Perhaps the most heartening local item regarding the Obama win was the pretty decent sized street protests that arose after the win. Obama’s victory speech kicked off a night of celebration, and in New York, that means a night of dealing with the NYPD. A bunch of folks got arrested in Williamsburg, St. Marks and (I suspect) uptown.
At Union Square folks were climbing statues and lightpoles waving flags and cheering, bullhorns were broken out, but nothing wildly violent or interesting happened to justify the fairly substantial police presence hanging around.
Still, the cops came – and it wasn’t just in the name of ‘law and order.’ A friend got arrested at St. Marks around three a.m. after an officer snatched a flag-bandanna he was wearing off his face, and he chose to walk away from what amounted to an illegal stop (legal stops require reasonable suspicion, which there was none). As he left, an officer tackled him from behind, cuffed him, and stuffed him in the car.
For all that’s uncool, it gets better. He was booked at the station by an officer proudly wearing a McCain-Palin T-Shirt, and later standing in line to see the judge to receive his charges, an officer leadig him and several other folks around told everyone that “Next time you should just vote for McCain.”
I’ve already written about the police stuff I saw right after the election, but this took things to another level – and it’s why we need to keep calling bullshit on the NYPD when stuff like this happens.