A YouTube video of a New York City cop dousing a lit barbecue grill with water has prompted an official investigation from the NYPD.
In the video entitled “Racist cop pours water on cookout grill and denies black children of food,” a white officer from the NYPD’s 28th Precinct casually walks around a sidewalk cookout, tosses the safety seal from a gallon of water onto the ground and then proceeds to empty its contents onto a bed of coals and the food above it. The incident appears to have happened over the weekend and the precinct’s commanding officer is currently looking into it.
Residents are audibly angry and appalled at the officer’s actions. An off-camera man sarcastically asks, “You feel better? You feel better now?” Others remind him, “There’s kids out here and everything, boss.” One distraught resident simply says:
You’re on some real disrespectful, shit, B.
Most of the cook-out goers keep their opposition strictly vocal, however, one person appears to toss ice cubes at the unnamed cop while another apparently throws an empty water bottle at his head. The officer remains calm throughout, occasionally shrugging his shoulders and glaring at the African-American residents assembled there.
As far as legality is concerned, the cop is likely in the right. Outdoor fires are prohibited under the New York City Fire Code.
Of course, that doesn’t stop most people. Take a stroll through any working class neighborhood in New York City on any given night during the summer and you’re likely to come across an illicit cook-out–NYPD be damned.
As one of the angry Harlemites put it: “I’m just gonna light it ten minutes later.”
[image via screengrab; video courtesy Israelite/YouTube]
Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher