Cops in Brownsville Ticket a Man for Spitting on the Sidewalk

April 20, 2015 | Liam Mathews

At the same time the City Council Speaker is working on a bill to decriminalize low-level “broken windows” offenses like drinking in public and turnstile jumping, two cops in Brownsville are handing out tickets for spitting, Gothamist reports.

In a video uploaded to YouTube, a young man films two officers as they write him up for spitting on the sidewalk in front of the Sutter Av-Rutland Road 3 train station.

Gothamist notes that this takes place on the border of the 73rd and 67th Precincts, and that at the height of stop-and-frisk, the 73rd precinct recorded the second-highest number of stops. Spitting, by the way, is not in the top 20 most ticketed offenses. People don’t get ticketed for spitting. The guy even says so: “How much people have you locked up for spitting?” he asks the cops, who ignore him.

Our theory: the cops thought he was smoking a joint, and when they found he wasn’t, they gave him a ticket anyway because he’s young and black and doesn’t like being hassled for no reason.