Don’t test the NYPD. They know their grilling, BBQ and kebab rules down cold. And if you stray from the hard-line, be prepared to go under the chokehold – even if you're seven months pregnant. A Brooklyn woman whose husband had set up a small portable grill on the sidewalk outside of their apartment to fire up some burgers and dogs found out that you don’t mess with New York’s finest when it comes to BBQ. And her story, which is resonating among the locals who are calling it yet another example of excessive force among the rank and file, has us all choked up.
On Saturday, 27-year-old Rosan Miller, her brother and her husband decided to take the grill to the front walk, a prohibited area to set up shop to cook dinner. Police were already at the apartment building on Bradford Street in East New York responding to a domestic incident when they chanced upon the unlawful cookery. A dispute broke out, which ended with cops jumping over the fence and placing Miller into a chokehold on her porch.
Reports the Huffington Post: "Photos first published by the New York Daily News appear to show an unidentified member of the New York City Police Department wrapping his arms around Rosan Miller's neck and upper torso as her daughter watches nearby. Miller was uninjured but was given a summons for disorderly conduct, the outlet reported.... Use of the chokehold by New York police officers has been banned for more than 20 years. Yet Reuters reports that the department has a 'backlog' of chokehold complaints currently under investigation."
The advocacy group People Organizing and Working for Empowerment and Respect released the images, taken off a cell phone video, to the media, where prompt outcry and racial allegations took a foothold. Miller's family was quick to call foul on the NYPD, even blowing up the images and marching around the neighborhood, as shown by pictures carried by the NY Post.
“She was grilling in front of her home, not committing any crime,” said the fiery former City Councilman Charles Barron. “We want these [cops] out of our community... I don’t care what anyone says, there is a powder keg in this town. Don’t blame me, the social forecaster, when there is an explosion in this town.”
Police evidently asked Miller's husband to relocate to the backyard, and asked him to hand over his identification, but the man refused on both counts, turning his back on the cops and walking away.
The latest chokehold incident comes just over a week after Staten Island man Eric Garner died while being placed in a chokehold by a member of the NYPD. At the time, Garner was being arrested on charges stemming from illegal cigarette sales. A bystander captured the incident on video.
Activist Rev. Al Sharpton weighed in on the Garner incident, calling for a federal law to be passed banning chokeholds.
"We cannot just depend – and this is important – on police policy to stop the chokehold," Sharpton said. "We need a federal precedent."
What's your opinion here? News outlets are sketchy on the details, but it appears that Miller and her husband were uncooperative from the start, leading to the incident. Everyone agrees that the police must be able to do their jobs, but noncooperation rapidly leads to enforcement, and it appears the focus once again is solely on the scandalous end result.