Here’s another video clip you might already have seen. I’m posting it because it’s both funny and disturbing, though fortunately no one gets seriously hurt.
It seems that Ellen DeGeneres recently challenged her viewers to shoot video of themselves dancing behind people who weren’t aware the dancing was going on, so YouTuber Alexander Bok took her up on it, dancing on Christmas Eve in and near Grand Central Terminal in New York.
It’s entertaining, and as pranks go pretty harmless. At most a couple of people are momentarily startled. One startled guy is also clearly delighted and amused when he discovers what Bok is doing. But then Bok decides to dance behind some NYPD officers outside. Immediately he’s surrounded and interrogated, and while he quickly explains what he’s doing and why, the cops aren’t amused. Finally deciding he hasn’t actually done anything illegal, one angry officer nevertheless shoves him so hard he falls to the street, which happens to be a criminal offense on the cop’s part. (Reportedly the incident is under investigation.)
I understand that a lot of members of the New York and other police departments feel concerned right now about public attitudes toward them, and of course two NYPD officers were murdered in cold blood not that long ago. (For the record, the murderer in that case wasn’t an anti-police activist but a disturbed person who had shot his girlfriend not long before he killed the cops and shot himself soon afterward. But deliberate cold-blooded assaults directed against officers have been carried out elsewhere, including here in North Carolina.)
So I get that the cops in this video might have thought Bok was at least mocking them, and nobody likes being mocked. But we’re all, cops included, supposed to practice some self-restraint in those cases. If the angry officer in this case wants the respect most of his colleagues deserve and get, he needs to obey the laws he’s sworn to enforce.
[Updated for clarity and to fix some typos.]