Man Shoved By NYPD During Ellen Dance Challenge Suing City

February 6, 2015 | Christopher Inoa

The man who in December was shoved to the street by NYPD after attempting to dance behind them is suing the city, the New York Daily News reports.

Alexander Nzebele, a self-described prankster who goes by Alexander BOK, was filming a now-viral video of himself dancing on the street for consideration in the Ellen Show Dance Dare challenge. In the segment, filmed during a time of increased tensions between the community and the police, the officers question BOK, yell obscenities at him, and then throw him to the ground.

BOK’s lawsuit alleges that the fall broke a $300 microphone, injured his knees, and has left him feeling nervous around the police. “In my mind I was just doing the ‘Ellen dance,” he said to the paper. “I never expected to go that way.”

BOK “seeks damages not to exceed $5 million for the cops’ suppression of his freedom of expression,” the Daily News reports. His lawsuit asserts that “dancing is protected speech, not a crime,” and that “Just because a police officer did not like plaintiff’s dancing behind him for a few seconds did not give the officer, or the other five officers, the right to harass or verbally abuse the plaintiff, or to push him onto the ground.”