|Mind where you sit in the Bronx|
Choosing to sit on a convenient plastic box on the pavement, Jesse Taveras was promptly booked by a Bronx borough police office for ‘unauthorised use of a milk crate’.
The crime carries a fine of up to $105 dollars.
When Taveras protested at being asked for his identification and having his name radioed in to check for outstanding warrants, Police Officer Panyan replied: “Don’t blame me. Blame Bloomberg!”
New York’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is responsible for ordering a so-called “quality of life” crackdown involving writing summonses for minor, but revenue-producing, infractions.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), a police union, says that the mayor is putting beat police under pressure to write tickets, meet quotas and fill city coffers.
“The New York Police Department has become a summons machine, generating millions of dollars to close the city’s budget gap while eroding the relationship between police the communities they serve”, said a PBA statement.
The milk crate that tempted Taveras into its misuse is the property of Sunnydale Farms, but those at the hair salon say the crate has been there for years, apparently awaiting an unsuspecting victim.
Payan’s police partner calmed the offender’s bewilderment, saying “it’s not a big deal, the judge will throw it out, anyway”.