New York tabloids are aflurry over a video that has emerged showing at least five young NYPD officers allowing costumed women at the West Indian-American Day Carnival to “back up into the officers’ crotches and rub their buttocks up against them as the cops grind in return, gleefully waving their arms in the air.”
Those are the words of the New York Post, which also confirms that an investigation has begun to identify the guilty officers and discipline them for grinding while nine people were shot at or near the parade route that day.
But is the dirty dancing itself really all that bad?
Culture Web site the Awl doesn’t think so, calling the New York Post a “killjoy” for its coverage of the event and pointing out that if you watch the video you can see “grandmas and kids alike cracking up. This is the probably the most friendly interaction white cops and some ladies from St. Lucia have had in Brooklyn all summer.”
It’s worth noting that the females in the video also appear to be willing (if not the instigating) participants.
New York-based blog the Gothamist also ridiculed the tabloids’ seriousness, polling readers on whether the cops should be disciplined, with answer choices being “yes,” “no,” or “they should get promoted to the NYPD Special Dancers Unit.”
Parade-goers Yvonne McKoy told NBC New York she didn’t think it interfered with the job they were doing. “They were watching us and doing their jobs, in a fun way,” she said.
UPDATE, Sept. 14, 8:37 a.m.
Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly don’t think a little dirty dancing is all that bad either. “I would prefer that it not have happened,” Kelly told the New York Post. “But I don’t want to make too much of it.”
Blooomberg said people “get carried away” at festivals and said it was just “a little bit of poor judgment.” He even went so far as to call it a “great advertisement for New York... It sends the message that police officers are our friends, not our enemies.”