A Cardozo School of Law student is suing the city and two police officers from the 61st Precinct, claiming they wrongfully arrested him after he chewed them out for parking in a bus stop to grab some food.
Tzvi Richt, 22, was given two disorderly conduct summonses after he got fed up and mouthed off to two officers who he claims chased off a man for parking in a bus stop – and then took the spot for themselves.
The incident happened in December, when Richt was on his way home from final exams. He spotted two officers in their patrol car at Kings Highway and East 16th Street. The boys in blue were honking at a man using a nearby ATM to move his car from a bus zone. When that man hurriedly pulled away to avoid a ticket, the cops pulled into the bus stop, left their vehicle, and hit a nearby food truck for some chow, the suit alleges.
The New York Post details what happened next:
Richt approached NYPD officers Graham Braithwaite and Jason Pinero and quizzed them about the apparent double standard.
“Plaintiff asked the officers whether they thought what they had done was right,” the suit states. “Kicking a civilian’s car out of a bus stop so that they could park there just to get food.”
Richt claims that he asked the question in a respectful manner and was not “yelling or shouting,” according to court papers.
Braithwaite tried to shoo Richt away – but he wasn’t taking no for an answer.
“Plaintiff responded by asking whether he wasn’t allowed to ask a question of a police officer,” the suit states.
Braithwaite then demanded Richt’s identification – but the student asked if they had the right to make the request.
That’s when Braithwaite put him in cuffs and threw him in the back of the cruiser, the suit claims. Pinero apparently attempted to urge his partner to forget about it and move on, but to no avail.
Richt spent an hour and a half behind bars before getting the disorderly conduct citations.
The Daily News notes that the summonses were tossed in court, and that Braithwaite has been transferred to desk duty while his superiors investigate.