meet. Most are immigrants and people of color. Many are U.S. military veterans. They work long hours under harsh conditions, asking for nothing more than a chance to sell their goods on the public street or sidewalk,” the organization contends.
According to the description that accompanies the YouTube video “The [anonymous] vendor, who sells ice cream from a Mr. Softee truck, was vending at his usual legal vending location near Macy’s on 34th Street in Manhattan. This officer had confronted and been disrespectful to him on numerous prior occasions. This is the first time he captured it on video.”
The incident happened over the summer, but has just been uploaded to the internet. The interaction on video is only 44 seconds, so it presumably does not capture the entire exchange between the cop and the ice cream vendor.
As New York magazine quips, “It’s not clear who instigated this particular confrontation, or what it’s about, or why the officer is acting so weird, or whether the officer is Jesse Pinkman in disguise.”
Officials have evidently yet to make an official comment about the NYPD “blow me” video, which is unlikely to be considered one of the finest moments of “New York’s Finest.”
[NYPD vehicle thumbnail image credit: Adam E. Moreira]