NYPD’s overzealous crack down on graffiti now extends to harassing and arresting women who temporarily attach water-color paintings to construction walls. FYI: watercolor and tape are illegal graffiti instruments now.
Two plainclothes police officers pulled up in an unmarked car and intimidated painter Julie Torres in Williamsburg. Reasonably cautious, she asked to see their badges, to which they replied: “I was only going to give you a warning but then you got lippy. You don’t think I’m a cop, I’ll show you a cop. Now you’re going to have to go to jail, honey. You’re going to jail.”
When Torres asked to take her painting down first, the cops chortled, “You sell these, these are art? You’re a funny girl.” Torres spent 23 hours crowded into a cell with 20 women trying to avoid a violent interaction.
Originally, she was charged with three counts of graffiti but now they’re offering a disorderly conduct charge, which Torres won’t take. Torres, who often paints and sells her work at the arrest site in the summer that passing uniformed cops never gave her any trouble before. Yet, this doesn’t seem like an isolated incident of abuse of authority but a symptom of a dysfunctional legal system enforced by clueless bullies.