Friday, November 19, 2010

The Jack-Booted Thug(s) of the Week...

... are the NYPD cops who rousted seven men who were peacefully playing chess on tables in a Manhattan park designed specifically for that purpose.

There were admittedly signs stating that the part of the park they were in was off-limits to adults who were not accompanying children under 12, however no children were present in the park at the time of the raid.

The men had apparently previously queried the local park supervisor as to whether it was OK for them to play on those tables,

"Yacahuda "Y.A." Harrison, 49, one of those chess aficionados, said he saw those signs months ago and 'asked the [Parks] ranger if we had permission to be there'.

'The ranger said, 'Oh no, that's fine, that's only written for pedophiles.'"

and they claim to have been accepted and even appreciated by the local parents:

"Since then, [Harrison] said, parents have welcomed him and the other players -- and even had their kids take chess lessons from them." 

The players, despite not being a nuisance or otherwise breaking any laws, were given criminal summonses for "failure to comply with signs" (none of that ever goes on in the Big Apple), and now must appear in court.

We understand the need for the neighborhood's precious little snowflakes to have a safe place to play as well as having the park rules enforced, but we doubt those tables were being used for any other purpose, especially during the day when most kids are in school.

Besides, wouldn't a friendly warning by the local beat officer have been enough to begin to resolve the situation?

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