The NYPD are cracking down on jaywalkers. In their attempt to “keep the streets safe,” they beat up and bloodied an 84-year-old man for his street-crossing violation. I guess they literally want the streets to be safe, not people. The New York Post reported:
Kang Wong was strolling north on Broadway and crossing 96th Street at around 5 p.m., when an officer told him to halt because he had walked against the light.
Police were targeting jaywalkers in the area following the third pedestrian fatality this month around West 96th Street.
Wong, who lives a block away, appeared to not understand the cop, the witnesses said.
“The guy didn’t seem to speak English. The cop walked him over to the Citibank” near the northeast corner of 96th and Broadway, said one witness, Ian King, a Fordham University law student.
“[The officer] stood him up against the wall and was trying to write him a ticket. The man didn’t seem to understand, and he started walking away.
“The cop tried to pull him back, and that’s when he began to struggle with the cop,” said King, 24. “As soon as he pushed the cop, it was like cops started running in from everywhere.”
Wong was left bleeding and dazed with cuts to his face.
He was cuffed and and taken to St. Luke’s Hospital. After several hours, he was hauled off to the 24th Precinct station house.
He was arrested and charged with “jaywalking, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.” We can argue about how the old man should have known English. I mean, he lives in America, so he should’ve taken the time to learn the language. If he had, perhaps he would’ve known to comply with the police’s orders, and he would’ve gotten his $250 jaywalking ticket and been on his way.
But I think that’s sort of missing the point. Aren’t there real crimes the police in New York can be “cracking down” on?
Can you imagine if Bloomberg’s soda ban had gone through? Cracking down on jaywalkers to this extent would be like cracking down on those who are in possession of 20-ounce cups. They’d catch someone in a café with a 20-ounce cup and all of a sudden a half a dozen cops would pounce on him and beat him to a pulp before sending him to the hospital. Their reasoning would be something to this effect: “We just hospitalized our 20th resident this year for morbid obesity and diabetes. We’re really trying to crack down on these high-capacity soda containers to keep people from getting fat and sick.”
Even if Bloomberg’s soda ban had gone through, it would be an utter waste of resources and police time to be tracking down all those who secretly had large soda containers. But that’s what this jaywalking crackdown amounts to. Was it really that worth it to beat up and hospitalize an elderly Asian man to enforce some small pedestrian traffic code?
It reminds me of this rather humorous video of the NYPD “cracking down” on skateboarders. The music, while appropriate for the video, becomes obnoxious very fast, so it might be best to watch it without volume: